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November 2013
Branch Newsletter
Yorkshire Ridings General Branch

Issue 11

Dear __NAME__

What Should Equity Be Doing For Walk-ons?

Many members who came to the June Branch meeting at ITV Yorkshire work as Walk-on and Supporting Artists. Equity has abolished the national Walk-on and Supporting Artists Committee, although three of the members of the new Screen Committee were elected to represent Walk-ons. Council also agreed to include in Branch rules a standing agenda item on Walk-on matters to ensure that Walk-on members can raise their industrial issues at Equity branch meetings. Our November Branch meeting will be an opportunity to share your views on what Equity should be doing about the issues that affect you as Walk-Ons. Please come along on:

Saturday 23 November, 12.30pm

West Yorkshire Playhouse

Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UP

Speakers will be local Equity Councillor Christine Bucci who represents Walk-ons on both the Screen Committee and the Council and Branch Assistant Secretary Anthony Blakesley who was a member of the Walk-on and Supporting Artists Committee until July this year.

For travel and parking information:


Notes from our AGM

Yorkshire Ridings Branch had a successful AGM in York last month, although we ran out of time and the motions on the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and Storytellers and Stage Committee elections were deferred until the October Branch Meeting.

Martin Bare, a partner at Morrish Solicitors and Les Woodward, Chair of York Disabled Workers Co-operative unveiled the new Equity Yorkshire Area Banner to Branch members. Morrish Solicitors have generously provided sponsorship and York Disabled Workers Co-operative supplied the banner. After the AGM, Morrish Solicitors tweeted: "Great @EquityUK Yorkshire Ridings AGM on Saturday. New branch banner looks fantastic!". Photos of the unveiling can be viewed at:

Liam Evans Ford spoke at the meeting about his role as a Community Producer on Blood and Chocolate and the 2012 York Mystery Plays. A written Annual Report, pinpointing both the year’s highlights and some of the issues the Branch needs to address, was presented to the meeting. This can be read in the News Section of the Branch Website. Alternatively, it can be downloaded in various formats from


Introducing Your New Branch Committee

Since the Annual General Meeting last month there have been several changes on the Branch Committee. New to the Committee, Gordon Steff has been elected as the new Branch Chair. Gordon was a

Walk-on representative on the Equity Council from 1977-8 and has also worked on stage. Walk-on Actor David Charles Denwood takes over as Vice-Chair and Assistant Treasurer and Actress and Dancer Yvonne Okyere-Whalley succeeds David as Treasurer. Radio Presenter Anthony Blakesley remains as Assistant Secretary and has also taken on the role of PRO. Storyteller Pete Keal continues as Secretary, but intends to pass the job on to a successor after the 2014 AGM. Actor Richard Dobson, Singer Joy Palmer of the Chuffinells and Singer and Murder Mystery enthusiast Audrey Roselyn Pointer complete the Committee.


Where Have You Been Working Lately?

We are introducing a new feature to the Branch Newsletter in which you can share news with fellow members about work you are currently doing. The Branch’s new Treasurer, Yvonne Okyere-Whalley performed to full houses in Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ at The Barn, University of York over 4 days at the end of October. Yvonne also reports that she recently went for an audition in London ITV / Channel 5 studios to play Whitney Houston in a new documentary to be aired early next year.

If you would like to share news about your work with other members please e-mail the information to


Young Trades Unionists' Christmas Event

Yorkshire and the Humber TUC Young Members Network and GMB Yorkshire and North Derbyshire Young Members are organising this free event which is open to young members of all Trades Unions.

This event is predominantly aimed at 27s and under and 100 free tickets are available for the event. However anyone else interested is welcome to come subject to availability of tickets.

The event takes place on Friday the 6th December:

5.30pm Drinks reception at GMB Yorkshire and North Derbyshire Regional office, Grove Hall, 60 College Grove Road, Wakefield, WF1 3RN

6pm Special showing of Ken Loach’s film The Spirit of 45 - An impassioned documentary about how the spirit of unity which buoyed Britain during the war years carried through to create a vision of a fairer, united society. 

7.15pm A special Q&A session will take place with former MP Colin Burgon – A man with so much passion regarding the birth of our NHS and also reasons why we should fight to save our NHS!

7.55pm short walk to the College pub, 138 Northgate, Wakefield, WF1 3QT

8.15 until late:

  • Amazing DJ set lined up by DJ Wags
  • A band to play live cover versions of all your favourite songs
  • the amazing poet JB Barrington (Words Escape Me) from the streets of Salford!

Further details for this event will be available soon . Please contact Deanne Ferguson at the GMB office to secure your FREE ticket – e-mail:; tel: 01924 887297.


We’re in the Latest Equity Magazine

Yorkshire Ridings General Branch is featured with the new Yorkshire Area Banner on p. 33 of the Autumn 2013 Equity Magazine. Thank you to Branch members Gordon Steff, Yvonne Okyere-Whalley, Katie Simpson, Nelson Fletcher, Tony Morris, Anthony Blakesley and Pete Keal who were photographed for the piece. 


Can You Spare a Raffle Prize?

Your Equity Branch holds a raffle to raise money for branch funds at each meeting and we need prizes! Can you donate a prize for a future raffle? It would be a good opportunity to recycle something you no longer want for a good cause! If you can spare a raffle prize, please bring it to any Branch meeting.

Your Branch needs help with Fund Raising. If you have ideas, or can help with raising money for the Branch, please e-mail


Dates for Future Branch Meetings:

Wednesday 11 December - Branch Meeting, 2pm, at Morrish Solicitors LLP, Oxford House, Oxford Row, Leeds, LS1 3BE. Also Drop-In Legal session.  

Wednesday 11 December – Seasonal Social, 5.30pm onwards, Victoria Family and Commercial Hotel, Great George Street, Leeds, LS1 3BB.

January – No meeting; first meeting in 2014 will be in February.


Branch Contacts:

Chair: Gordon Steff

Vice-Chair & Asst Treasurer:  

David Charles Denwood
Secretary: Pete Keal    01422 885211,

Asst Secretary & PRO:

Anthony Blakesley  
Treasurer: Yvonne Okyere-Whalley


Committee Members: 

                                                      Richard Dobson
                                                      Joy Palmer
                                                      Audrey Roselyn Pointer


Regional Organiser:  Nigel Jones  0114 275 9746,  07798 750253,


Branch Resources:

The Standard Agenda for Branch Meetings can be read at A copy of the Standard Agenda can be downloaded at

To download the minutes of past Branch Meetings, go to and click on Documents. Minutes of Branch Meetings since Nov 2012 are now available. You will need to log in to the Equity Web site with your membership number and your password before the Minutes can be downloaded. Minutes of the October 2013 Branch meeting will be available soon.

Branch Web Site
Link to our RSS News feed:

Facebook page (shared with
South Yorkshire Variety Branch)


 If you have something you would like included in the Branch Newsletter, please e-mail


Equity News

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Donations are being raised for a statue of Joan Littlewood to be erected outside the Theatre Royal Stratford East

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Arts news round-up

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A quick look at the arts, broadcasting and entertainment stories from Thursday 14 November

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Equity Events

Stage Management - Expanding Work Horizons

14 November 2013  Equity, Guild House, Upper St Martin's Lane, London, WC2H 9EG

Stage Management information and networking event in partnership with the Stage Management Association.

Creating Without Conflict Conference

19 November 2013  Central London

A conference on bullying in the arts run by Equity, BECTU, NUJ, Musicians Union and the Writers Guild.

Dealing with Bullying and Harassment Workshop

21 November 2013  Equity, Guild House, London, WC2H 9EG

Information about bullying and harassment at work and exploring ways in which individuals can deal with such circumstances

(View event)

Branch Events

YRGB Nov '13 Branch Meeting

23 November 2013  West Yorkshire Playhouse, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UP

November Branch Meeting with speakers on “What Should Equity be doing for Walk-Ons?”.

YRGB Dec '13 Branch Meeting

11 December 2013  Morrish Solicitors LLP, Oxford House, Oxford Row, Leeds, LS1 3BE

December Branch Meeting with speaker from Morrish Solicitors LLP.

YRGB Seasonal Social

11 December 2013  Victoria Family and Commercial Hotel, Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BB

Yorkshire Ridings General Branch Seasonal Social

(View event)

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