[Image] of the desert

Laurel and Hardy news

Any news on Laurel and Hardy will appear here as soon as we get to know about it !.

15th July 2017

Two more books have been added to the Books page -both by Abby Books, Laurel and Hardy Silent Movie Posters and Laurel and Hardy- Movie Poster Art Book.
17th June 2017
Laurel and Hardy LegacyNew book on Laurel and Hardy - The Laurel and Hardy Legacy , Sitcom Stars Talk Stan and Ollie
Laurel and Hardy are one of the finest comedy acts to have graced our screens. From their Foreign Legion campaign in Beau Hunks to their improvised song and dance routines in Way Out West, their comic genius is known, loved, and celebrated by viewers of all ages across the world. In turn, their influence on other comedies has been profound. British sitcoms abound with Oliver-Hardy-like idiots - who don't realise they're idiots - such as: David Brent, Basil Fawlty, Harold Steptoe and Father Ted; as well as their Stan-Laurel-like sidekicks: Gareth Keenan, Manuel, Albert Steptoe and Dougal. Many people in comedy today are heavily influenced by a black-and-white double-act who made their best films 80 years ago. The Laurel and Hardy Legacy traces the impact of Stan and Ollie, and offers reflective insights into fundamental comedy questions. Why were Laurel and Hardy's features not as good as their shorts, and why are film versions of sitcoms never as good as the originals? Why do sitcoms have studio audiences and how did Laurel and Hardy fine-tune their films for the cinema audiences they couldn't see? Why do actors like Oliver Hardy, not comedians, so often play the lead roles in sitcoms? Based on a series of exclusive interviews with some of the top comic actors and writers of the last 30 years, this book looks at the immense comic legacy of Laurel and Hardy. Stephen Merchant, Richard Wilson, Bruce Forsyth, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, Tony Robinson, Barry Cryer, Ardal O'Hanlon, Graham Linehan, John Dunsworth, Nigel Planer and Andrew Sachs all talk about their love of Laurel and Hardy and how they influenced their own work. From Blackadder and The Young Ones, to Hancock's Half-Hour and One Foot in the Grave, The Laurel and Hardy Legacy is a fascinating insight into the hidden workings of comedy
16th May 2017
A message from Michael Ehret;
Hello, fellow Laurel & Hardy fans - I need your help


Nico Cartenstadt and I recently released the audio book LAUREL & HARDY: SPOT ON! Now it`s time for a new book about the boys. For this, I'm trying to find several photos in high resolution. ( shown below )

Please send me an e-mail to ehret-michael@web.de if you can help me out with a scan (for which I`d also pay) of one of the photos from the thumbnail compilations (see below).
Of course every contributor will be credited in the new book.

Best regards,
Michael

PS: For those of you who bought SPOT ON! - it would be very kind if you could leave a feedback or review on facebook or amazon.de
 
michaelbooks1 
michaelbooks2 
16th April 2017

Two more books, SPOT ON and   LAUREL - STAGE BY STAGE have been added to the books page

AJ Marriot has been busy again, releasing LAUREL -  STAGE BY STAGE;

Laurel Stage by StageLAUREL - Stage by Stage - is the prequel to "A.J" Marriot's previous books detailing Laurel & Hardy's “British Tours “US Tours;” and “European Tours;” and a companion to CHAPLIN Stage by Stage. It narrates for the first-time-ever all of Stan Laurel's stage shows, from his earliest appearances in British pantomime (as the teenage Stanley Jefferson), right up to his last-ever stage show before entering films.
Along the way he spends over three years touring with Charlie Chaplin, in the most-famous of all comedy troupes the Fred Karno Company. The next eight years are spent touring in US vaudeville, playing in song-dance-and-comedy sketch acts with various partners.

Readers will experience every low and high as this comic genius tries to unshackle himself from the hardship and tedium of vaudeville, during a number of attempts to get into the world of film comedy. The amount of detail revealed about these “lost” tours is astounding.
Read, and be amazed! To buy the book from AJ, go to his
WEBSITE


6th November 2016

Laurel And Hardy -Spot On ( Book and CD) Crowdfunding Project by Michael Ehret

On The SpotAn Audiovisual Account of Laurel & Hardy's 1952 British Tour. With CD containing a complete recording of their sketch 'On The Spot'! - This is filled with many rare and previously unpublished full-page photographs, Spot On! recounts Laurel & Hardy’s 1952 British stage tour step by step using original letters, photographs, press releases, and much, much more. Featuring new essays written by well-known Laurel & Hardy scholars and collectors. Furthermore, this book reproduces, for the very first time, all surviving script versions of their 1952 stage sketch On the Spot, including extracts from Oliver Hardy’s own copies. These allow the reader to discover the many changes Stan Laurel made in the course of the tour. The icing on the cake is the world premiere of the only known audio recording of Laurel & Hardy performing On the Spot live, illustrated with pictures showing the boys onstage and back stage. Details of how to back this project can be found here
15th October 2016

New Laurel and Hardy Honolulu Baby  11" Statue coming soon.

NEW lAUREL AND HARDY MODELstanollieInfinite Statue is proud to present it's first tribute to Laurel & Hardy’s art. “Honolulu Baby” is a hymn to the greatness of two timeless artists captured in one of their most beloved movies.
Laurel and Hardy Honolulu Baby Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy 11" Statue:
It’s the most loved double act of all time, the duo par excellence that made entire generations laugh, never losing their expressive strength. The pairing between the Englishman Laurel with the so American Hardy gave birth to something unique that even today attracts new fans from all over the world.
Dozens of books have been written about them, their best films have been restored and brought back to cinemas, like “Sons of the Desert”, which gave the name to the oldest global fan club in the history of cinema. Laurel & Hardy aren’t just icons of silent movies and of the first sound films, they lay the foundations of comedy art and slapstick gestures. Their sketches are true milestones of comedy, which influenced all that came after.

Product Size: 11" H (279.4mm) x 9" W (228.6mm) x 5.9" L (149.86mm)
27th August 2016
A couple of books have been added to the books page

European Convention update.

European convention12th European Convention

GENT-BELGIUM

Hosted by the Me and My Pal Tent

After a successful 9th European convention in Gent in 2009, the Me and My Pal Tent of Belgium decided to have another go in 2017.

The 12th European convention of the Sons of the Desert will take place from Friday 4th August till Monday 7th August 2017 in the historic city of Gent. The convention hotel will be the Holiday Inn Hotel Gent-Expo.

The hotel is easy to reach, as well by car as with public transportation.

This is the provisional program that we have in store for you (this is subject to changes):

Friday August 4, 2017

As of 2 pm all delegates are welcome to check in at the hotel. Register yourself and receive your name badge, goodie bag and convention T-shirt (if you ordered one).

At 7 pm you can enjoy pre-dinner drinks after which the Convention will be officially opened. After the official welcome we will enjoy a wonderful banquet and after dinner it is time for the Parade of Tents, a special film show and live entertainment with The Almost Swinging Jazz band.

Saturday August 5, 2017

Get an early breakfast because the coaches are waiting to take us to Brussels, the capital of Europe. In the morning we will visit Mini-Europe (get your picture with a Big Ben that is hardly bigger than you). Lunch will be served in the top sphere of the Atomium (enjoy your meal 100 meters above the ground and admire the wonderful panoramic view of Brussels). After lunch we head for the centre of the city where the guides await us for a city walk with special attention for the places where Stan and Babe stayed in December 1947.

In the evening we go to the Intermezzo Rooms in Lede (the meeting venue of the Me and my Pal Tent) for BBQ and a film show.

Sunday August 6, 2017

No better way to cure a hangover than the Laurel and Hardy Games. Take part in the peewee contest and try to break all distance records, whether in length or in height.  Or become the new world champion in the Babes in Toyland dart competition.

After that we have the mother of all games: test your knowledge and triumph (or go down with honour) in the inexorable Laurel and Hardy Quiz.

To wash down the efforts and emotions we invite you to strengthen the inner man or woman at our unique all you can eat lunch buffet.

Be sure to have some energy left because after lunch we depart for a trip of discovery in wonderful Gent. In 1500 Gent was the second largest city north of the Alps after Paris and birthplace of emperor Charles V. Be a Sap at Sea and board the boat for a 40-minute ride through the historic centre of Gent. After returning to the hotel there will be pre-dinner drinks before we enjoy dinner and the fancy dress party. Come dressed as your favourite character from a Laurel and Hardy film and surprise everyone with your ingenuity. Maybe you win the first prize. If you don’t win the fancy dress competition there is always the raffle, we have some amazing prizes and a great first prize. Bill and Jamie will treat us with their performance of “The marriage of Stan Laurel”. After dinner there is live entertainment with the fantastic cover band Chez Kit.

Monday August 7, 2017

After breakfast there is the Grand Council where the host of the 13th European convention will be announced.

Oliver Hardy’s passing away 60 years ago will be remembered by showing the much acclaimed DVD “Babe” again.

After the Passing of the Pineapple it’s time for Goodbyes.

6th August 2016
Several books have been added to the" book" page"click here to view.
Also some changes to the UK tent listing as several as some tents have changed address's and grand sheiks.
16th July 2016

Stanthology bookNews from  Ant and Jo MItchell-Waite "Stanthology" The Cinematic Revival of Silent Clowns in the Age of Television. A 564 page book, measuring 18.91 x 24.58 cm. It's the biggest book we've written, over 34500 words and containing over 850 images! It is a chronological "scrapbook" of facts, trivia, video/DVD availability, stills/photos, lobby cards, posters and promotional material pertaining to the Robert Youngson compilations, plus Crazy World of and Best of Laurel & Hardy. It also includes info on Jay Ward, Raymond Rohauer, and all of the narrators involved in the ten productions made between 1957 and 1974. The foreword has been written by Rob Lewis. RRP will be £17.99.

A companion book, measuring the same size, at 96 pages, will also be available. Titled "The Colourful World of Robert Youngson", this features the best 100 plus posters from Stanthology in full colour. This will retail at £19.99, due to the cost involved in colour printing, and will be limited to 100 copies only!

A small amount of advance copies will be available for Sons attending the convention. Please message if you would like one, and we can arrange to meet up.

We will be selling and signing the books later in the year at The Laurel & HarDay in Wigan, and again at the Helpmates weekend in Chatham in October.

For everyone else in the world, they will be available to buy online from the printers or from us (signed) by prior arrangement.

We are once again using lulu.com as the printers, and books can be ordered from here directly.

 9th July 2016
Ray Saunders leftmodel t ford“It is with deep sadness that I have to report the death of the multi-talented Ray “OLLIE” Saunders, who passed away on Tuesday 5th July. Ray was first brought to the notice of members of the ‘Sons of the Desert’ when he performed at the Stan Laurel Centenary Convention, in Blackpool in 1990 – in front of special guest Lord Delfont – the man who had brought the ‘real’ Laurel & Hardy to Britain in 1947. Along with partner Simon Wooff, Ray was also a guest at Helpmates Conventions, where they did the dance to “At the Ball – That’s All” in perfect synchronicity with the film clip being projected behind them. At the 1992 European Convention in Rolduc, the multi-national packed audience were treated to the full version of “The Driver’s Licence” sketch, plus the song “Shine on Harvest Moon,” for which they rightly gave ‘Ray & Simon’ a well-deserved 5-minute standing ovation. Other of Ray’s highlights include TWICE being requested, to do TV sketches with Roy Castle as Stan. He leaves behind a widow, Sheila, two daughters, and a lot of happy memories.”

I was fortunate enough to meet Ray several times when I lived in the UK.

Photo's taken at a Helpmates convention and Cars of the Stars Motor Museum.

30th March 2016
Andy James UK sketch of the boysAndy James from Penrith UK has sketched the boys, click on the thumbnail photo to see the full sizes image.
29th March 2016

Randy Skretvedt updating "The Magic Behind The Movies"

  <IMG Randy has been in touch, Hello, fellow Laurel and Hardy-admirers.  Back in 1987, my book "Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies" was first published.  It was a 6x9 book, 464 pages.  In 1994 and again in '96, we printed a second edition, now running 496 pages.  Well with the ensuing years, so much more information about the boys has come to light that I was compelled to all but totally rewrite the book.  After many more years of research and writing, that (almost) all new edition is ready.  

The book is now a large 8.5 x 11" size, and will run to 632 pages.  There's twice as much text, and four times as many photographs as in the original book, most of them previously unpublished.  As with the original book, there are lots of great anecdotes and exclusive quotes from producer Hal Roach, director George Marshall, actresses Anita Garvin and Dorothy Granger, musical director Marvin Hatley, editors Richard Currier and Bert Jordan and many others -- about 65 associates in all.  Quotes from the original scripts provide many hilarious scenes which never made it to the screen.  The photographs mainly show what happened behind the scenes, so you'll see Stan and Babe with their directors and technical crew; you'll also see fascinating sequences which were cut before release.

I think the book will now be the definitive volume about Laurel and Hardy's filmmaking procedures that everyone thought the original version was!  The design by David Koenig is beautiful, as is our cover by Joe Busam and Ron Yungul.  More information about the book is here:  www.bonaventurepress.com

I am very excited about this new, ultimate, definitive version of the book and I hope you will be too.

With best wishes--
Randy Skretvedt

Dates for your diary, click here to find out about 2016 Laurel and Hardy events near you!


26th March 2016
Steve Coogan and John C Reilly to play Laurel and Hardy in biopic

Steve Coogan and John C Reilly

Faye Ward’s Fable Pictures will produce the film, which was developed by BBC Films. Penned by award-winning screenwriter Jeff Pope (Philomena) whose Sonesa Films banner is also on-board to produce, and directed by Jon S. Baird (Vinyl, Filth), Stan & Ollie celebrates the duo’s unique friendship and legendary working partnership. In a major coup for producer Faye Ward and her relatively new banner Fable Pictures, the rights to the work of Laurel and Hardy has been licensed by Larry Harmon Pictures Corporation.The film will focus on the now-legendary 1953 tour embarked on by the ageing duo. Once the world’s favourite comedy double act, but now diminished by age and their golden era a distant memory, Laurel & Hardy set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. As they set out, crisscrossing the country, attendances are disappointingly low. But they’ve always been able to make each other laugh and as the charm and beauty of their performances shines through their audiences laugh too, and they re-connect with legions of adoring fans, old and new.The tour becomes a hit, but Laurel & Hardy can’t quite shake the spectre of Stan and Ollie’s past; and long buried ghosts, coupled with Oliver’s failing health, start to threaten their precious partnership. A portrait of the most tender and poignant of creative marriages begins to unfold as the duo, aware that they may be approaching their swan song, try to rediscover just how much they mean to each other.


26th July 2015
Uk tent list updated - Shirley Bottomley has taken over as GS for the Laughing Gravy tent of Tingley, to see full clisting click here.
22nd Of July 2012

Stan Without Ollie: The Stan Laurel Solo Films, 1917-1927

Written by Ted Okuda

The book is now available from the publishers mcfarland priced at $38, you can order it direct here

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-4781-7

Ebook ISBN: 978-0-7864-8987-9

45 photos, appendix, bibliography, index

248pp. softcover (6 x 9) 2012

13th of July 2012

Biographies of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy have been updated with new text and pictures and Tyler St. Mark share with us The Laurel and Hardy Waltz  AND new footage of Laurel and Hardy surfaces on You Tube!

A message from Tyler St.Mark

Last year I was honored to be a part of Andreas Baum's pivotal documentary, "Laurel and Hardy, Their Lives & Magic."

Andreas has produced and directed an extraordinary tribute to the greatest comedy team of all time and I am deeply grateful for his devotion and dedication to their international legacy. Additionally, Andreas has (at great cost and effort) assembled some extremely rare and never before seen footage of Stan and Babe.

Lois Laurel Hawes tells me "this is the best documentary on Laurel & Hardy I have ever seen," and I heartily agree with her!

Many of you who previewed the film earlier this year have emailed me requesting to hear the full version of "The Laurel & Hardy Waltz" which is featured briefly in a very special part of the documentary. So here it is with my sincere compliments to all of you along with some delightful footage from the documentary courtesy of EXIT FILMS, beautifully photographed and edited by Stephan Thoene.

I hope you enjoy this musical moment and I encourage Laurel & Hardy fans worldwide to add this wonderful film to your collection!

You can buy this dvd here

******************************************************************

BREAKING NEWS ..

Rare footage of Laurel and Hardy clowning around on the golf course behind the scenes of  Should Married Men Go Home surfaces on You Tube

The description says ..On location with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy during the making of "Should Married Men Go Home." George Mann of the comedic dance act Barto and Mann shot the film or handed his camera to someone else to shoot.'

Barto and Mann known as the "laugh kings" of vaudeville,Their acrobatic, somewhat risqué, performance played on their disparities in height; Barto was 4'11" and Mann was 6'6".

Barto and Mann

11th of July 2012

New links added / new photo of the month

Three more links have been added to the links to other sites page

Laurel and Hardy link The Chimp Tent of  Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Oasis #279 of The Sons of the Desert The Tent was foundered in December 2008.

Gene Sorkin is the Grand Sheik

Contains all the latest news and meeting news from The Chimp Tent

Fred Karno Company by "AJ" Marriot

This site has two aims: The first is to research the Fred Karno comedians who worked in both British Variety and American Vaudville.

The second is to track down descendants of those Karno comedians and unite them in events designed to commemorate their ancestors' histories.

Are you related to any of the Karno comedians who sailed to America? If you are please contact "AJ" at fredkarnocompany@aol.com

Franks World of Laurel and Hardy

Nice web site by Frank Muni who is currently a member of the Two Tars Tent located in Philadelphia, Pa.

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The photo of the month has now changed to a stan Laurel colour photo ( coloured by me )

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The latest Laurel and Hardy Events page has also been updated ( 2012 International and UK Convention dates )

10th of July 2012

2013 UK Convention news

2013 ConventionThe Saps at Sea invite you to join them in Southend in 2013 for the UK Laurel & Hardy Convention. Fun and laughter are guaranteed and all the out of town boys will be there! .

HOTEL

The Convention will be based at the Skylark Hotel (formerly the Essex County Hotel where they hosted the 2002 Convention). The hotel has been extensively renovated and under new ownership. The hotel is adjacent to Southend Airport which now has connections to Europe and America (via Dublin) and has its own main line train station. In addition there is a bus link to Stansted Airport.

SPECIAL GUESTS

" They are pleased to say a 'Hi-De-Hi' to Jeffrey Holland & Judy Buxton who will be at the Convention (subject to work commitments). Jeff is a genuine Laurel & Hardy fan and long time member of the Sons of the Desert. Jeff will premiere his own one man play '…and this is Mr Laurel'

" You will be in good company with their own 'Essex Boys', Laurel and Hardy lookalikes Alan & Stuart with their blend of magic and comedy

" They also have some rather special guests who I can't reveal but I know will be delighted to meet the Sons of the Desert and the Sons will be delighted to meet them!

HIGHLIGHTS

" By popular request they will be returning to the L & H Railway, the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway with Laurel and Hardy'. They will turn the clock back to 1947 to when Stan and Ollie re-opened the section to Dungeness. Remember the Mayor, the key etc?

" Laurel and Hardy stayed at the Palace Hotel when they were here in 1952. You will visit the Hotel to see the blue plaque, the Laurel and Hardy suites and enjoy a special Sons of the Desert film show as part of the annual Southend Film Festival

" You will be entertained by The Zoltans a brilliant band who play some great period music in the style of Louis Jordan and there will be some surprises

" Classic cars display and parade will greet Conventioneers upon their arrival

" On the opening evening the Saps at Sea will pay tribute to Laurel and Hardy and their supporting artistes with a special variety show. 'The Southend Revue of 1952' will include live performances, guests, rare film clips and audience participation. Top of the bill is Steve Hewlett, International and extraordinary ventriloquist.

PLUS

Of course they will have all the regular ingredients of the Laurel and Hardy Conventions:- Inter Tent Quiz - Games - Memorabilia - Goody Bags - Good Old Mountain water and so on and so forth

COST

£215 - includes dinner bed and breakfast on 3 nights, I packed lunch and all the entertainment (beer is extra!). Price based on 2 persons sharing a room

Now that you have read all about the Convention in 2013, all you need to do now is fill in a booking form and Bobs your uncle. Bob who?

Recomember how quickly this year's Convention sold out? So don't dilly or dally.

The Saps at Sea want to see you all in Southend in 2013 so we can all have the time of our lives.

Booking Form (PDF Format) Booking Form Word Format can be obtained by going to The Saps at Sea Convention page

10th of July 2012

New dvd boxset coming soon from Germany

german boxset laurel and hardyEnjoy this unique 10 DVD box set with a total running time of 24 hours, which includes lots of previously unreleased material, contains circa 50 productions from Laurel & Hardy, both as solo artists and as the popular comedy duo.

Complete your own collection with this strong limited edition! A must have for all Laurel & Hardy collectors!

Laurel & Hardy are the most successful comedy duo of alltime.

Between 1926 and 1951 they made 79 short movies and 27 feature films together.

Furthermore the box includes a 50 minute Documantary about the live and work of the duo, a set of 10 postcards, a doorplate ( do not disturb! ), a bookmark, background informations, trailer show (aberle media) and aslo includes:

Lottery Man, The Slippery Pearls - The Stolen Jools, The Tree In A Test Tube, Bankrupt Honeymoon, Utopia (Atoll K), Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride, The West of Hot Dog, Outwitting Dad (DVD Premiere)Twins, Battle Royal, Snow Hawn, Frauds And Frenzie, The Hobo, The Flying Deuces, Abenteuer im Märchenland, The Wizard Of Oz, Mehrere Laurel & Hardy Animationsfilme.

You can order it direct drom Amazon.de

9th of July 2012

New book coming soon

Stan Without Ollie: The Stan Laurel Solo Films, 1917-1927

stan without ollie bookLong before his momentous teaming with Oliver Hardy, comedian Stan Laurel (1890-1965) was a motion picture star in his own right. From his film debut in Nuts in May (1917) through his final solo starring effort Should Tall Men Marry? (1928), Laurel headlined dozens of short comedies for a variety of producers and production companies, often playing characters far removed from the meek, dimwitted "Stanley" persona that we know and love. Stan Without Ollie: The Stan Laurel Solo Films, 1917-1927 (McFarland & Co.) by Ted Okuda is a film-by-film look at the pictures Stan made as a solo artist, as well as those he wrote and directed for other stars, shows his development as a movie comedian and filmmaker.

Comedy legend Jerry Lewis, a longtime friend and admirer of Stan Laurel, provides an affectionate and eloquent foreword. Included are several rare photographs and production stills.

About the Author

Ted Okuda is a Chicago-based film historian whose articles have appeared in such publications as The Classic Film Collector, Classic Images, and The Film and Video Collector. James L. Neibaur is a film historian and a professional educator.

Stan Without Ollie: The Stan Laurel Solo Films, 1917-1927 will be available from  Amazon andmost major booksellers in the summer of 2012.

9th of July 2012

New dvd box set  Laurel and Hardy: The Essential Collection

US Laurel and Hardy boxsetIt’s been a long wait, but now the Roach films have returned in high style, as a 10-disc box set, “Laurel and Hardy: The Essential Collection,” produced by RHI Entertainment, the company that currently owns the Roach library, and distributed by Vivendi. This superbly assembled collection contains over 32 hours of material, including all of the sound shorts — 40, made between 1929 and 1935, as well as the feature-length “Pardon Us” (1931), “Pack Up Your Troubles” (1932), “Sons of the Desert” (1933), “The Bohemian Girl” (1936), “Our Relations” (1936), “Way Out West” (1937), “Swiss Miss” (1938), “Block-Heads” (1938), “A Chump at Oxford” (1940) and “Saps at Sea” (1940).

But wait, there’s more. The set also contains several foreign-language versions of the shorts, which were made in the days before dubbing was perfected and feature Stan and Ollie speaking phonetic Spanish and French. (There were a few German versions as well, though none are included here.) The alternate versions often include different gags and interpolated variety numbers to bring them up to feature length for foreign release. (For example, “Politiquerías,” the Spanish version of the 1931 “Chickens Come Home,” contains a complete performance by the Egyptian vaudeville star Hadji Ali, whose specialty — swallowing water, gasoline and small objects and regurgitating them in spectacular fashion — has sadly gone out of style.)

Most important, these are new transfers, scanned from restored copies of the original release versions — no small thing for these films, which were so often sliced, diced, rescored and retitled over the years, as they were reissued by various companies for various markets. If anything, these were movies that were loved too much, copied so frequently that the original negatives for many of the early shorts were worn out and either lost or junked. It’s a pleasure to see them with the original opening titles restored, the images unscratched and unspeckled, and the soundtracks cleaned up to the point where the delightful original scores by Leroy Shield and Marvin Hatley can be appreciated in all their chipper elegance.

The 10th disc presents L&H guest appearances, trailers and a featurette in which the duo's comic influence is discussed by famous fans Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Lewis, Tim Conway, Chuck McCann and Penn and Teller

You can order the boxet directly from Amazon.com or other leading dvd stores.

Webmsters note, I have this set im my possesion, it is SUPERB!"

9th of July 2012

News has reached us from Andreas Baum, regarding his new documentary ‘LAUREL AND HARDY: THEIR LIVES AND MAGIC’

German Laurel and Hardy dvdAs you might know we - as sons and professional filmmakers - have worked for more then 3 years on an international documentary about the live and work of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

This documentary was broadcasted with a running time of 90 minutes very successfully in Germany and France on tv at the beginning of the year at prime time and got a very positive feedback.

The film is presenting - beside a lot of funny clips from the best Laurel & Hardy movies - a lot of never before published color footage of Stan and Babe and a lot of private photographs, recently discovered archive footage of Laurel & Hardy, rare or unpublished film stills, posters etc. It was shot on location in the USA, Great Britain, France, Italy, Austria, Netherlands and Germany. It is loaded with interviews of Laurel & Hardy experts like Richard W. Bann, Tyler St. Mark, Bart Williams, Chuck McCann and Jim Mac George, Mark Greenhow, Jean Darling, friends of Stan and Babe like Boot Colman, Jerry Lewis, Marcel Marceau, Comedians. Also Stan Laurels daughter, Lois Laurel Hawes gave us a very nice and interesting, exclusive interview. That way the documentary is telling the story of Laurel & Hardy very emotionally. You´ll lern a lot new things about this famous and worldwide most beloved comedy team - about there work but also about there private lives.

A lot of sons and other Laurel & Hardy buffs worldwide asked us for a DVD.

Here is the good news: the DVD is now available!

And even more: It is a "Special Limited Collectors Edition", a 2-DVD-Box with the documentary in a app. 105 minutes "Director´s Cut" and a Bonus Disc of app. 70 minutes running time loaded with lots of Extras and Laurel & Hardy-footage which was never published before (see list below) and also 5 rare postcards!

The DVD is region free, but in PAL (will run in Europe and other PAL-countries and in the USA and other NTSC-countries on all Computers, but as well on most newer DVD-Players etc.) and is switchable in english, german and french language.

If you want to get more informations and/or if you want to order your 2 DVD-Box please visit our websites.

The adresses are: www.laurelandhardyshop.com or www.laurelandhardyshop.de

It will be a 2-DVD-Box ("Special Limited Collectors Edition") with the Laurel & Hardy documentary in a "Directors Cut" in 105 minutes instead of the 90-minutes tv-version. The languages are switchable in english, german and french. Disc 2 is a Bonus-DVD (in english or german) in a running time of app. 70 minutes with a lot of unpublished material (see list below). Also there are 5 postcards with rare or unpublished Laurel & Hardy images/photographs in the box.

- "The last Footage" of Stan in color, music (4:3 original framing, unpublished))

- "Stan Laurel, Mr. Clean and the Puppets" in color, music (4:3 original framing)

- "Stans birthday footage" of 1964 in color, music (4:3 original framing, unpublished)

- "Ida Laurel at a Hollywood convention", color footage of Ida at a convention, signing photographs etc. (unpublished)

- the complete color footage of Stans funeral at the Forrest Lawn Memorial in LA 1965 (4:3 original framing, unpublished)

- a special with color footage of Babe London in Hollywood in a movie actors veterans home and on stage etc., voice over in english and german (to switch), (4:3 original framing, unpublished)

- a 5 minutes-special about Stans yacht, the "Ida May", color and music (16:9, music, unpublished)

- the complete MGM-Promo-Reel from 1936 with Laurel & Hardy and James Finlayson, sound, black & white

- a short special about Laurel & Hardy in Italy before the beginning of the shooting for "Atoll K" (music, 16:9, with unpublished photographs)

- a special about Stans last home, The Oceana Apartment Hotel in Santa Monica, then and today, with Lois Laurel, voice over in english and german (to switch), (16:9 and 4:3, unpublished)

- a morphing sequenze with a lot of photographs from Stan (music)

- a morphing sequenze with a lot of photographs of Babe (music)

- the german trailer for the documentary

- the longer english trailer for the documentary

and a lot more as well as additional interviews (unpublished) with

- Lois Laurel-Hawes - Bart Williams - Chuck McCann & Jim MacGeorge - Tyler St. Mark - Stan Taffel - Irv Hyatt - Stu West - Michael Habeck - Ottfried Fischer - Maddin Schneider- Ingo Appelt

Webmasters note ..I have watched this dvd and it is SUPERB!

9th of July 2012

A new book on one of Laurel and Hardy's co stars has been written by one of my old mates and fellow Aston Villa supported John Ullah

‘THIS IS MORE THAN I CAN STAND’

A Biography of Charlie Hall

By John Ullah

Johnm Ullah book on Charlie HallThis book is a detailed biography of Charlie Hall, a little known man from Birmingham who worked with some of the biggest stars of the silver screen.

Charlie was born into a working class family in Ward End in 1899. In 1920 he went from working in a factory in Birmingham to working in a factory in New York. Yet, incredibly, within a few years of leaving Birmingham, he would be appearing in films with some of the greatest silent comedy stars of all time. How did this come about?

The book contains interviews with family and friends who knew him and remember meeting him when he returned to Birmingham in the late ‘30s. Plus some of Charlie's personal letters, giving a unique insight into his thoughts, his memories and what it was like to work with Laurel and Hardy.

From humble beginnings, Charlie experienced the early movie industry, the birth of the talkies and the advent of television.Not bad for a lad from Ward End.

Published by Brewin Books

Price £14.95 + P&P

If you would like a signed copy please send £14.95 + £3.00 p&p to

John Ullah 42 York Road, Erdington, Birmingham B23 6TG.

(Cheques made payable to John Ullah)

7th of July 2012

After nearly a two year break from this site, normal service and updates will be resumed!

Two and a half years ago my family and I moved to Australia from the UK. We have moved house twice and bought a house in the northern suburbs of Perth in western Australia, with having the Indian Ocean virtually on my doorstep, who wants to be sitting updating a website when you can go to some of the worlds greatest beaches on hot sunny day?

A lot has been happening in the world of Laurel and Hardy, a few books have been released with another one on the horizon, Stan Without Ollie - the Stan Laurel Solo Films 1917-1927 by Ted Okuuda and James L Neibaur. More details to follow regarding the Stan solo films book.

Anthony and Joanne Mitchell Waite have released two books, The Animated antics and the Advertising antics of Laurel and Hardy, both are available from Lulu publishing, Roger Robinson wrote a book recollecting Laurel and Hardy's visit to Southend, " A spot of Trouble in Southend", that book is available direct from Roger, and "AJ"Marriot has wrote The US Tours book, a companion to his earlier book " The UK Tours of Laurel and Hardy". You can obtain "AJ's" book by going to his website. I can really recommend all of these books. More details on these books can be found on my books page

Laurel and Hardy's Advertising Antics book update

Anthony and Joanne Mitchell-Waite have let us:know that they have made a 32-page update to  their Advertising Antics book, as they have had so much new information. They have made two versions available, one in black and white and the other in full colour. The interiors are exactly the same otherwise, with just a slight variation to the cover layout/colour.

The black and white one costs £3.29 plus postage

The colour one costs £5.49 plus postage

Laurel and Hardy book Laurel and Hardy book Laurel and Hardy book laurel and hardy book
15th of August 2010

2 new lookalikes have been added to the lookalikes page, Joe Bevilacqua as Stan and Ray Faiola as Oliver.

New UK tour of Laurel and Hardy with Neil Bromley and Simon Lloyd as Stan and Oliver, to see where they will be performing click here

1st of August 2010

You may be interested to know that a unique archive formed by Stan's sister Beatrice is to offered in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) by direction of Stan Laurel's Great Niece. Sold by auctioneers Anderson & Garland (and from the same family source as the Huntley Jefferson Woods material we sold in 2004), the collection consists of 40 items and includes several rarities, such as AJ's first theatrical contract, a presentation dish putting the family in North Shields in 1896, seven images of Stan, (aged 7) Olga and Gordon Jefferson performing a play written by Stan as well as many unique, private images, many signed and dedicated to his sister. The collection is online now and will be sold as part of our sale held on the 7th, 8th and 9th September. This is the last opportunity fans will have to acquire this rare material as it is the last family collection remaining in the UK.

To see the listings click here

Anderson & Garland

Fine Art Auctioneers,

Anderson House,

Crispin Court,

Newbiggin Lane,

Westerhope,

Newcastle Upon Tyne,

NE5 1BF

UK

Land +44 (0) 191 4303000

Hand +44 7884440287

Fax: +44 (0) 191 4303001

Direct Line +44 (0)191 4303009

Website: www.andersonandgarland.com

11th of July 2010

Flip Lauer and Gino Dercola write about the 2010 convention

Below is a nice narrative written by fellow Son, Flip Lauer, during the recent SOD International Convention in Sacramento, California. It really gives you the flavor of what was happening day by day.

June 17th:

It was a great evening for the start of the International Laurel and Hardy Convention with a packed reception room for "No Host" cocktails, at the Sacramento Holiday Inn. Another Fine Mess Oasis #49 and Sons of the Desert celebrated Stan Laurel's 120th Birthdate tonight with at least 6 picture cakes and some great entertainment by L&H impersonators Bill Leavy & Jamie McKenna. They performed their hysterical dance to the Way Out West, Avalon Boys saloon song. Also there was a special appearance of Dale E. "Ollie" Walter and Dennis "Stan" Moriarty for a photo opportunity with the boys. Then the film room opened with a packed audience and special presentations of Stan's solo silents. More to come today starting with Pee Wee on the lawn of Fort Sutter.

June 18th:

Well that really was a blast. Actually, after getting a rifle load and firing demonstration at Sacramento's Fort (Arid) Sutter. This great old fort is restored to its original glory. The Sons played pee-wee and had a golfing contest on the lawn surrounding the fort, along with the local characters to give the place atmosphere, i.e. Tai Chai Tree Lady and Arthur Housman protecting the fort.

When we returned to the hotel, we paraded down the street to the Capital Steps (Arnold was out to lunch), one at a time with our banners and gained lunch and many stares from the local lunch wagons.

As a group, we marched to the lovingly restored Crest Theatre for "One Good Turn" and "Our Relaions" and Jamie and Bill as Laurel and Hardy Magicians.

At the Grand Council meeting, Steve and Carol Rugh presented a bid for the 2012 Convention for Manchester, New Hampshire, July 26-29. It was unanimously approved. A stream of the very funny video made by Ali and Dave Stevenson will be on line soon. Estimated cost $325.00 plus hotel at estimated cost of $119.00 per night plus tax. Go to www.looserthanloose.com

"Appalachian Idyll" was a hoot at the Them Thar Hills Banquet Hosted by Bill Cassara and the Midnight Patrol Tent. Idyll participants included Lori Jones-McCaffery, Stan Taffel, John Duff, Steve Wichrowski, Dwain Smith, and Tommy Ferrigno, among others. Judges were Marsha Opal ,Bob Satterfield and Irene Velasquez. Ray Karch of "A Haunting We Will Go" Oasis 291, got the Sons to participate in a swell mental telepathy magic act with the help of Tommy Ferrigno.

Bob Duncan and Stan Taffel presented a fine tribute to Martha Sleeper at the Laurel and Hardy Fun Factory film room. Free popcorn. Moonlight madness was upon us with some great deals for all Sons. Can't wait to see what happens today .

June 18th (part 2):

Special guests at last night's Them Thar Hills Banquet was Lois Laurel Hawes (Stan's daughter), Cassidy Cook (Stan's great granddaughter), Tommy Ferrigno (Stan's great great grandson) and Lucy Ferrigno (Stan's great great granddaughter). My Mom was fascinated by the lovely skirt Lois was wearing, which was made by Elaine Johnson and had images of Laurel and Hardy on it. Jackie felt comfortable enough to approach Lois and compliment her. Lois said she was quite proud of the silk screened skirt.

Also announced by Stan Taffel was a very rare trailer for a L&H 2 reel short which is soon going to be available to the "Sons". More info on this as it becomes available. Cheers for now.

June 19th:

Having so much fun, I lost track of the days and missed the ITJ editor's breakfast. Is my face red, but it was not a "cats after me". Roger updated me later in the hotel bar.

Eileen and my mom Jackie squeezed me into my bullfighter's outfit, complete with hat for the Mexican Fiesta Luncheon. A swell caricature artist was on hand for very flattening interpretations. Mariachis Trio de los Embajadores as well as Raices de mi Tierra (Mexican Folklorico) entertained. The food was very authentic, especially the flan.

In the Laurel and Hardy Fun Factory Bill Cassara spoke about his passion and book Edgar Kennedy: Master of the Slow Burn with some rare film that followed. A special tribute film on convention favorite, the late Dorothy DeBorba, was shown to huge applause. Lois Laurel Hawes spoke and answered questions regarding her father. Of some note was the fact that Stan was very musically inclined, played ukulele and self taught piano.

At the California Automobile Museum, Henry "Butch" Sorenson, the Wiley's (father and son) and I shadowed world class Ford expert and collector Rick Lindner, as he informed us of the inner workings of Ford. At the sound of the coo-coo we all assembled for a rare treat of Dave Moreno at the Mighty Wurlitzer playing "Smile When the Raindrops Fall" and "The Curse of an Aching Heart". He also accompanied Two Tars and Angora Love. A live action program was a big highlight, with Bill Leavy and Jamie McKenna, Stan Taffel, Brian Kane, Rebecca Kane and Dave Moreno. Rarely preformed was the published version of "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" which included the introduction and bridge, which I was not familiar with.

Stan Taffel presented some rare Laurel and Hardy trailers at the Laurel and Hardy Fun Factory. Of considerable note was the rare public showing of a silent Our Gang film as well as some unused footage of the Gang's reactions to Chubby's hat fittings.

June 22nd:

Guest speaker Irv Hyatt has been researching Laurel and Hardy's personal appearances and tours for the past 32 years. Saturday afternoon he presented "The Hollywood Victory Caravan" with photos of the boys,rare film of their Washington stop, which included many other stars like Bert Lahr, Cary Grant and Claudette Colbert. Special audio of his conversations with co-stars and associates was played to give us an idea of how he had re-created the Caravan itinerary. Also he re-created a war bond promotion short as it may have been shown during the War Years. His articles currently appear serialized form in our "Sons" magazine The Intra-Tent Journal.

After a very nice video presentation of all the past honorees and guest stars who have attended the "Way Out West" tent of the Stars. Bob Satterfield spoke about the continuing efforts of all the Sons to honor the Hal Roach studio players. Numerous actors, who are now sadly gone, have finally received their grave site markers. Most recent recipient, with some help from the Ohio tents, is perpetual"police officer" Harry Bernard . Bob Satterfield has dropped off the marker at the cemetery and, with a little more fund raising, will get these installed.There are a good number of Roach stars that still need grave site markers.Please contact Bob Satterfield bobistripping@aol.comfor a list and ideas of how you can raise money for this good cause. Bob was able to sell enough Pee-Wee's (made by his school's shop class) to fellow Sons to get a good start on the next marker.

A trivia contest hosted by Henry "Butch" Sorenson,John Duff and Mary May Vereen was another afternoon highlight, with questions weighted slightly towards the 40's films. This melded well with the day and evening"Hollywood Caravan" theme. Funny comments were peppered throughout from the audience and those participating (Dwain Smith and contestant Stan Taffel, among others). Winning team in a tie breaker was Brad Farrell, Peter Van Rooij of Jakarta Indonesiaand David .

We boarded buses for the Aerospace Museum.The field was filled with planes -- 4 for touring and the Morphis ride simulator. The buffet banquet theme was the Hollywood Victory Caravan 1940's and WW2. Don Neely's Royal Society Jazz Orchestra played 40's as well as some "Sons" themed music for dancing. On hand were Lois Laurel Hawes and her family for a special touching tribute film of Stan that included the last known footage of him in his Oceana apartment. This was the first public showing of this rare film clip. An anticipated documentary is forthcoming, which includes this rare and newly discovered film. Golf and Pee-wee winners were announced with a photo op, as well as the gathering of the 13 "Sons" who have attended every convention (17 since 1978).

Back at the Laurel and Hardy Fun Factory, the evening's films included "Married to Order" (1918). Stan Taffel GS,Hollywood Party (The Film Preservation Tent) tells us that this is the first movie where Charley Chase and Oliver Hardy worked together; Stan believes this inspired Charley Chase to get Babe over to the Roach studio years laterfor the inevitable team up of Babe and Stan. Stan Taffel calls on all "Sons" togo to http://www.loc.gov/film/vote.html from there, simply follow the link to send an email to Librarian ofCongress at dross@loc.gov and ask them to consider these two films a "A Pair of Tights" (Chase) and "Way Out West" for the 2010 National Film Registry. Please email a gently worded request for these films to be considered.

Sunday morning brought the Honolulu Baby Brunch where raffle prize winners were announced and the passing of the "Pineapple" from representatives of each convention and then finally handed to Carol and SteveRugh for the Manchester Convention 2012 Planning Committee. For the very funny video presentation, please go to the facebook page for the 2012 Manchester convention at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Manchester-2012-Sons-of-the-Desert-Convention/120113244698824?ref=ts If you can't link, it can also be easily found by doing a search on "Sons of the Desert"at face book. We are looking forward toit already. Also, any one who attended this 17th convention this year and would like top help the Roach Stars flower grave site fund, you can send in pictures to sheik@afmoasis49.com to possibly be published in a book chronicling and celebrating the fun we had. Magic tricks were preformed by Cassidy Cook's son and daughter Tommy Ferrigno and Lucy Ferrigno. My Mom, Jackie Riek had a wonderful time at her first convention and was very impressed with all the arrangements and fun the Another Fine Mess Tent provided. Thanks to GS Rebecca Kane, Irene Velasquez and all the AFM volunteers. Sad good byes to everyone we know and new friends were made. Until next time.


Below is a nice narrative written by fellow Son, Gino Dercola, during the recent SOD International Convention in Sacramento, California.

One thing for sure, when you go to a Sons of the Desert International Convention, there are many highlights that remain with you forever. And there surely were many wonderful highlights from the recent Sacramento convention. One of those highlights, in particular, is something that really stands out for me: Having Stan Laurel's daughter, Lois Laurel-Hawes, there with us. And it was so nice to have Stan's great-granddaughter, Cassidy Cook, there along with two of Stan's great-great-grandchildren (Cassidy's children, Tommy Ferrigno and Lucy Ferrigno). What struck me the most is that Lois did everything she could to make herself available throughout the convention to ALL Sons who wanted to approach her, to chat with her or to have a picture (or many) taken with her. She was always gratious to us all. We will recall that for many hours over several days, she sat in the hotel lobby and was happy to talk with whomever came up to her--and MANY did. During the convention dinners/banquets, she was always friendly when the many, many Sons would approach her table to get photos taken with her. Cassidy, Tommy and Lucy were also very patient with all of the Sons who wanted their photos, too. Tommy and Lucy are 8-year-old twins.

There is a Son who attended the recent SOD convention in Sacramento who owns three original fezes from the movie "Sons of the Desert". His name is Vance Piper from Call of the Cuckoos Tent, San Francisco, California. He acquired these, and a number of others (I think about half a dozen?), from someone he knew who worked at Western Costumes, where the fezes had been stored for a number of years. He kept three and sold the others. Two of his fezes were nicely displayed in a case at the convention

Below are a few of the photos that Gino took.

2 original SOD fez's Lois Lois, Cassidy. Tommy and Lucy

2 Original SOD fez's

Lois Laurel Hawes

Lois, Lucy, Cassidy, and Tommy

14th of March 2010

News item from fellow Son, Flip Lauer and Gino Dercola,

Tom McGrath's "LAUREL AND HARDY" will receive its American Premiere at the Stackner Cabaret from September 24 through November 14. "LAUREL & HARDY" traces the key events that shaped the rise of the world's best-known comedy duo to Hollywood stardom.

The Stackner Cabaret is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is advertised as a true cabaret-style venue. This well-known, live play has been performed many times in Europe.


A new page has been added, it is a Laurel and Hardy Figurine gallery, with 118 images of figurines taken from my collection.

27th of February 2010

Here is something that may be of interest to the Sons. Last year, Radio Spirits put out another collection of Abbott & Costello radio shows on CD, entitled "Masters of Comedy". I was listening to one of the shows recently, and was surprised to hear the following "Laurel & Hardy" routine. The show was originally broadcast on March 20, 1947. Bud Abbott missed the broadcast due to illness, and filling in for him was Hanley Stafford. It starts when Lou is telling Hanley about his plans to plant a garden, while they are looking through a seed catalog:

Hanley: "Look, there's a nice plant for your garden. That's laurel."

Lou: Is it easy to raise?"

Hanley: "Of course. Laurel is hearty."

Lou: "Well then...What did you say?"

Hanley: "I said laurel is hearty."

Lou: "When did Laurel become Hardy?"

Hanley: "Costello, laurel has always been hearty."

Lou: "Hanley, I've seen them in every one of their pictures, and Laurel ain't Hardy."

Hanley: "You idiot, the laurel I'm talking about grows in a big pot."

Lou: "That's not Laurel . The guy with a big pot is Hardy!"

Hanley: "Oh forget about it. Come on, let's buy your seeds."

Later, the boys are at a nursery buying the seeds:

Clerk: "Well, here you are. A package of cucumber seeds. Just drop them in the ground. You know cucumbers are hearty."

Lou: "Yes, I know. We… Wait a minute. I thought Laurel was Hardy."

Clerk: "Oh, laurel is hearty. Also cucumbers."

Lou: "Now poor Laurel is cucumbers!"

Clerk: "Oh no no no, young man. When I say that laurel is hearty, I don't mean that Laurel is Hardy, like Laurel & Hardy in the cinema. I mean that laurel is hearty, like cucumbers are hearty. And both laurel and cucumbers are hearty. It says so right here in this catalog."

Lou: "How do you like that! Now they've got our routines in seed catalogs!"

___________________________________________________________________

Comment by Randy Skretvedt:

Hadn't known about this routine, so thanks muchly, Brian! Of course, there's another L&H/A&C connection with Bud and Lou doing a variation of the "Men o' War" soda routine in "Keep 'em Flying." John McCabe wrote that Stan got upset over the use of this routine by A&C; he can't have been too upset, though, because the basic routine dates back to the earliest years of the 20th Century, when it was performed and recorded by Weber & Fields. Essentially, what's unique to the L&H version is the "my half was on the bottom" wrap-up.

14 th of February 2010

Amessage from the webmaster,

Sorry for not updating this site on a regular basis over the last few months, I have moved house, I now live in Perth Australia. Normal regular updates will now be resumed!


News from Gino Dercola

Very interesting news being passed along from fellow Son, Carol Rugh, One Good Turn Tent, Connecticut.

Martini & Maxmillian adIn a letter dated May 20, 1957 to magician Charles ("The Great Jaxon") Jackson, just added to the Stan Laurel Correspondence Archive Project (lettersfromstan.com), Stan writes:

"Not sure if I told you or not, I worked in a magic & illusion act a few years ago with a Bob Martini, we were known as Martini & Maxmillian, I was doing the comedy, after he had done his trick & gotten big applause, I would by accident expose them - we played Keith-Orpheum, around the East & later came West on the Pantages time - those were the happy days!"

According to A.J. Marriot (who has done more research on L&H than just about anyone!), this is indeed a brand new discovery in Stan's career timeline! Until now, everyone believed the chronology was Karno Company; into Keystone Trio; into Three Comiques; into Stan Jefferson Trio; into Stan & Mae Laurel. Somewhere in there we now have Martini & Maxmillian. It's incredible that Stan never mentioned it before. Not to John McCabe. Not to Arthur Friedman. Not to anyone until this letter was discovered.

was a long running magic novelty act—playing on bills from 1904-1917. At some point, Stan was the comic foil in the act. Exactly when is hard to say. It will require a bit more detective work to sort out the most probable time period. All in all, it's an exciting development. I love when a casual mention in one of Stan's letters carries such a powerful and important bit of information.

Check out LettersFromStan.com, if you haven't. It's constantly updated and now houses over 900 letters from Stan along with reams of articles and sidebar notes and information. You can also read an in-depth article (with pictures) on my recent stay INSIDE Stan's old Oceana apartment in Santa Monica, CA, which was recently renovated.

The Stan Laurel Correspondence Archive Project (lettersfromstan.com) hopes to collect and catalog letters from Stan to better understand his life and celebrate his comedic genius. If anyone has an original letter from Stan or a copy of one not included in the Archives, please add a copy of your letter by contacting us via e-mail at: info@lettersfromstan.com — thanks!

As ever:-

Bernie Hogya

Archivist

LettersFromStan.com

29th of August 2009

Ken Tielens and Brent Dehouwer are the latest additions to the Laurel and Hardy " lookalikes " page.

The Flying Deuces and Utopia are to be released in colour on the 1st of September. You can order them from here.

The Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem.....a note from Linda Caldwell

“My name is Linda Caldwell and I run the Laurel and Hardy Museum of Harlem, GA where Oliver Hardy was born. Now the reason I am writing is I do not know if you know about the Museum and I would like to tell you a little about it. The museum is located in Harlem's old post office on the main street. It is the only museum in the US dedicated to "The Boys" and we are working hard to keep the memory alive. We get up to 400 visitors a month from all around the world and the US. We also have a movie theater in the back of the museum and are always showing films of The Boys. We get school tours from around the area to show the movies and visit the museum. It is such a treat to watch the kids discover how funny Stan and Ollie were and to hear them laughing over some antic on the film. The Oliver Hardy Festival started in 1989 with only about 40 vendors and maybe a 1000 people. We are now getting ready for our 21st year with 350 vendors (that is all that is allowed) and up to 35,000 people for one day with 2 stages for entertainment, Look-a-Like contests, music, etc. The festival is always held the 1st Saturday of October. Check out www.berthmarks.org or www.harlemga.org. Just wanted to let you know how we are striving to keep the greatest comedy team of the 20th century alive and doing well in Harlem, GA.”

21st of August 2009

Donations needed

Amessage from Bob Sattersfield, California, USA

As I have been bringing flowers to the graves of our Laurel and Hardy support cast and crew over the years, I have found many of the people we love on screen to be forgotten in life. For one reason or another, and never known to us, some of our screen friends have no marker on their graves. The Way Out West Tent and The Block-Heads recently had a marker placed for Billy Gilbert. Billy's ashes were scattered in the rose garden at the Odd Follow Cemetery in Los Angeles. As a side note, Billy's last public appearance was at the Way Out West Tent's first ever banquet where he was reunited with his old boss Hal Roach.

Peter Mikkelsen from Denmark made me aware of the fact that Edna Marion was in an unmarked grave since her 1957 death. Edna appeared in "Should Married Men Go Home?", "From Soup to Nuts", "Flying Elephants", "Now I'll Tell One" and "Sugar Daddies" with Laurel and Hardy and starred in "Thundering Fleas" with Oliver Hardy and Our Gang among her many screen appearances. She was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City near the former golf course of "Should Married Me Go Home". Due to Peter's generosity, a head stone has been ordered for her.

I am now collecting funds for three more costars.

The first one is the beautiful Viola Richard who died in 1973 and along with her husband is in the Monterey Cemetery in Northern California. Viola appeared in the following Laurel and Hardy films: "Tit for Tat", "Should Married Men Go Home?", "Flying Elephants", "Leave 'Em Laughing", "Do Detectives Think", "Sailors Beware" and "Why Girls Love Sailors".

Next is one of our favorite cops: Harry Bernard who passed away in 1940 and was buried a few feet away from Paramount Studios at the then Hollywood Memorial Park (now Hollywood Forever). Harry played a policeman in "Men o" War", "Angora Love", "Night Owls", "Another Fine Mess", "Laughing Gravy", "Sons of the Desert", "Our Relations" and "A Chump at Oxford" not to mention the Harbor Patrol Captain in "Saps at Sea" and the town crier in "Bohemian Girl" among his 26 L&H films.

And finally, Sam Lufkin who passed in 1952 and is interred a Valhalla in North Hollywood where Oliver Hardy is buried. Lufkin's 39 roles in Laurel and Hardy films which range from silent, to sound shorts as well as features. He worked in the horn factory in "Saps at Sea", played a pickpocket in "Bohemian Girl", he warns the Boys about Walter Long's temper in "Going Bye, Bye", he hires the boys to build the house in "The Finishing Touch", was a patient in "Leave 'Em Laughin", played a waiter in "Our Relations" became a legionnaire in "The Flying Deuces" and gave one of our favorite lines from "The Music Box" as the cop on the beat, "I don't want you, I want the other monkey".

All three of these fine actors deserve recognition at their final resting place.

To purchase a headstone, have it engraved and installed costs $900-1,000 for each one. I will accept donations in any amount and send out a receipt. Send donations payable to Bob Satterfield, PO Box 448, Patton, CA 92369. It would help to enclosed a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return receipt. You can specify which player you want your money to go to or just put "as needed". (Please note that no acknowledgment will be engraved on the marker itself as this is strictly for the deceased actor.)

If these folks appeared in the name sake of your tent, you can take the opportunity to adopt the grave or share the cost with others. Besides collecting donations outright at tent meetings you can place a picture of them or a sign at the bar or refreshment area of your meetings for members to "buy a drink for Viola" with a collection plate nearby. Also "White Elephant" raffles seem to bring in money as well. Members bring in items they no longer want and you sell raffle tickets with the winners selecting items. There is no cost and all monies collected can go directly to the cause. You may have another great way to solicit funds too. I want to thank you in advance for your help and donations and a huge tip of my derby goes to Peter for donating to Edna!


The Rogue Song,

Gino Dercola has sent me this information.

Rogue Song photoRobert Stowell, one of the very early Sons of the Desert, has worked tirelessly for many years in search of the film and information about the Laurel and Hardy movie, The Rogue Song. What information he has been able to put together, he has always been willing to share with fellow Sons. Bob recently sent me a new document he pulled together that he titled "The Search Goes On" - Part 6. The previous five parts have been released in years past. The document has 53 pages, copied on 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper, most of the pages being L&H photos which are (mostly) related to the movie. Bob had met Stan Laurel, and there's a photo included of them together. There is a wonderful poem that Bob wrote in memoriam upon hearing of the death of Stan. There is a partial "Dialogue Cutting Continuity" document (1930) from the movie that I provided to Bob. And there is a short write-up about some steps taken by Trevor Dorman in trying to find the missing film. All in all, it's a document that Laurel and Hardy collectors (and other Sons) will like to add to their collections.

If you'd like a copy, you'll have to phone Bob on 951-927-4326 (in California)--he does not have a computer. He doesn't have a direct charge for this document, but if you are willing to make a donation to help him with postage and copy costs, he would be most appreciative.

Lastly, if any Son has any documents that relate to The Rogue Song, I know that Bob would love to hear from you.

17th Of August 2009

LAST FILM FOOTAGE OF STAN LAUREL DISCOVERED

New Stan Laurel home movie foundRare Home Movie Holds Final Images of Laurel & Hardy Comic

LOS ANGELES, CA—An amateur home movie has been discovered recently which apparently contains the last known film images of comedy legend, Stan Laurel, once celebrated as half of the most popular comedy duo in the world; Laurel & Hardy.

The rare and historic eight millimeter film, which captures a playful Laurel displaying his trademark impish smile while scratching his head, is just two minutes in length and was taken at his Santa Monica apartment by James and Irene Heffernan, a Los Angeles couple who was acquainted with the late film comedian in his later years.

According to Stan Laurel’s daughter, Lois Laurel Hawes, the film was made in late December of 1964 just two months before his death. A letter from Laurel to the Heffernans dated January 15, 1965 mentions their yuletide visit when, apparently, the footage was shot.

Also featured in the brief home movie segment is Laurel’s honorary “Oscar” award for Lifetime Achievement which was presented to him by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) in 1961.

Apparently lost and forgotten for decades among the numerous entertainment and travel home movies made by the itinerant couple during the 1960’s, this final footage of Laurel was not known to exist until several months ago and has never been viewed publicly.

However, the film’s present owner hopes to arrange for the landmark footage to be seen by Laurel & Hardy fans worldwide on June 16, 2010 which happens to be Stan Laurel’s date of birth. According to actor/producer Tyler St. Mark, who purchased the remarkable footage from the Heffernan estate, “Stan Laurel performs a special gesture at the end of the film clip which was clearly intended for his millions of fans worldwide and so we will help him deliver his message 46 years later--on the 120th anniversary of his birthday.”


Laurel and Harday / the World Kneesy, Earsy Nosey Championships

Proud Sons of the Desert will descend on Wigan next month as local Laurel and Hardy fandom enters a new era.

There have been large and popular annual festivals dedicated to the comedy duo since the early 1990s, but this will be the first year when the event will have been organised by its very own branch or "tent."

Up until now the Laurel and Harday has been in the gift of the Bacon Grabbers UK (each tent is named after one of Stan and Ollie's films) which used to cover both Wigan and St Helens.

But now Wigan is going it alone with the Dirty Work tent which has been planning a fun-packed debut day at Upper Morris Street Working Men's Club in Scholes on the afternoon of Saturday September 5.

For the 14th year running the festival will feature the World Kneesy, Earsy Nosey Championships – a bizarre hand co-ordination game mastered by Stan.

And new this year will be Babes in Toyland Bullseye Darts! This will take its inspiration both from Jim Bowen's famous quiz show and the finale to the boys' 1934 feature film which saw an attack on Toyland by hordes of Boogymen partly by hurling large darts at them.

Organisers say the throwing will be confined to a darts board in this game, although a few grand sheikhs' pictures might be incorporated to sharpen participants' aim!

The beleaguered tent bosses will also find themselves in a pillory and drenched with water in the popular Soak the Sheikh game. There are some films too with plenty of screenings of Stan and Ollie's own works plus home movies by the Sons.

These will include footage of the unveiling in April by Ken Dodd of the Laurel and Hardy statue in Stan's home town of Ulverston. The landmark edifice, made by the same sculptor who crafted the hit Eric Morecambe statue, was paid for by the Sons after years of fund-raising and many from Wigan were among the 1,000-strong crowd.

Not present for the first time this year will be expert film archivist David Wyatt who was badly injured in a fire at his London home earlier this year and is still convalescing.

But despite the regular questionmaster's absence there will still be a big quiz, along with raffles, a charity auction, raffle and caption competition.

Dirty Work vice-sheikh Stephen Barlow said: "We really have got a packed programme organised – you will hardly have time to draw breath.

"Chris Coffey did a great job organising the Laurel and Hardays in Wigan and we are hoping to continue that success. Wigan is a huge area for Laurel and Hardy with a lot of love for them."

Doors open at 12.30pm with events running until about 6pm. Admission is £5 for adults while under-16s get in free.


Ulverston square on shortlist for award

ULVERSTON'S County Square has been shortlisted for a tourism award.

The area is in contention for a prize in the public space category of the North West Tourism Awards.

It comes as a result of the improvements to the square, including the Laurel and Hardy statue, which has become a big hit with visitors to the town.

The other shortlisted projects are Cockermouth Market Place Regeneration Scheme (Allerdale Borough Council), Pier Head Public Realm and Canal Link (Liverpool City Council) and The Cutting Room Square (New East Manchester).

Judges will be making unannounced visits to Ulverston and the award ceremony will take place at Blackpool's Tower Ballroom on September 28.

Jayne Kendall, regeneration manager for Ulverston and Low Furness Market Town Initiative, who project managed the enhancement scheme, said: "It's good news for Ulverston that County Square and the Laurel and Hardy statue has been shortlisted alongside larger projects in Manchester and Liverpool, for example. This was the final project of the Market Town Initiative in Ulverston and Low Furness. The MTI completed its four-year programme in March 2009."

The work started in January and lasted around 12 weeks before the Laurel and Hardy statue was unveiled by comedian Ken Dodd in April.

Meanwhile, David Lilley, caretaker at the Coronation Hall, has been appointed as honorary statue keeper by Ulverston Town Council.

Mrs Kendall said: "Janet Ridal, the manager at the Coro, was part of the working group that sorted out all the arrangements and David said he wouldn't mind looking after the statue so the town council said he could be honorary statue keeper. He keeps an eye on the statue and keeps it clean and looking good. There are always coach-loads of people getting out to see the statue. It's been really successful."

The County Square Enhancement Project was funded by the Northwest Development Agency, English Heritage, South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria County Council.

The objective of the NWDA's Market Towns Initiative was to rejuvenate 17 market towns across the north west.

Following an initial £1.2m the NWDA gave Ulverston MTI, the agency gave another £500,000 for a range of projects in March 2007, of which £295,000 was spent on the County Square project.

The project was managed on site by Cumbria County Highways and the main contractor was Hanson Ltd of Penrith.

11th of July 2009

News from Indonisia - Laughing Out Loud With Laurel and Hardy

Avid fan Peter van Rooij Peter van Rooij doesn’t remember exactly when he first saw comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy on television, but it was the early ’70s and he was just a kid.

And he knows he liked them instantly.

“One of the reasons why people laugh at Laurel and Hardy is they’re more stupid and sillier than we are, so we can feel more relaxed about ourselves,” van Rooij said, sitting in his South Jakarta apartment surrounded by Laurel and Hardy memorabilia. “It’s a combination of them being very silly and very naive, and yet in situations that could happen.

British-born Laurel and American-born Hardy were classic comedians who starred together in 106 motion pictures in the first half of the 20th century. Their first title as a comedy duo was the 1926 silent movie “45 Minutes in Hollywood.” Other popular films included “Sons of the Desert,” “Way Out West” and the Oscar-winning short film “The Music Box.” Their last movie together was in 1951, and an honorary Oscar was bestowed upon Stan Laurel in 1960 for his contributions to the field of movie comedy.

Van Rooij, who was born in the Netherlands in 1967, said he admires the duo’s ability to keep him laughing for the length of an entire film.

“What I like as well is the friendship between the two,” he said.

“Even though they fight a lot. They argue a lot. At the end of the day, they are true friends. That’s something that appealed to me, and still does.”

Every morning, van Rooij wakes to a giant poster of the comedians near his bed. He watches their movies over and over again and browses the Internet looking for anything he can find on the comic pair.

But most impressively, he owns thousands of the duo’s collectibles — including more than 5,000 movie stills, 1,000 posters, 500 lobby cards, 500 movies, 250 books and 250 metal miniatures.

Van Rooij works for the Geneva-based International Labor Organization, a UN agency, and established the first Laurel and Hardy fan club in Switzerland in 1998 while based there. He moved to Jakarta in 2007 as deputy director of the ILO office here, and in February of this year founded Indonesia’s first chapter of the fan club. Although the club only has five members, they have already screened Laurel and Hardy movies at an orphanage, a psychiatric hospital and at two private parties.

“[Watching Laurel and Hardy] gives me joy,” van Rooij said. “According to the Laurel and Hardy [fan club] constitution, but please don’t take this seriously, we are responsible to share the joy with future generations. As long as I can share my joy with another person, then I’m happy.”

The first collectibles of the pair that Van Rooij owned were three VHS tapes he bought from a video store in Hong Kong in 1989. The following year, video stores in the Netherlands began selling the duo’s videos, making it that much easier to build his collection.

His late father shared his enthusiasm for the entertainers, and he vividly recalls their mutual passion.

On Dec. 5, 1991, van Rooij received a set of videos from his mother as a Saint Nicholas Day gift. His father was unhappy though, as he didn’t receive any himself.

About to leave for college, van Rooij told his father he could watch his videos. “But that wasn’t enough for him,” he said.

So for Christmas that year, his mother purchased a number of videos for her husband’s gift. Van Rooij’s father never got to watch them, however, as he died four days before Christmas.

“So when my father died, I got Laurel and Hardy films that were supposed to be for him,” van Rooij said. “Sounds sad, but it wasn’t, because it was something that my father and I shared a passion for.”

His first non-video collectible was a half-meter-tall statue of Laurel and Hardy sitting on a bench. “Looking back, it was an ugly statue,” he said, adding that he has a number of items he considers “junk.”

Regardless, “I buy a lot, but I don’t sell and I don’t throw away anything.”

The most expensive item he owns is a fez worn by an actor in “Sons of the Desert” (1933). Out of the 50 hats used in the movie, he said, there are only six left in the world. Laurel or Hardy did not necessarily wear his fez, but he paid $6,000 for it anyway.

In 2004, van Rooij bought the complete stock of another Dutch collector, adding about 7,000 pieces to his personal treasure trove. Some of those items are with him in Jakarta, but the majority are in storage in Switzerland.

“I want to open a Laurel and Hardy museum in Switzerland before or when I retire,” he said of his plans for his collection. “I want to have the museum downstairs, and live upstairs.”

The item with the most sentimental value for him is a pair of pants worn by Hardy in the movie “Swiss Miss.”

People often ask him whether he has worn the pants.

“I have not and I will not,” he said, describing them as “sacred” and “not supposed to be worn by other people.”

While in Indonesia, he has a personal quest to find an Indonesian movie poster of a Laurel and Hardy film. “In the 1940s, there must have been showings of Laurel and Hardy. If I get one, that would be amazing.”

In 1998, van Rooij went to Birmingham, England, to attend his first Laurel and Hardy convention, where fans from around the world gathered to celebrate the comedy team with movie screenings, comedy sketches, music performances, trivia quizzes and more.

Since then, he has always attended at least one out of two conventions each year. “That’s non-negotiable,” he said. This year, he already has his flight tickets and accommodation booked for a convention in Ghent, Belgium, in August.

“Laughing is also something very social,” he said. “When I watch Laurel and Hardy at home alone, I enjoy that. But it’s not the same thing as when we watch their movies with 1,000 people.

“If 1,000 people laugh, even if you don’t like the movie, you will laugh as well, because it’s contagious.”

And for him, laughter is what Laurel and Hardy were all about.

“Who doesn’t have good memories of laughing so much that your eyes started to cry, or you laughed so much that your belly ached?

“Laughing is one of the best emotions in life.”

20th of June 2009

A message from Del Kempster, regarding the 2010 UK convention,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

News of next year's UK Convention is now published at Bowler Dessert on-line. See

2010 UK Convention

I hope to see most of you there and I would be grateful if you could pass on this information to your members.

Many thanks,

Del

I have found an old recording of "On the trail of the lonesome pine" by Jack Emblow.

The Jack Emblow Sextet was regarded by some senior BBC producers as the best small group on radio, led by one of the most skilful accordionists in the country. Jack Emblow was born in Lincoln on 27th June 1930. He started learning the piano at the age of nine, switching to the accordion two years later. At 15 he was part of a stage act with jazz pianist Eddie Thompson and, at 17, he auditioned with the BBC. In addition to solo broadcasts, he played with a variety of groups during the fiflies and had a three year spell at the Berkeley Hotel in Piccadilly, playing for Ian Stewart.For many years he contributed to the incidental music for the television series 'Last of the Summer Wine', and also played the theme for the comedy series 'Allo 'Allo.

To listen to this rare recording please go to my audio section of this site. Note...you will need a user name and password to access this members only part of my site E-mail me and I will send you your user name and password.

Dorothy Layton

Dorothy LaytonDorothy Layton, hasdied on June 1 aged 96, she worked during the early sound era with some of the greatest comedians of the day, among them Laurel and Hardy – she was considered their last great female stooge.

"Laurel was the brains behind the genius of Laurel and Hardy," she declared in 2003. "I heard rumours of fights between them but never witnessed anything to suggest their relationship was anything but professional. What I can say is the producer Hal Roach had to often stop the cameras rolling because Laurel and Hardy, who ad-libbed, used to have everyone rolling about in tears of laughter."

She was born Dorothy Violet Wannenwetch on August 13 1912 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her father was one of the three founders of the Western Southern Life Insurance Co, and the family moved frequently before finally settling in Virginia.

After attending convent school (where her teacher described her as "charismatic"), in 1929 Dorothy went to Santa Barbara, California, to visit a cousin. She intended to stay for a fortnight, but in the event she never left, and her mother joined her the following year, setting up in a small house at West Hollywood.

Dorothy was soon going out with Roger Marchetti, a well-known lawyer who represented Howard Hughes, Louis B Mayer and Bing Crosby. He took her to Hollywood's premier restaurants, where they would be joined at the table by figures such as Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo and Hughes himself.

With an ambition to become an actress herself, Dorothy quickly appreciated that the surname Wannenwetch was insufficiently catchy, and she decided to take that of her maternal great-grandmother, Layton.

Meanwhile, whenever she had a screen test, Marchetti hired Max Factor to apply her make-up and the MGM costumier Gilbert Adrian to run up her gowns.

It paid off. In 1932 Dorothy Layton – like Mary Astor, Joan Crawford and Clara Bow before her – was selected as one of the "WAMPAS Babies" (promising starlets chosen by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers).

Soon afterwards she was signed to MGM, and appeared in a series of comedy shorts for Hal Roach, who had brought Our Gang, Harold Lloyd and Laurel and Hardy to the screen. She made her debut in Chickens Come Home (1932), with Laurel and Hardy and Thelma Todd. In 2006 Dorothy Layton recalled: "Everyone knew Thelma Todd as 'Toddy'. She became involved with mobster Lucky Luciano. She had such a tragic end. I believe Toddy was murdered by Luciano, but never dared make my opinion public as I feared for my own life."

Roach cast Dorothy Layton opposite Laurel and Hardy in The Chimp, Country Hospital, and Pack up Your Troubles (all 1932). In the same year she was in the Charlie Chase comedy Young Ironsides.

In 1933 Dorothy Layton appeared in Pick-up, which starred George Raft. But in the spring of that year she split up with Marchetti. She also broke with her agent, BP Schulberg, and her opportunities began to dry up. She made her last film for Hal Roach playing Billy Gilbert's secretary in Fallen Arches (1933) before appearing later that year in Louis Lewyn's epic Hollywood on Parade.

In 1934 Dorothy Layton left the film business and went to live in Baltimore, where she married Howard Taylor, who ran a company selling mattresses. They had a son and a daughter.

In 1947 she became a volunteer at Keswick Health Care Centre, and seven years later joined Keswick as a paid employee. She eventually retired in 1977, although five years later she returned to entertain patients and teach them bridge, a game she had been taught to play by Howard Hughes. "Volunteer work gave me a sense of belonging," she said, "whilst Hollywood was false and phoney."

Dorothy Layton is survived by her son.

14th of May 2009

The photo of the month has now changed to a publicity still from Way Out West.

More photographs of David Wyatt have been added to the "David Wyatt Photo Gallery"

8th of May 2009

[Image]Some good news has come though about David Wyatt, pictured left, as you maybe aware that David is still in hospital receiving treatment from a fire that broke out in his house, he is still very tired but now is able to talk to visitors. "AJ" Marriot visited him on the 6th of May he said David was in good spirits and was very touched by the amount of get well cards he had received.

Photo's of David can now be found on the " David Wyatt Photo Gallery " Gallery

If you have any photographs of David that you would like me to show on the gallery please send your photos to stanandolly@aol.com, titling your email "Dave's Archive"

DON'T DELAY - SEND DAVE'S PHOTOS TODAY!!

Ist of May 2009

"A message from "AJ Marriot"

DAVE'S ARCHIVE

Hello Boys and Boyesses,

The Sons of the Desert are currently grouping together, to try and rebuild the Archive which popular and ever-present Son David Wyatt recently lost in a tragic fire at his home. While the hospital staff are giving their expert care to David, we can get busy collecting together as many LAUREL & HARDY, CHAPLIN, and FILM RELATED books, films, and memorabilia as possible, to present to him when he comes out.

For details of how you can donate items to "DAVE'S ARCHIVE" go to this website, then follow the link.

http://www.laurelandhardythebritishtours.com/

At the moment you are only PLEDGING items. PLEASE DON'T SEND THEM just yet. When replying, please send your pledges to lahbritishtours@aol.com

Meanwhile please circulate the appeal to as many Sons and Chaplin fans, as possible; plus, of course, websites, magazines, and Tent newsletters.

Thanks in advance.

“A.J”

"See what a little kindness can do!"


"Watch Out - Wyatt's About."

"Watching him - watching us - watching him!"

On most occasions, at Laurel & Hardy Conventions, whenever you see David Wyatt he is behind a movie-camera, capturing all our precious memories for us to enjoy again and again.

Well now it's our turn to provide some memories for David. Please go through your collections, and send us any photos you have of him IN FRONT of the camera. . Please give basic details about the photos, such as: WHEN it was taken; WHERE it was taken, and WHO is in the photo.

All the photos will be displayed in an online gallery on this site, and then, at a later date, will be presented to David on a CD - in Slide-Show format.

Send your photos to stanandolly@aol.com, titling your email "Dave's Archive"

DON'T DELAY - SEND DAVE'S PHOTOS TODAY!!

***** When a few photo's have been sent they will be available for everyone to see on this site*****


Scottish playwright McGrath dies aged 68

Tom McGrathTom McGrath, the Scottish playwright and poet who wrote Laurel and Hardy and was a founding editor of hippy counterculture magazine International Times, has died of cancer. He was 68.

McGrath was diagnosed with liver cancer in June 2007 and was still writing right up until his peaceful death at home on Wednesday, April 29.

Born in Rutherglen in 1940, McGrath spent time in London in the 1960s where he worked on Peace News, appeared on stage at the Royal Albert Hall with Allen Ginsberg in 1965 and co-founded International Times in 1966.

After returning to Glasgow in 1969 to study English and Drama he was musical director of Billy Connolly’s the Great Northern Welly Boot Show in 1972 and wrote Laurel and Hardy, which appeared as Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1976. The following year he wrote The Hard Man with Glaswegian gangster-turned-sculptor Jimmy Boyle.

In the 1990s he became the Scottish Arts Council’s associate literary director, a post which he held for a more than a decade.

22nd of April 2009

A message from Chris Coffey

. Chris CoffeyHello fellow Sons,

At the Statue unveiling on Sunday, several Sons were talking about the funny incidents over the weekend, and many were snapping away with all types of cameras, so I plan to put together an email Chronicle of a great weekend, with as many photos of the events that you can send me.

In addition, I welcome you taking some time to email me some short tales about trivial memories and amusing incidents over the weekend, e.g. the Chickens Come Home Tent struggling with the piano, the drains being cleaned outside the Stan Laurel Inn., the flying dalmation, etc.

What I will do is email out a page of the booklet each week, no larger than 10MB in size, which will fit most email letter boxes. If you paste it into a folder on receipt, it will build up week by week into a megamemory of a fantastic weekend.

So, I want your tales .I want your photos, with captions, of the Saturday, including the events in the Coronation Hall.

I want your photos of the Sunday, including outside the CoronationHall.

Marion opened the Museum for us, and it was bloody hard work for all the volunteers who helped, or so they tell us. So photos taken in and out of the Museum will be welcome.

Of course there is a catch. I have taken over the "Laurel and Hardy Charity Fund" from Nancy Wardell, so that I hope that in due course you and/or your Tent will make a donation. Part of the income will also go the Museum, to help them install some disabled access, or jetpack attachment for my wheelchair (After all, the latest Dalek models can get up stairs) or an induction loop for the hard of hearing, or other facilities for the disadvantaged.

My thanks to those of you who took so many photos you have already volunteered to put them all on a CD for me. That's another possibility, putting the whole thing on a CD when it is finished and flog it at Conventions etc.

Just over a week now to a return to Ulverston for the UK Convention.

Fraternally Yours, Chris.

Chris Coffey

37 Holbrook Close,

Marshalls Cross,

St. Helens,

WA9 3XH

19th of April 2009

Laurel and Hardy statues photo's now online

[Image]I have uploaded some photos taken earlier today of the Laurel and Hardy statue unveiling. To see a gallery of the photo's click here

What a fantastic day! The sun shone, not a cloud in the sky! I arrived at Ulverston at midday after an hours drive, I made my way to the area where the statue was to be unveiled, the first people who I met were old friends of mine from past "Helpmates" conventions; Ian Kerman, Howerd Parker, Mike Beadle. I had a good chat with them. They hadn't changed one bit considering it must be 10 years since I last caught up with them.

I then made my way to the newly resited Laurel and Hardy museum just located around the corner from the statue. I was very impressed with the new look museum. Marion has done a great job in the new location. With  new story board style information boards all over the museum walls telling you the story of Laurel and Hardy. A great tribute to the boys.

The next face that I knew was Charlie Lewis from Edinburgh's Blockheads tent. together with his fellow "Blockhead", Martin Tierney. Whilst chatting to Charlie, who should pop out of the crowd was one of Ulverstons slightly eccentric characters Evan Thomas. For those of you who know Evan, you will be glad to know he is still as zany as ever!

Dean McKeown, author of "The Charlie Hall Picture Archive" was also in attendance shamelessly plugging his book with the cover of his book on his t-shirt! For those of you who have not yet bought his book, please do so, it is a great buy [ details on how to buy can be found by scrolling down the page]

18 of April 2009

New Crazy World of Laurel and Hardy site banners

If you have your own website and would like to add "The Crazy World of Laurel and Hardy" to your links page, please  feel free to use any one of the banners below. If you would like your website added to the links page on this site, just email me.

Remember to link to  http://www.stanlaurelandoliverhardy.com

16th of April 2009

New link added - Lucy Southward

Lucy specialises in graphite pencil portraits and landscapes. She has won numerous awards for her detailed sketches.

Lucy trained at Blackburn College in Lancashire for 3 years and has been a professional artist since 2004.

Her work has gained her high recognition in her local area and has featured in several newspapers and magazines nationwide.

Her talent sells her work overseas and she has become renowned for her sketches of the comedy duo, Laurel and Hardy.


Sons of the Desert - First Convention (1978) Film Available

A message from Rick Deerfield

Hi to my fellow Sons:

As a member of The Bacon Grabbers (Chicago tent), I was part of the organizing committee for the very first Sons convention in 1978.

With my sound 8mm camera in hand, I put together a 45 minute film of this seminal event.Among the highlights are: question and answer sessions with Anita Garvin, Lucille Hardy Price and Darla Hood, Anita Garvin's emotional acceptance speech at the banquet after a wonderful standing ovation, Darla Hood introducing Swiss Miss and telling us stories about the other Our Gang members and much more. The film starts with the planning committee in session, "I'm having trouble locating the gorilla costume", and closes with the final breakfast on Sunday.

I'm making NTSC dvd copies available for the first time and offering them to members of the Sons for only $15 per copy. Multiple copies ordered together and shipped to one address (within the USA) will get free freight

The original film was to be passed among the tents and then returned to me. Unfortunately, it never made it back. A vhs copy was made for me in 1978. It, too, was lost for a while. Recently I found my vhs, which I have transferred to dvd.

If you were there, here's a chance to re-live the fun. If you weren't there, finally an opportunity to see it for yourself.

Due to using available light, and the 1978 technology used in the film-to-vhs transfer, portions of the dvd are dark, though not enough to detract from the fun. If I can ever locate the original 8mm, I can make a better transfer.

Please let the members of your tent know about the availability of this video.

Thanks,

Rick Deerfield

2305 N Marburg Place

Meridian, ID 83646

rrd252@hotmail.com

14th of April 2009

Two more sites have been added to my links page, they are the "Nutty Nut News Network" and "The Charlie Hall Picture Archive"

10th of April 2009

I have  added a timetable of events for the statue unveiling at Ulverston on Sunday the 19th of April 2009. To view the timetable click here

9th of April 2009

Ulverston Museum opening delayed

Ulverston MuseumThe owner of Ulverston's Laurel and Hardy Museum has said she is "distraught" that it will not be able to reopen at a new location for Easter.

The museum is moving to the Roxy Cinema building but problems with access have ruled out a reopening on Thursday.

Owner Marion Grave said she had got herself into "another fine mess".

But she said she hoped the revamped and larger museum would reopen before a statue of the comedy duo was unveiled in Ulverston on 19 April.

The attraction, in Stan Laurel's home town, is moving from Upper Bridge Street to larger premises in Brogden Street, to cope with visitor numbers.

'Looks fabulous'

Mrs Grave said: "I'm distraught - we've got ourselves into another fine mess. We only discovered a problem with disabled access a few days ago and will have to install a lift.

"There are problems with general access so we won't be able to open in time for Easter, but we are hoping to open before the statue is unveiled on 19 April.

"The new museum looks fabulous."


Laurel &Hardy figures:, Hollywood Wax Museum Auction

The Hollywood wax museum are selling 200 of their wax statues.

Lot 7 should be of interest for fans of Laurel and Hardy

Lot 7,. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy from Towed in a Hole. (Hal Roach, 1932) The classic comedy team of Laurel and Hardy appeared together in 106 films. They are posed with signature facial expressions and feature wax heads sculpted by Logan Fleming and portrait painted in oil. Hardy is designed in a seated position and wears a dark blue suit, polka dot tie, black shoes, and bowler hat. Laurel wears a tan suit, white shirt, polka dot bow tie, and bowler hat. The trunk and luggage in the display are not included in the lot. Laurel stands approx. 6 ft. tall, Hardy measures 5 ft. 1 in. tall. $10,000 - $12,000 Webmasters note...these costumes Laurel and Hardy are wearing are not from Towed in a Hole as described by the auctioneers

Laurel and Hardy waxwork Oliver Hardy waxwork Stan Laurel waxwork

2nd of April 2009

Laurel and Hardy statue arrives for unveilingThe Statue Box.

TWO of the world's most famous jokers rolled into Ulverston on April Fools Day.

The town's finest export, Stan Laurel, returned in the form of a bronze statue cast alongside his portly comedy partner, Oliver Hardy.

The legendary pair have now taken permanent residence outside the Coronation Hall - but no one will see them until April 19 when comic Ken Dodd makes the formal unveiling.

Until then, Stan and Ollie will be concealed inside a giant box, which is to be decorated with pictures of the duo's visit to the Coro in 1947.

The £60,000 statue was created by artist Graham Ibbeson and transported from the London Foundry.

It is surrounded by some of Laurel and Hardy's most timeless quotes and film titles, which have been engraved into Kirkstone slate.

The statue arrived in Ulverston at 10.15am today and the box was lowered into place by a crane. The installation was expected to take two hours to complete.

Mr Ibbeson says that sculpting the statue has "uplifted his soul".

He said: "I set off each day with a smile. Stan and Ollie were looking down on me with grins on their faces, and I was looking back at the greatest clowns that have walked this earth with affection and joyous memories."

The statue is the feature attraction of the almost-complete £500,000 County Square enhancement scheme. Ulverston mayor, Councillor Janette Jenkinson, is delighted at how the project has come together.

She said: "I have to congratulate all those involved in the scheme from start to finish, particularly Eric Woods and the Laurel and Hardy fan club, Sons of the Desert, for their commissioning of the statue and fund-raising."

Cllr Jenkinson also paid tribute to project contractors Hanson, project managers from Cumbria County Council as well as the Ulverston and Low Furness Market Town Initiative, which has overseen the development.

Harry Knowles, chairman of the Ulverston and Low Furness MTI, said: "It's highly appropriate that the pair arrive on April Fools Day.

"They continue to give a lot of laughter and fun to so many people of all ages. What better day for them to come home to Ulverston?"

I had a sneek peek into the box, the statue looks fantastic, the pavement is amazing, with names of some of the films and quotes. The workmen are doing a splendid job!

29th of March 2009

Thanks to Gino Dercola a few more names have been added to the "Laurel and Hardy names in different countries" page. Did you know that Laurel and Hardy's name in Egypt is El Tikhin Ouel Roufain? To see the updated list go here

The photo of the month has now changed. This month it is a film still with Billy Gilbert taken from The Music Box. To see the photo click here. To download the photo, right click and select the save image option

Laurel and Hardy statue arrives in Ulverston

Laurel and hardy statueThe bronze statue of Laurel and Hardy will be installed in Ulverston, Cumbria, on 1 April 2009.

The statue, created by artist Graham Ibbeson who made the famous Eric Morecambe statue in Morecambe, will arrive from the London foundry into Ulverston at midday.

The boys will be craned into a specially prepared box that will conceal the statue until the formal unveiling on Sunday 19th April by legendary comedian Ken Dodd.

It will be the centrepiece of the newly enhanced County Square scheme in the centre of Ulverston. The scheme cost £500,000 and the statue £60,000. The Sons of the Desert, the international appreciation society for Laurel and Hardy, funded the statue privately.

The County Square Enhancement Scheme was funded primarily by the NWDA through the Agency-funded Market Towns Initiative with other funding from South Lakeland District Council, Cumbria County Council and English Heritage.

The statue will be surrounded by some of the duo's famous quotes, engraved into local slate. These include the often misquoted "Another nice mess you've got me into" and `My ear is full of milk", together with some of their most famous films including The Sons of the Desert and Berth Marks. The pair will be sited outside the Coronation Hall, where they appeared on the balcony in 1947, when Stan brought Ollie to visit the town of his birth.

Artist Graham Ibbeson said:"I sculpted Stan and Ollie over a winter period a few years ago, it was cold and miserable in the workshop, however, when I took the cover off the boys every morning it uplifted my soul. I set off the day with a smile. Stan and Ollie were looking down on me with grins on their faces, and I was looking back at the greatest clowns that have walked this Earth with affection and joyous memories."

Mayor of Ulverston Cllr Janette Jenkinson said:"It's been fantastic watching the whole project come together. It started with Ulverston and Low Furness Market Towns Initiative instigating an enhancement scheme around the area of the Coronation Hall in County Square, followed by the completion of the Laurel and Hardy Statue. I have to congratulate all those involved in the scheme from start to finish, particularly Eric Woods and the Sons of the Desert for their commissioning of the statue and fund raising, County Council Highways for managing the project and the contractors Hanson's, who have both done a wonderful job in not only keeping the Town open for business, but informing members of the public on all aspects of the scheme."

Harry Knowles, Chairman of the Ulverston and Low Furness Market Town Initiative, said:"It's highly appropriate that the pair arrive on April Fools day. They continue to give a lot of laughter and fun to so many people of all ages. What better day for them to come home to Ulverston."

Peter Mearns, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at the NWDA, said:"Ulverston and the Lake District have a unique selling point in being the birthplace of such a legendary star and I'm sure the statue will be a wonderful tribute."We are pleased to have supported it through the wider enhancements to County Square which will provide the perfect setting in the heart of the Conservation Area. The statue will be an important new tourist attraction and will inspire new visitors to experience Ulverston and the other outstanding attractions in the wider Lakes area."

The statue will be concealed until it is unveiled by comedian Ken Dodd on Sunday, April 19th at 3pm

Members of The Sons of the Desert - the international appreciation group for Laurel and Hardy - will be attending the unveiling dressed up as their heroes

The statue will be sited in the newly re-furbished County Square, which is in the centre of Ulverston.

Ulverston Stan Laurel statue - work begins

pavementWednesday, 18 March 2009

SLATES engraved with a timeless comedy catchphrase were laid at the heart of Ulverston's new gateway.

Ulverston's Mayor Cllr Janette Jenkinson lays the slate bearing the legend "Heres another nice mess you've gotten me into". out side Coronation as part of the new design for the square's refurbishment. Watching is Harry Knowles, Chairman of the Ulverston and Low Furness Market town initiative who were responsible for getting the funding for the work

Dignitaries yesterday gathered outside the Coronation Hall to lay the first of several Kirkstone slabs which will soon surround a statue of Laurel and Hardy. The paving bears the legendary duo's famous, but commonly mistaken, catchphrase: "That's another nice mess you've got me into".

Ulverston mayor Councillor Janette Jenkinson and Harry Knowles, chairman of Ulverston and Low Furness Market Town Initiative – which has overseen the project – agreed the statue will provide a fitting centrepiece to the new square when it is unveiled on April 1. Cllr Jenkinson said: "The statue will enhance not only the Coronation Hall but the square as well. It's a legacy of the MTI and a fantastic one at that.

13th of March 2009

New book - The Charlie Hall Picture Archive

Charlie Hall book coverThe Charlie Hall Picture Archive is a unique book for all fans of Charlie Hall and Laurel and Hardy. The book features over two hundred and ten images, many of which have never been published and has sections covering Charlie Hall, his family and the places they visited, his cars, the studio set up in Hollywood (with a section dedicated to Hal Roach) and the stars of the time (including Mary Pickford and Mabel Normand). There are numerous mini biographies of Charlie's co-stars and the book closes with a sixty five page chapter relating to Charlie Hall's film stills with in depth synopsis of some of his films. Where possible Charlie's own words have been used.

The book is slightly smaller than A4, has 178 pages in total and close to 17,000 words. The book was written by the Nutty Nut News Network's very own Dean McKeown and edited by Maria Cairney, the foreword was written by Willie McIntyre.

To buy the book click here

Historic railway station hotel used by Laurel and Hardy goes bust

Glasgow Central HotelA historic hotel shut its doors yesterday after the owners went bust.

The Quality Hotel at Glasgow Central Station, formerly the Central Hotel, closed 10 days after the Real Hotel Group went into administration.Four of the group's hotels in England also shut down with the loss of 150 jobs.Administrators BDO Stoy Hayward were hopeful of finding a buyer for the group or individual properties.But the landmark Central was shut down after a deal collapsed at the eleventh hour.Staff who turned up for work were sent home and told they no longer had jobs.

A spokesman for BDO Stoy Hayward said RHG had suffered a slump in business The Central has a rich history and has played host to an impressive list of famous faces. Built in 1879 as part of the original Central Station, it was designed by famed architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson.

John Logie Baird sent the first long-distance TV pictures from the Central and when singing cowboy Roy Rogers stayed there, he booked a second bedroom for his horse Trigger.

Other famous guests over the years have included John F Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant,and Winston Churchill.

Laurel and Hardy stayed in this hotel in 1932 and 1947.

22nd of February 2009

The Laurel and Hardy Events page has been updated with dates of the statue unveiling at Ulverston, a joint meeting between Roger Robinson's "Saps at Sea" and John Ullah's "Laughing Gravy" tent, dates of the UK convention, the euro convention in Belgium and the international convention in 2010

20th of February 2009

New Tent / Ulverston Museum / Statue

Peter van Rooij, well known to us as the Grand Sheik of the Swiss Miss tent, is currently working for the United Nations in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has now started a new tent there. It is to be called the "UNACCUSTOMED AS WE ARE" tent and will be oasis number 282.

Peter says "I have been gradually working on our Tent. I placed a few ads in the newspapers to find L & H aficionados, in addition to the two or three I had already identified. Few traces of the Boys in Indonesia. A prominent prospective member is a Dutch movie director who lives here in Jakarta and who is a 'fan': Orlow Seunke. You can find his name in www.imdb.com

We had the first two 'teasers' to spread the joy with those who do not know Laurel and Hardy: several Laurel and Hardy enthusiasts teamed up to show a few of the films of the Boys to orphans in North Jakarta, Indonesia two weeks ago. In the spirit of the Constitution of the Sons of the Desert, Laurel and Hardy films were shown to young Indonesians who had never seen their movies before. Brats, The Finishing Touch and Big Business made the audience of almost 50 people smile and laugh. With plenty of food and drinks as well as gifts such as books and writing pads and toys for the orphans, the children seemed to have a Perfect Day. One week later, becoming accustomed as we are, the Laurel and Hardy aficionados of Jakarta staged another showing of the films of the Boys in Indonesia. 70 patients in a mental hospital in Jakarta got to watch three silents: Two Tars, Liberty and the Battle of the Century. The patients enjoyed watching the movies of Stan and Ollie as demonstrated by their laughter. It was a Perfect Day. Mind you it was not easy for me to leave the premises. I wonder why...."

The Swiss Miss tent will continue to be active.

Peter's address in Indonesia

Peter van Rooij

APARTEMEN CASABLANCA #1401 TOWER 2

JL. CASABLANCA KAV. 12

12870 JAKARTA

INDONESIA

Peter's email pvanrooij@yahoo.com

The Ulverston Laurel and Hardy museum move has been a nightmare. The original plan was to move to a warehouse on the outskirts of town, which offered lots of room and free parking. They were ready to sign the lease for months and planned to move in September 2008, but the landlord and local supermarket who own the land have messed them about so much Ithey have had to give up the project. Marion Grave tried to make it work, and had meeting after meeting, but just couldn't get an agreement. Lots of promises have been made but not kept.

Just as they decided they could not go there, a suitable room became vacant in the local cinema. They hope to move and be open at the end of March 2009. After everything moving so slowly for so long this has happened very quickly and it seems almost like fate.

Laurel and Hardy Statue in Ulverston. Work has started in and around the area that the statue is to be placed and the work is on schedule. After many years of fundraising, the Laurel and Hardy statue will be unveiled on Sunday 19th April 2009, in the County Square, Ulverston, Cumbria. Ken Dodd has agreed to conduct the ceremony.

On Sat 18th April Eric Woods has booked the Coronation Hall for the Sons of the Desert to have a Celebration Dinner from 7pm till late there are only 200 places available and admission is ONLY by ticket which are £25 per person available from

Eric Woods,

Laurel House, 102 Hough Green Road,

Widnes, Cheshire,

WA8 4PF,

United Kingdom

Cheques to be made payable to The Come Clean Tent and include a large stamped addressed envelope for the return of your tickets

This is a NON Profit event and ALL proceeds will go to the Statue appeal or if more than needed is raised the rest will go to the Sons of the Desert Charity

The statue will just be around the corner from the new home of the Laurel and Hardy museum.

Bert Selles fan page has been added to the links to other Laurel and Hardy sites page

17of February 2009

The Laurel - Hardy Murder Case "in Blackpool"!

Funny Boyz fast food take awayI have just returned from a weekend in Blackpool. Imagine my suprise when I noticed a fast food take away outlet called "funny boyz" with images of Laurel and Hardy on the shop sign. Upon my return I "Googled" the shop and found out some very interesting information about it!

A BLACKPOOL takeaway with "a streak of evil running through it" has been shut down by police.Funny Boyz, on Dickson Road in the town centre, has had its premises licence revoked on the grounds of public safety after an application by Blackpool Police. Among the dossier of evidence which went before a specially-convened licensing meeting were: Numerous incidents of serious violence in and around the fast food outlet. Major health and safety breaches. Weapons such as baseball bats and hammers being kept under the counter.Earlier this month, Funny Boyz was the scene of a murder investigation. Detectives searching for the body of Blackpool teenager Charlene Downes searched the inside of the building and dug up the basement in their hunt for evidence of foul play.Blackpool Council's licensing committee yesterday heard evidence gathered over many months as to why the outlet should be shut down. Sgt Richard Hurt, of Blackpool Police's Nightsafe team, said: "The committee was told the premises had an evil streak running through it and deemed it necessary to revoke the licence on the grounds of public safety, the prevention of harm to children, crime and disorder and health and safety. A lot of hard work and consideration by PC Christine Booth went into making this application."We gathered evidence of after-hours sales, health and safety breaches and, worryingly, offensive weapons being stored behind the counter. "Under the counter, they were keeping baseball bats and hammers, which we cannot tolerate." The licence holder, Tariq Mohammed Albattikhi, appeared at the town hall with legal representation and now has 21 days to appeal the decision, during which his business can stay open.This was the first such application made in Blackpool under the new powers of the Licensing Act 2003.

11th of February 2009

The Links to other Laurel and Hardy sites has been updated, new links include " The Official Laurel and Hardy site" and The Laurel and Hardy Archive site.

New Laurel and Hardy items from the online retailer Amazon, can be found by going to my Amazon page. You can order various items from DVD'S / CD'S, BOOKS, MUGS, and JIGSAWS. They will be sent out from Amazon.

New Laurel and Hardy bookA new book arrived this week on my desk, "Laurel and Hardy -The Sound Shorts Volume 2", it is an updated version of "The Laurel and Hardy Bible". The quality and layout of the book is fantastic. Volume 1; "Laurel and Hardy -The Silent Shorts" will be released in the next few months with volume 3;"Laurel and Hardy - The Feature Films" later in the year.This book has now been added to my "books page"

7th of February 2009

New pages have been added, 2 articles written by Gino Dercola, "Laurel and Hardy in space" and "The Oliver Hardy Worm" and and article" Are the Bacher Boys, Laurel and Hardy reincarnated?"

The photo of the month is a still from Pardon Us

3rd of February 2009

This site has been off-line for a month, the site was originally hosted on my AOL web space, for no apparant reason AOL decided to take away everyones webspace who who had websites with them. Due to me not "backing up" my website files for a few years,I have had to virtually start from fresh to re build it. I am trying to go through most pages updating in my spare time.

March 2008

The  Rare signed book below has now been sold.

18th of February 2008

This years Ulverston Carnival is on Saturday the 7th of July, the fun starts at 10.30 in the town centre and the parade starts at 1.00pm. It is well worth a visit if you have never been there before, the parade has various Laurel and Hardy tent members joining in the fun!

FOR SALE RARE SIGNED BOOK

Stan Laurel signed "Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy" up for sale! I am selling my very rare signed first edition hardback book " Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy" by John McCabe that I have had in my collection for the last 20 years .Stan Laurel signed this book to Basil Wright, who was a very good friend of his. Basil appeared in the BBC documentary " Cuckoo" that featured Laurel and Hardy. The book was signed in 1962 and also includes two  signed postcards addressed to Basil, typed by Stan and signed in black ink by Stan in 1962 and 1963. The book itself has been hand signed by Stan in black ink- HAPPY MEMORIES BASIL. GOOD LUCK & GOD BLESS AS EVER- STAN '62.  It also shows a black and white photo of Stan and Basil together.  I am selling this rare and highly collectable book for £850  [ + postage], The book has also been mentioned in Glen Mitchell's " The Laurel and Hardy Encyclopedia" , if you go to the W section in Glenns book and look for Basil Wright, it tells you all about Basil and his association with Stan and that he kept his signed copy of Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy that Stan gave to him until his death. A few photos of the book and signed postcards to Basil are shown below.

Signed Stan Laurel book Stan Laurel signed book
Stan Laurel signed book Stan Laurel signed book

If you are interested in the very rare book  please email me and I can give you more information if required. no time wasters please!

The photo of the month is from Liberty

The next international convention has been announced, the winners are The Perfect Day Tent of Amsterdam,the choice was between Amsterdam, Sacramento and Detroit, Amsterdam were the comfortable winners.It will be held from to the 9th to the 13th of July 2008. For more information about the convention click here

I must say I was very impressed with Stan which was shown on BBC4 in June, although in my opinion it did make out  Stan Laurel to be a bit of a control freak, the actors played the parts very well. The same cann't be said about Paul Mertons Silent Clowns programme on Laurel and Hardy. The programme tended to focus on  a new musical score to the film You're Darn Tootin by Neil Brand. However it did show a small glimpse of the statue soon to be erected in Ulverston when there is enough funds.

Laurel and Hardy Fox dvd setThe second boxset of dvd's from 20th Century Fox has been given a release date of the 12th of September 2006, the films in the set are; A-Haunting We Will Go, The Dancing Masters and Bullfighters plus extras like Laurel & Hardy: The Fox Years and various trailers and audio commentary by Randy Skretvedt and Scott MacGillivray

Bill Winfield has started a branch of the Sons of The Desert over in Cyprus, I have known Bill for many hears and I wish him well with his new tent called Atoll k

Laurel and Hardy autographMike Greenaway has Laurel and Hardy's autographs for sale see image left, if you are interested please contact Mike at xxxxHe is asking £150 for them + postage [£6 UK insured post and £10 insured international]Webmasters note, Mike has now sold the autographs thanks to the help of The Crazy World of Laurel and Hardy, so they are no longer available!

Radio 2 aired a fine documentary on the boys narrated by Sir Norman Wisdom earlier this week you can listen to it up to a week after it was aired by going to the radio 2 site.

I am now off on three weeks holiday to Australia so I may not be able to respond to any enquiries

2nd of June 2006

The two box sets of dvd's have now arrived, I must admit I am very impressed with the picture quality of both of the releases, the added extras on the Warner set is amazing, it is the sharpness of the magic act of Hollywood review of 1929 stands out for me, it is the best I have ever seen!

Kyp Harness's book, The art of Laurel & Hardy, has also been added to my bookcase, to be honest I think this book is overpriced for what it is, for £24+ [from Amazon] I would expect a hardback edition with photographs, but this is a paperback, 247 pages with no photographs and looks to be a very heavy read!

If you live in Britain and have Sky or Freeview, look out for the following programmes, both are shown on BBC4
PAUL MERTON'S SILENT CLOWNS - LAUREL & HARDY STAN
Paul MertonThursday 8 June 9pm-10pm; 11.30pm-12.30am; 3am-4am (signed); Sunday 11 June 8pm-9pm; 2.10am-3.10am

Paul celebrates the ultimate double act. Laurel & Hardy's transition to the talkies was the most successful of any of the silent clowns yet it was in the silent films that they developed their trademark sense of comic timing.

Stan LaurelTuesday 6 June 2006 9pm-10pm; 12.20am-1.20am; 3.20am-4.20am; Wednesday 7 June 10pm-11pm; 2.10am-3.10am

Neil Brand's poignant drama explores the last days in the relationship of one of cinema's most celebrated double acts. When Oliver Hardy suffers a massive stroke, Stan Laurel pays his old friend an emotional visit.

I will be setting my dvd recorder for both programmes!

The photo of the month has now changed to a still from Pardon Us

2nd of April 2006

Photo of the month from BratsLater this month sees the release of the two dvd box sets from Fox and Warner, see 6th Feb latest news for more information.Of course I will let you know the quality of these dvd's next time I update this site.

More sales items have been added to this site , remember first come, first served! Please order early to avoid dissapointment as I have only have one item of each sales item.

The photo of the month has now changed to a still from Brats.

The Another Fine Mess tent of Northern Ireland has a new contact email address, you can contact the Grand Sheik, Keith Davidson at another.finemess@tiscali.co.uk

1st of March 2006

New photo of the month from The Rogue Song20th Century Fox has just announced that a second volume of 3 dvd's  will become available later this year.They will contain the remaining films, The Dancing Masters,The Bullfighters and Jitterbugs. The audio commentaries have already been done by Scott MacGillivray, author of ‘Laurel & Hardy, From the Forties Forward’.

I have updated the Sons of the Desert uk tent listing page and also updated about me page adding more text and photographs.

The photo of the month has changed to a still from The Rogue Song

6th of February 2006

New Fox dvd box set out April 2006Great news from Fox Home Entertainment, they have announced that three of their Laurel and Hardy films will be released in April, they are, The Big Noise, Great Guns and Jitterbugs with loads of extras including trailers, photo galleries and movietone news clips.The box set will be a region one release. Lets hope that the other three films that Fox hold, A Haunting We Will Go, Dancing Masters,and The Bullfighters, will be released as another box set later in the year!

Warner Home Video are also releasing a region one two disc set in April, Bonnie Scotland and The Devil's Brother.  This is also packed with loads of extras including clips from Hollywood Revue of 1929, The Rogue Song, Hollywood Party and Pick a Star

Both of the dvd sets can be ordered via the Amazon.com site.

Michael Agee has also announced a 10 disc box set of the "lost films" of Laurel and Hardy, each disc is over 200 minutes long with Stan and Oliver's solo work and their early Roach silent films.No release date has been set yet, for more information and proposed film listings, see the Laurel and Hardy Magazine's latest news page.

Photo of the monthWhilst flicking through the digital tv music stations I came accross a promo video featuring The Freelance Hellraiser, his new song " You Want To Know", released end of February, features somebody wearing a Stan Laurel mask towards the start of the video.You can watch the video by clicking here and then go to the media section of his site.

The photo of the month has changed to an Oliver Hardy portrait from Zenobia aka Elephants Never Forget, one of the few films that Oliver made without Stan.

2nd of January 2005

The Art of Laurel & Hardy bookApril 2006 sees the release of a new book on Laurel & Hardy- The Art Of Laurel & Hardy, Graceful Calamity in the Films, here is a Synopsis...From the innocent days of young television came Laurel and Hardy, a comedy team that created slapstick hilarity from life's simplest situations. Seventy some years after their heyday, Arthur Stanley Jefferson and Oliver Norvell "Babe" Hardy are still remembered for the comic chaos they created in film shorts. They gave us something to laugh at by reminding us of our own foibles, in a way that was genuine and unpretentious. The lanky Stan Laurel (1890-1965) and portly Ollie Hardy (1892-1957) had but one objective: to create as many laughs as would fit in one short film. And that, they did. The book begins by exploring their comedy, the days of early television, and the work of peers like Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers. A chapter is dedicated to each of "the boys" - Laurel from Ulverston, England, and Hardy from the state of Georgia - as a person and performer. Further chapters explore the slapstick and gags of Laurel and Hardy and how the pair survived the transition to sound that left behind many actors of the day. It was only when they began to work for large studios churning out cookie-cutter scripts that their art began to lose its way. The book takes the reader through the nadir of their careers and to a final comeback. The filmography lists works from 1917 to 1951 with information on current availability. It looks to be a great read and a nice addition to the book shelf!

I have updated my books page, showing scans of all the Laurel and Hardy books that are/were available, and the links to other sites has also had a facelift! The photo of the month has now changed to a lovely head and shoulders photo of James Finlayson. I am currently working on a continuity error page as well, which has just been added to the site, bits will continue to be added to that page in the near future!

5th of December 2005
" AJ" Marriot CHAPLIN - Stage by Stage The 21st of November saw the release of "AJ" Marriot's book, "Chaplin - Stage by Stage", this A4 sized book  corrects many myths that have been written in the past, often by Chaplin himself !Rare photograps and extracts from some of the scripts and plays that Chaplin appeared in make this book a very enjoyable read ! You can order this wonderful book direct from "AJ" via his site.

The photo of the month has now changed to a 1952 photo of the "boys" at Southampton.

I have now added a paypal shopping basket to the items that are for sale, please be aware that I only have one of each item for sale, so first come first served ! More "For Sale" items will be added in the coming weeks.

5th of Novenber 2005

Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais On the 2nd of November 2005 on the Steve Wright show on Radio 2 his guests were Ricky Gervais and his co writer Stephen Merchant.[ Stars of " The Office " and " Extras "  ] During the interview they both mentioned that they loved Morecambe and Wise and all the vaudville stuff,Ricky then went on to say that"Comedy began and ended with Laurel and Hardy,and that it hasn't been improved upon , they have no loss in translation and they are funny because of their themes and relationship"  Ricky then added that he wasn't a big fan of Charlie Chaplin,Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd and only really like Laurel and Hardy because they had emotion.County Hospital and Sons of the Desrt were among his favourites.Ricky did a little impression of Ollie to finish off !!

After a setback with the UK release date of Laurel and Hardy's Laughing 20's it finally came out a couple of weeks late.You can buy it from Amazon.co.uk

On the 27th of September John McCabe" The Exhausted Ruler"of the Sons Of The Desert died peacefully in his sleep.Without John McCabe where would the Sons of the Desert be ?

The latest updates on this site are a revised stamp page with four more stamps of Laurel and Hardy and a picture of Ronnie Barker and Roy Castle as Stan and Ollie has been added to the lookalikes page.The photo of the month has been changed .

A J MarriotIf you have ever read AJ Marriot's book - ' Laurel and Hardy - The British Tours ' you will know how much detective work was put into it to make it one of the most enjoyable books about "the boys".Well after 6 years of work [ he's a slow writer ! ] his new book" Chaplin - Stage by Stage"is now at the printers.If it is half as good as the British Tours it will be a great read ! You ca read about both books via my links page !

18th of September 2005

The lookalikes page has had more photographs added of various impersonators of the boys . An advert has been placed selling a genuine signed postcard of Stan and Oliver and also a new photo of the month has been added , this time it is of Stan and Oliver attending the very first Sons of the Desert tent meeting !

For those of you who can read music the sheet music to The Trail of the Lonesome Pine has been added

In the UK on October the 3rd 2005  sees the release of Laurel & Hardy’s Laughing Twenties on DVD. Amazon.co.uk are selling it

15th of August 2005

The photo of the month has changed to a publicity still from The Rogue Song . Another advert using the famous miss-quote of "Another Fine Mess " has been added to the "Another Nice Mess "page, this time the advert is from an Australian cycle helmet manufacturer

6th of July 2005

If you are an old visitor to this site you may notice a few changes , my homepage has changed it's layout  , making it even easier to access  the different pages !My index page has also been given a face lift , the high quality of the site still remains the same though ! Since my last update I have moved house , my new address can be found here .I have updated my stamp page adding numerous new stamps on the ' boys '.New additions to this ever expanding site are the forthcoming events for the Sons of the Desert , and the Laurel and Hardy crossword !

6th of July   NEW CD AVAILABLE

Earlier this month a preview cd arrived on my doorstep . A one track cd simply titled " Another Fine Mess " . The words and music were put together by Ken Humpries from Nottingham . The lyrics are based on Laurel and Hardy film titles , the male vocal is by Alaister .On hearing the cd you realise how catchy it is , the chorus is constantly repeating in my head ! Ken is selling copies priced at £2.75 including p / p .If you would like a copy of this excellent new cd , please contact Ken at this address , or email him below .
Ken Humpries

9 Nottingham Road

Hucknall

Nottingham

NG15 7QN

kenneth.adam@ntlworld.com

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