Board

The Regent Centre is directed by a Board of Directors elected by Members of the Company.

They were elected at the AGM in March 2019 

Gary Trinder (Chairman)

Gary is a Lancastrian, whose working life up-to retirement was spent within the Defence Industry commencing as an electrical apprentice and progressing through to Director of Operations. He is a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, with a degree in Business Management.

For 18 years he served as Vice-Chairman and Technical Director of Stockport Plaza Trust who own and operate the Plaza Super Cinema and Variety Theatre in Stockport, also registered Charity.

In 2009, he lead the almost £4m restoration of the building back to 1932 opening condition, a result which won the building many coveted national awards for authenticity.
He is a Historic Cinemas Advisor, passionate about cinema architecture, and frequently advises cinema-building owners about specific aspects of their projects. He is also a national committee member of the Cinema Theatre Association.

He relocated to Lower Parkstone in Poole from North Manchester in October 2017, and enjoys playing Cinema Organ and collecting vintage cars as hobbies.

Chris Root (Vice-Chair)

Chris has been involved with the Regent Centre for a number of years, as a tech volunteer and as part of Christchurch Gilbert and Sullivan Society. He was previously on the board for a number of years and was chairman in 2017. Local to Christchurch, Chris works in Accounting and is also involved locally in the scouting movment. 

Les Del Nevo

Les retired in 2009 when he was Marketing Director for a mobility company. Moving to Barton on Sea from Bracknell he quickly found a new niche in amateur theatre with Highcliffe Charity Players in their production of Happy as a Sandbag and has been a member of Milton Musical Society for the last 10 years. During this time he has played in many of their productions here at the Regent.

10 years ago he became a volunteer working up to be a Duty Manager working on regular Monday evenings.

He is a very enthusiastic member of the team, and was delighted to have been re-elected back onto the Regent Board in 2019.

Linda Kirkman

Linda’s working life began in one of the major banks, where she was part of a team responsible for training others in management skills, but a career change in 1991 took her into journalism, specialising in her lifelong love, theatre. She wrote for Interval Magazine before moving in 1995 to Bournemouth Echo, where she was responsible for the weekly amateur theatre-based Curtain Call page. In 2007 she started up her own publication, Scene One, specifically to give a voice to local amateur theatre, but she has now retired from this, although still does the odd review from time to time.

Along the way Linda became a judge for the national TMA Awards, was part of the judging panel for various Echo-sponsored Talent Shows and was on the committee of the Bournemouth Music Competitions Festival. She also spent a happy year as part of the Mayflower Theatre’s marketing team.

On the other side of the footlights, Linda began performing in local musical theatre in 1967, playing a number of principal roles over the years with several societies. Her biggest claim to fame was during a production of Salad Days at this very theatre, when on the last night she fell none-too-gracefully through an on-stage bench and brought the house down to tears of laughter from crew, cast and audience. Perhaps it is just as well that she no longer treads the boards!

Linda has been a supporter of the Regent Centre since its reopening in 1983, and was thrilled to be asked to re-join the Board in 2017.

David Sandham

I was a teacher of Drama and Theatre Arts and, ultimately, Head of Department in two local secondary schools in a career spanning thirty-five years. From 1992 until 2004 I was also Manager of the 480-seat De La Salle Theatre at St. Peter’s School, responsible for financing, programming, technical aspects, licensing and day-to-day usage. I also chaired the Committee, (1990-1992), tasked with raising the £100,000 necessary to totally refurbish this performance space. Once the finance was in place, I then served as Clerk of Works for the refurbishment. I also served as a member of the Governing Body of this school for twelve years.

Between 1990 and 2010, I was Lighting Designer and Stage Manager for the Palm Court Theatre Orchestra. I have also directed almost two hundred productions, most recently for Bournemouth Musical Theatre Productions.

Latterly, I retrained as a Health and Safety Consultant to deliver programmes in Fire Safety, Electrical Safety, Manual handling, Food Hygiene and Risk Assessment. I then gave over four hundred such courses in schools, hotels, care homes, golf clubs and theatres.

Phil Stevens 

Philip worked for Rediffusion in London before moving to Christchurch in 1985, working in the photocopier business. He joined the Regent in 2003 as a technical volunteer working on amateur and professional shows and then trained as a projectionist showing 35mm films for 10yrs until digital cinema came in. He then started the Regent cinema museum, which features a working 35mm projector, and many old cinema artefacts. Its tours are very popular in the community.

Philip visits many old theatres as a member of the Cinema Theatre Association and also volunteers with the Shelley Theatre in Bournemouth. He enjoys volunteering with a great team of people at the Regent, as well as boating, classic cars and spending time with his grandchildren.

Carole Toothill

From an early age, Carole became aware of the strong musical influence from both sides of the family as her grandfather, father and uncle were all professional musicians.

She took dance, piano and singing lessons and after 3 years at teacher training college was able to put these skills to good use while working as a primary school teacher in Reading preparing junior choirs and instrumentalists for the annual music festivals.

After moving north with her husband and family, Carole worked for 29 years as a music specialist in Lancashire. She became involved in the educational work of the Ludus Dance Company and Lancaster Playhouse Theatre in Education as well as becoming Chair of Lancashire Schools  Dance Association.

On moving to Highcliffe in 2001, Carole and her husband joined the Regent as volunteers. Carole has recently trained in other areas and also serves as an usher and in her regular Duty Manager's slot

She loves the work and ethos of the Regent and, after several months as Minutes Secretary to the Board,  was delighted to be elected to the Board.She is currently continuing to write up the Minutes and also serves on the Development and Finance Sub Committees.

She hopes to continue the close and rewarding association with the Regent for many years to come. 

 

Janet Townend (Company Secretary)

 

Born and brought up in Twickenham, her first holiday was in a chalet on Mudeford Sandbank and her father taught her to row in Christchurch Harbour at the age of 6.

At University she studied Biochemistry and was pleased to get a job back on the South coast at Poole Hospital. Whilst there she studied computing and ended up running the results service for all the NHS laboratories in the area. Janet met her husband Kit in Christchurch in 1975 and supported him while he and others got the Regent Centre off the ground from 1982.
 
She has been Secretary of CADArts, the arts umbrella body for the area, for several years. It was this body that with others persuaded Christchurch Borough Council to buy the Regent, create an apron to the stage and provide some back stage space so that live shows as well as films could be put on. Kit walked with sticks and was delighted to find the Jubilee Sailing Trust had a Tall Ship, The Lord Nelson, that they could both sail on. She is still a supporter. Janet currently plays in 4 music groups, on various instruments.
 

Sue Woodward

Sue was born and brought up in Bedfordshire, she was, in her youth, a Member of the then famous Luton Girls’ Choir. Sue did a course In Business Studies at a local Commercial College and from there secured a position as a Secretary in the House of Commons moving on after a few years to a similar position at the Ministry of Defence.

In 1985 Sue moved with her family to Highcliffe and has worked since then on a self- employed basis doing book-keeping, accounts and taxation, she is also Company Secretary to a Highcliffe based Property Company.

In 1992 Sue joined The Highcliffe Charity Players beginning her association with The Regent Centre. Sue has been Secretary and Treasurer of the Society for the past 20 years and has also recently joined the Highcliffe Castle Choir.

The Regent Centre | 51 High Street, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1AS
Registered Charity Number: 1089084 | Company Number: 03941287 | Privacy Policy