Dahl and Geoffrey Collings began their documentary film making careers in the late 1930s but in the 1940s they were associated with two Australian feature films, ‘The Overlanders’ (1946) and ‘Eureka Stockade’ (1949), which were directed by Harry Watt for Britain’s Ealing Studios. Dahl Collings worked as a costume designer on both films and Geoffrey Collings as Assistant Director on ‘The Overlanders’.
Through these films, particularly ‘The Overlanders’ where they were working in remote outback locations, they had the opportunity to mix with a group of interesting people on both sides of the camera. Including the Scottish actor Gordon Jackson, probably best known to most of us as Hudson in ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’, who along with his wife the actor Rona Anderson became life-long friends. Another great friend involved with both films was the iconic Australian actor Chips Rafferty (John William Pilbean Goffage 1909-1971) who was also a talented black and white artist.
We have only one Christmas card from Chips Rafferty and his wife Quentin within the Dahl and Geoffrey Collings archive but we thought you might enjoy seeing it. The card features a cartoon of a giant figure, Chips Rafferty who was 198 cms tall, sitting on a stool having his huge beard combed by a tiny female figure, Quentin Rafferty. The drawing appears to be signed ‘Rms’ and if you have any information about the artist please let us know.
Post by Paul Wilson, Project Archivist