UK Convention 1989 (Preston)
Gary Winstanley has posted archive footage of the 1989 Sons of the Desert Convention.
It was filmed and released by Bowler Dessert, and our thanks go to Gary for resurrecting some fabulous memories.
Brian Flynn RIP
When we launched the Saps At Sea Tent in 1998, one of our regular attendees was Brian Flynn.
His father, himself, his son and now his grandson and granddaughter all served as police officers in Southend and Essex. He was a lovely man, very knowledgeable and a massive admirer of Laurel and Hardy. After a few years, he was not able to attend our meetings, but continued to subscribe to The Perry Winkle and kept in touch with me.
He died recently and his funeral was on Tuesday 21st March 2023. I was not able to attend the funeral, but Saps member Doug McMahon, and also a former Southend Police Officer, did attend. He tells me that his enthusiasm for Laurel and Hardy was mentioned during the service and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine was played as mourners left the chapel.
Spied on Facebook
Call of the Cuckoos Tent
Five Chumps made the journey to Elland near Leedon on 25th March for the big screen event at the splendid Rex Cinema. We had an early dinner at the nearby Nags Head, and promptly went the wrong way up a one-way street, much to the consternation of the natives!
We then joined 203 Laurel and Hardy aficionados and Sons to enjoy ‘Leave ‘Em Laughing’, ‘Another Fine Mess’, ‘Towed in a Hole’ and, after an intermission, ‘Our Relations’.
The magical fingers of Ben Hinchliffe accompanied ‘Leave ‘Em Laughing’ on the cinema organ, with perfectly timed whistles which mirrored Edgar Kennedy’s on-screen antics as the frustrated cop! He also delighted us throughout the evening with wonderful renditions of many examples of the Leroy Shield and Marvin Hatley music which we all know and love so well.
Many U.K. tents were represented besides ourselves, including the Sheffield Brats, the Widnes Come Cleaners, some Night Owls from Oldham, three Sailors, Beware from Hyde and of course the local Huddersfield One Good Turn Tent.
Grand Sheik Mark Wall and I swapped some memorabilia and then did some big business with the audience who also enthusiastically bought so many raffle tickets that it took four of us to fold and tear them in the intermission in time to draw a winner!
A wonderful evening all round and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event, which is scheduled to take place on the last Saturday in March 2024, which, according to my calendar is the 29th.
Thanks again to Charles Morris, Ben, and all others involved.
These OO / HO railway waggons featured recently on Bowler Dessert Online.
My mate Bill Wootton bought three of them following a discussion I had with him.
Here they are, with some 5 plank private owner waggons, behind a NCB Hunslet Saddle Tank loco.
Did you see the report about Dick Van Dyke being pulled out his Jaguar car when it caught fire? There are photos and a video on the internet. Also there is a mention of his appearing on TV in America as recently as February. He was a lucky man – he was rescued from a car accident about 6 years ago!
I am not a huge L&H memorabilia collector, but I have gathered and filed quite a large number of coloured postcards. Many are reproductions of film posters from different countries. I recently bought a set of 18 postcards from Spain. Many of them are familiar but there are some that are new to me. I rather like ones where artists have thought ‘out of the box’ and created an imaginative and attractive caricature of Stan and Ollie related to the theme of a film. However, there was one in my recent addition where I think the artist had forgotten what film he was trying to illustrate. I don’t recall anything like this in ‘The Bohemian Girl’!!!!
Well, I am not sure that attendees at the Seaside Extravaganza in Southend will be re-enacting this boogie shuffle led by Fin! It looks like fun though. And FUN is what we want you all to have when you join us in September.
... and finally