Harold Patullo with the restored Cheltenham Cricket Club Cup from, 1909. Courtesy Leader Collection. Photographer Tanya Fry.
It’s fair to say Cheltenham Cricket Club was stumped to learn that its 1907/1908 premiership cup had turned up.
Officials had no idea the club had even won the flag. “We only had records of our premierships back to 1925 … this is unbelievable,” president Darren Anderson said last Friday.
One hundred years after it was won. Cheltenham is to regain a cup recognising its success over Heatherton in the Brighton District Cricket Association grand final at the old ground behind the shops in Charman Road.
Cricket Ground behind Shops in Charman Road, Cheltenham , c1910. Courtesy Betty Kuc, Photographer Percy Fairlam
For almost a century it has been in the possession of the family of former leading player Frank Chandler, who was gifted it “on the occasion of his departure from the district” in 1908.
He and his brothers Sydney and Arthur played in the team, and their father, Thomas was president of the club in the 1880s.
Frank Chandler went to Gisborne to work as a cabinet maker and after the death of his wife, moved to Melbourne in 1938. The trophy stayed with his daughter, Edith, until she passed it on to her son, Harold Patullo, before her death in 2001.
Patullo tried for a few years to contact Cheltenham officials and return it to the club. He made a more concerted effort his season, mindful of the 100 year milestone. The cup has been replated and restored to its original condition and Patullo will hand it over on presentation night.
Valued at the time at five guineas, it was sponsored by McLean Brothers and Rigg (the forerunner to hardware giant McEwans) and was obviously built to last. Patullo said his mother placed her spare buttons in the cup (“whenever mum was repairing a garment we put it on the floor and tipped out all its contents”). Later still it was a receptacle for a maiden hair fern. In between times it was given a spit and polish and placed on a shelf or cupboard for display.
To judge from newspaper reports, it was a wacky grand final. For reasons that are unclear, it concluded on May 16, with Cheltenham winning on first innings with scores of 92 and 92 to Heatherton’s 92 and 9/87.
The final few minutes were played in light that would please a burglar.
“It almost ended in fiasco,” reported one newspaper. “The Heatherton batsman’s wickets fell but the umpire said it was too dark for him to see whether he had been bowled. Confusion ensued while the umpires debated the desirability of stopping the game.”
After the match Heatherton weighted in with a protest, alleging Cheltenham had fielded a player who lived outside the district.
The case was dismissed and the newspaper account said “the greatest noise and excitement ever known locally prevailed on the Cheltenham ground.”
The premiership cup was presented at a smoke night at Cheltenham Mechanics’ Hall on September 9, 1908. Almost 100 years on, and after an eventual domestic existence, it’s back in the club’s possession.
Cricket Trophy from the Brighton Cricket Association awarded to the Cheltenham Cricket Club, Premiers in Grade A 1908.
- Reprinted with permission from the Moorabbin Leader, February 20, 2008.
Category: Did You Know?
Reference Number: 468
Date Created: 5/09/2009