Historical information

The program describes the performance as 'original burlesque' and was written, composed and produced by A E Woffinden and A W Sutton, members of the Chatham Fathers' Club, to raise money for the school. There were 250 programs printed at a cost of one pound fifteen shillings. This performance starred 21 of the fathers with Mr W Crellin as the only female character, Miss Eileen Flapper.
The Chatham Fathers' Club became renowned locally for the quality of its performances, repeats being given to other community organisations. In the publication 'Chatham Past & Present: A Patchwork of People' there is also a photo of the cast taken in the quadrangle of the school. The original program and photo were lent to the school at the time of the 70 year reunion in 1997 by Mrs Jean Lacy (nee Walker), whose father took part as a member of the jury.
Many of the performers were also in the formal photo of the Father's Club, taken in February 1928 on the front steps of the school. The original hangs in the school entry foyer and is reproduced in 'A Patchwork of People: Chatham Past and Present'. In relation to names, these are better identified and the following identifications have been reached by referencing this and the 1931 electoral roll. The geographic spread of addresses reflects that when Chatham opened in August 1927, surrounding schools were overcrowded and some families chose to relocate their children.
Albert Ernest Woffinden (manufacturer) lived at 14 Banool Road, Surrey Hills.
Alfred William Sutton (clerk) lived at 528 Whitehorse Road, Surrey Hills.
Mr A Davidson - not found in electoral roll.
Walter Dallas Kinross (mechanic) lived at 72 Empress Road, Surrey Hills.
Gilbert Leslie (Bert) Rae (sales) lived at 63 Empress Road, Surrey Hills.
Mr Joseph P Braddick (mechanic) lived at 1 Northcote Avenue, Canterbury; now Balwyn (NB/ Name is miss-spelt Braddock in the program).
Norman Patrick Smart (bt opr) lived at 61 Sir Garnet Road, Surrey Hills.
Henry Albert Wysham (show card writer) lived at 9 Northcote Avenue, Canterbury.
Mr Sidney Bessant (labourer) lived at 191 Mont Albert Road, Canterbury.
William Morrison (teacher) lived at 37 Chatham Road, Canterbury.
William Charles Crellin (breadcarter) lived at 59 Empress Road, Surrey Hills.
Mr F Parsons - taken as Fred Parsons (bricklayer) lived at 2 Kaarumba Grove, Balwyn.
Mr MacDougal (incorrectly spelt in program) is Dougall MacDougall (gas collector) lived at 5 Wells Street, Surrey Hills.
Mr A V Webb - not found.
Mr McKie - not found.
Victor Harold Theodore Clow (civil servant) lived at 4 Talbot Avenue, Balwyn; listed as T. Clow.
Mr M Walker (donor's father) not found in electoral roll for 1931; thought to have lived in Sir Garnet Road.
Mr McLeod - a number listed in the 1931 electoral roll.
Richard Frost (carriage builder) lived at 341 Mont Albert Road, Surrey Hills.
Mr Allen - a number listed in the 1931 electoral roll.
Mr J Tulloch - not found in the 1931 electoral roll.


This is an example of 'home-spun' entertainment and creativity of the era when the sense of community was very real. It is an example of the fundraising efforts undertaken by school communities to provide 'extras' that would later be regarded as 'basics'. For many years the sense of community in this part of Surrey Hills revolved around Chatham school, the Benson Street Methodist Church and the football club, located at the Canterbury Recreation Ground.

Physical description

A photocopy of the programme for the Chatham Primary School Fathers' Club "Trial by Jury" performance on 16 November 1929. It includes the words of the song 'Carry me back to dear old Chatham'. It lists the performers by character and some details regarding the Chatham Primary School Fathers' Club.