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Variety Artistes' Federation

The Variety Artistes' Federation (VAF) was a trade union representing variety performers in the United Kingdom.

Variety Artistes' Federation
Date dissolved1966
Merged intoEquity
Members4,000 (1906)
JournalThe Performer
AffiliationTUC, IFVA
Office location18 Charing Cross Road, London
CountryUnited Kingdom

The union was founded in 1906, and within weeks had 4,000 members. This gave it the confidence to launch strikes in twenty-two London theatres, with around half of the members standing on picket lines. It raised funds by organising a performance at the Scala Theatre, its members working without pay. It agreed to arbitration, chaired by George Askwith, and this proved a success for the union, which reached national agreements on codes of conduct, contracts and dispute resolution.[1]

Membership of the union gradually declined, as many music halls closed, and by 1966 it had about 2,000 members. That year, it merged into the British Actors' Equity Association.[1]

General SecretariesEdit

1906: Charles Gulliver
1907: Monte Bayly
1909: W. H. Clemert
1910: J. E. Barry
1910s: Fred Herbert
1927: Monte Bayly
1929: A. V. Drewe
W. C. Bass
1953: Frank J. Comerford
1954: Reginald Swinson

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Marsh, Arthur; Ryan, Victoria (1980). Historical Directory of Trade Unions. 1. Farnborough: Gower. p. 224. ISBN 0566021609.