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

They were elected at the AGM in March 2019 and March 2020

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.

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.

Mark Goldsmith

Mark was born in London and moved with his family to Christchurch in 1963. His long association with the Regent started almost immediately as he and his sister were regularly ferried to the Saturday morning cinema by his parents, to enjoy ‘Tin Tin’, ‘Flash Gordon’ and of course everyone’s hero ‘The Lone Ranger’!

Mark has a passion for both cinema, theatre and live music, and having finally taken early retirement, joined the Regent Centre as both as a technical volunteer, backstage and front of house usher. Mark is a member of the local Cadenza choir and a keen motorcyclist.

The Regent Centre | 51 High Street, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1AS
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