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Laurel and HarDay

The Sons of the Desert had the time of their lives at the 31st Annual LAUREL AND HARDAY at the Masonic Hall, Bryn, WIGAN. It was a brilliant day out. Thanks to Gary Winstanley, Jack Winstanley, Julia Barlow, Ian Parker, Mike Jones and all the team. The hall was packed.

 Gary Stanley Slade

The Laurel & HarDay was another successful one. Many new faces joined us. One of the busiest we've had for a very long time. I think there was just over 90 people. We usually get around 60! Amazing considering there were rail strikes.

Following the premiere at the  Laurel & HarDay, our documentary film "Hats Off to Mae Busch" is available to watch via our Facebook page and our YouTube channel…

 Gary Winstanley

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I am beyond thrilled to announce that the world premiere of an emotional and touching film, "The Last Dance of the Cuckoos" will open the 14th European Sons of the Desert Convention this week. Andy Hollingworth and Matt Holt have created what can only be described as a tug at the heartstrings as they take Stan Laurel's Bowler Hat back to Ireland and tell the story of the wonderful welcome Laurel and Hardy received there in 1953 including their overwhelming arrival in Cobh. I was privileged and honoured to be involved and having seen the finished film, we as hosts were in no doubt that our programme had to be tweaked to allow its inclusion as "The Last Dance of the Cuckoos" is premiered in the shadow of St. Colman's Cathedral where the famous Carillon Bells played "The Cuckoo Song" for Stan and Ollie.

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As you pack your bags for Ireland and get set for the 14th European Convention, Adrian Gebruers, our special guest on Friday night, has suggested I send a piece of film to you.

The link is below.

Adrian's Dad was the gent who played for Stan and Ollie in 1953.

Adrian will play for us next Saturday.
He would like you all to understand the working of the famous bells.

 Liam Muldowney

In cinemas

Laurel and Hardy are making a return to the big screen this October with 4K restorations of 'Sons of the Desert' and 'Dirty Work' at several Showcase cinemas around the country. The screenings will take place on Sunday October 15th and Tuesday October 17th. Further details of the cinemas and screening times can be found here:

Laurel & Hardy: Sons Of The Desert and Dirty Work Film Times

 Stan Fan

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 2024 UK Convention

We have had a couple of cancellations, but these were very quickly filled.


We’re pleased to announce that Linda Caldwell (along with Kari, Stacie and Tammy) who runs the Oliver Hardy Museum of Harlem, Georgia will be joining us. Also coming along will be the very tall (and maybe even taller by now) Harry Hoppe. We are in the process of having a special bed made for him!

We have had another meeting with the hotel, who are a pleasure to deal with. They are really looking forward to hosting the convention and meeting you all next year.

 John Ullah

... and This is My Friend Mr Laurel show cancelled

Sadly, our plan of taking in a Fringe show didn’t come to pass as Jeffrey Holland took ill and was forced to cancel his final two shows.
I received an e-mail from Jeffrey explaining that he has a heart condition which resulted in him spending most of Saturday(26th) in A&E. Fortunately, he’s fine but was told to rest up while he gets used to a new medication regime. Jeffrey sends his apologies to all concerned.


  Charlie Lewis 

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Willie, René, Dave, Janice, Peter, Janet, Pat and Tom

Swiss rendezvous

Every two years, Janice and Tom Hawton arrange a trip to Europe for seven of us Sons. This year we went to Zurich.


René Keller lives nearby, so Peter arranged a rendezvous with this enthusiastic, long-standing member of the Swiss Miss Tent. René brought along a cherished possession, a postcard written by Stan Laurel to Hal Dale in Bradford.

You will be able to read the full story in the Winter edition of The Perry Winkle.


 Willie McIntyre

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René and Willie

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This treasure arrived. It's a complete six-page script from 1915 for "Hurley, Stan and Wren" in "The Nutty Burglars”. There's also a contract for the Gus Sun vaudeville circuit signed by Edgar Hurley. So this will shed some light on Stan's vaudeville career! I'm always on the lookout for more L&H scripts for further volumes of "The Laurel and Hardy Movie Scripts”. Thus far I have "Sailors, Beware!" I also have several of the feature film scripts but am looking for more of the shorts. I am so blessed to have these rare artefacts.

 Randy Skretvedt on Facebook

Sunderland Convention 1988

I'm just creating some screenshots of the 2 hours of footage of 'our' 1988 Convention that Gary Winstanley has (thankfully and splendidly) edited down to 32 mins.

 Mike Jones

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Saps at Sea Tent

Due to circumstances beyond our control this month’s meeting on the 10th September has to be cancelled.

Our next meeting at the N&M will be our 25th birthday meeting on the 8th October. There will be all the usual fun, cakes (members can bring cakes along as well if they wish) and as it’s our 25th there will be 25 raffle prizes.

 Roger Robinson

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Men o’ War Tent

We've lined up our first meeting for the autumn with a great programme packed with four shorts (and that's including 2 'long shorts' at 28 and 37 minutes!).

 Paul Harding

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County Hospital Tent

A tip of the fez to all current patients at the County Hospital. Did you know the provenance of our tent name? I first decided to try the Sons out in Bradford after a letter from John McCabe, Stan‘s biographer. He said I would need to give our oasis the name of a film. I had a vivid memory of my Mum taking me to the pictures, can’t remember the cinema name, on Carlisle Road. I remember seeing Babe in a hospital bed with his leg up in plaster. There it was. County Hospital. Great that it is still going strong.

 Dave Beecroft on Facebook

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...and finally

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