The St Thomas' Amateur and Dramatic Society, as the Society was then
known, was founded on February 25th 1928, at a meeting in St Thomas' Hall.
A leading member of the local gentry, Mr James Bairstow had taken the office
as the first president at the meeting attended by 30 interested people.
Membership subscriptions were 2s.6d (12½p) per annum and were not
increased until 1961.
The first production was "Pocahontas" which immediately received
encouraging support from the villagers. The second production "Highwayman
Love" in 1929 attracted good houses and yielded a profit of £52.12s.9d.
In the early days the Society continued to make a profit on each of its shows,
the profits of which were given towards the upkeep of St. Thomas' Hall.
Costumes and scenery were hired, though the use of the hall was free. In the
1930's the price of seats was 3s (15p), 2s. (10p), 1s (5p), and schoolchildren
were admitted to watch the dress rehearsal for 6d (2½p).
As the 30's progressed depression in the country grew and in 1936-37 the
society fell into financial difficulties. With only £38 in hand the Society faced
an estimated £150 bill by performing "the Student Prince" in 1937.
Several guarantors offered momentary assistance should the Society find
itself in difficulties. "The Student Prince" made a loss of only £14.3s.3d
(£14.16p) with the Society remaining solvent.
On September 4th 1939, when the first rehearsal of "Goodnight Vienna"
should have been held, the members decided that activities should be
suspended due to the outbreak of the Second World War.
In March 1944 it was agreed that the Society was no longer considered a
church organisation and that they should adopt their present title. Musicals
resumed in 1947 with the production of "Rose of Araby".
In 1957 the production of "No, No, Nanette" was in jeopardy due to the lack of
girls. After much searching the required number was obtained and the
production went ahead.
In 1974 the Society decided to perform its first pantomime, and so "Cinderella"
was performed, and was an immediate success.
In 1976, after much sweat and toil, the members erected their own wooden
sectional headquarters on a plot of land off Bridge Street, Sutton. The building
had been bought from a Bradford Mill at a cost of £250. The gestures of local
business people in allowing the Society to have equipment at cost, reflects the
esteem in which it was held.
In the early 90's unbeknown to the Society, the plot of land off Bridge Street
which was owned by Silent Night was sold. When our existence was made known to
Silent Night they kindly gave us a plot of land on the same site. This
meant that with more sweat and toil the wooden hut had to be dismantled and
turned round into its current position.
In 1998 the roof at St Thomas' Hall collapsed and the Society moved
productions to South Craven School. The first production there was
"Brigadoon". Performances continued at South Craven until the Society went
back to St Thomas' to perform a musical review in September of 2002. It was
then that the Society realised that St Thomas' Hall was where the Society
belonged and so it was in April 2003 that the Society moved back to its
Since its return Sutton Amateurs have gone from strength to strength,
performing not only musicals and pantomimes but musical reviews and in
September 2005 it''s first play for many years; the popular TV sitcom 'Allo 'Allo
and the Hall was packed for both shows.
Sutton Amateurs welcome anyone who wants to be involved in the theatre
whether it be performing on stage or helping back stage or front of House
If you are interested in becoming a member please contact the Secretary
David Boddy on 01535 662944 for further details.