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Boys at the Bull

Bottesford July 2022


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The Beau Hunks Tent want to say a big THANK YOU to all the visiting Sons of the Desert on making the "Boys At The Bull" event, yet another special and memorable day on Saturday 30th July 2022.   After an unfortunate three year break, then a re-arrangement after a last minute cancellation due the wretched virus, Sons travelled from far and wide, beating the train strikes, to descend on the Bull Inn at Bottesford.  This was to join with the Beau Hunks Tent as we celebrated our 20th, 21st and 22nd anniversaries...and of course, to enjoy a full afternoon of films and fun at the pub that Stan Laurel's sister ran, during the 1950s. Stan & Ollie visited it a number of times during their variety tours.  


This year the film show at The Bull was entitled "TWICE TWO - PART DEUX" particularly in recognition of the Tent's 22nd University Celebrations. Accordingly, we showed many two-reel Laurel and Hardy films, where the comedy duo double up, see double, speak double, double take, take two with some double entendres thrown in.  The day culminated in the showing of the  SONS OF THE DESERT (1933) film followed by an observational quiz which was won by those clever Brats - Mark & Bev Johnson,  who were duly awarded with the 'Mae Busch Wax Apple Bowl Trophy', with a solely remaining uneaten wax apple!    


The highlight of the day was undoubtedly a premiere screening of a near complete and partly restored version of the silent short 'THE SECOND HUNDRED YEARS' (1927) by film historian and tent member, Robin Cook.  This was taken from a 16mm film copy, made by Robert Youngson in the late 1950's, from the original 35mm film stock, before it had started to decompose.  This was from the same source of films that led to the recent restoration of the 'BATTLE OF THE CENTURY' 1927. 


Special thanks also goes to Beau Hunks Tent member John Palmer, who brought along his wonderful Model T Ford motorcar and also to Rob Lewis who brought along a couple of props from the recent "Stan &Ollie" film (ie Babe's plaster cast and associated weight), which provided many comedy photo opportunities during the day.   

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Ant & Jo

Brats Mark & Bev Johnson having a Perfect Day - goodbye

Me with the original cast from the Stan & Ollie film!!

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Mark accidentally drops the Stan & Ollie film prop weight

We also had two interesting short talks. The first talk was on the new bi-annual "Laurel & Hardy Magazine," by its new editor Russell Babbidge.  Russell has now taken over the full ownership and production of the magazine from Rob Lewis, who had incredibly produced it on a quarterly basis for over 40 years.  The 1st edition of this new glossy magazine will shortly be available and from what was presented, would certainly be worth a subscription.  The second talk was by Patrick Vasey (of the Online Laurel & Hardy Blog) on an exciting new book venture he's working on with Russell that covers the Laurel & Hardy Silent films with images of very rare studio photos and documents.  Both projects looked very impressive. 

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The Official handover of the Laurel & Hardy Magazine from Rob Lewis to Russell Babidge

Patrick Vasey presents a draft of a section from his new book

On the day, Sons enjoyed the film room, the outdoor memorabilia stalls, socialising in the beer garden and later taking shade in the pub lounge where Stan & Ollie served the beers on Christmas Day 1953.  It was certainly a Perfect Day.  

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In the morning, I again had the great pleasure of taking a number of  people around the village of Barkston - visiting the Plough Inn (Stan's sister’s first pub from the 1940s) at 22 West Street and also visiting Arthur Jefferson's grave.  


The Beau Hunks Tent continues to meet once a month, every third Wednesday for a film show at 7.30pm at the Bridge Inn Pub in Sandiacre, (between Derby and Nottingham).  


For more information you can contact me at


 Dave Tomlinson 

 GS Beau Hunks Tent 

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