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The Birmingham Bark

Once again the newsletter of the Laughing Gravy Tent of Birmingham is packed with news of the activities of this very active oasis. Grand Sheik John Ullah has details.

Included are details of forthcoming meetings...

Eric Willoughby RIP


The funeral of Eric Willoughby, who died in Ipswich on the 25th April, was held in Ipswich Crematorium on 30th July.

Eric was a long-time contributor to Bowler Dessert, whose writings and support were much appreciate. We are very sorry to lose him.


Paul Harding writes:


Long-standing members will no doubt remember Eric from  earlier days of the Men o' War Tent, including his inspiration for some local L&H activities including the 1994 event pictured here at Harwich's Electric Palace cinema (showing Eric as Ollie and David Lyon as Stan).



Mike Jones forwarded this from Facebook.

Lonesome Pine


Here is a treat for you all: Cilla Black and Christopher Biggins performing Trail of the Lonesome Pine on an old episode of Surprise, Surprise. Listen out for the seldom heard second verse! Enjoy!


Antony Mitchell-Waite



Fellow Chump Alan Kent has been at it again and has sent me another shedload of rare and unusual photographs he has downloaded off facetube which I will process and upload to the [Chumps] website in the next few days. He included a couple of film sequences he has unearthed too. I wanted to share the below with you.


These are short filmed segments of Stan and Ollie clowning spontaneously on the Queen Elizabeth and with a cab both before and during their visit to the UK in 1947. The Boys don't appear until 1:19 in but are interviewed and come across very well.


Seeing this revealed as a link. This is all Stan and Ollie, though some of it is a repeat of the latter part of the above, plus another link to Laurel and Hardy attending the 21st birthday celebrations of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway which can be found here -


Definitely worth a look, if for no other reason to see Stan and Ollie looking healthy and happy with their disappointing 40's films behind them. Thanks again to Alan.


I'm looking forward to seeing you all on Wednesday August 14th at the Ashbrooke Sports Club when the films will be Two Tars, Men O War and Sons of the Desert.


Mike Jones

Men o’ War remembered

I have a set of pictures I took of Hollenbeck Lake in Los Angeles. These pictures were taken 78 years after the film Men o’ War was made (the film was in 1929 and pictures I took were in 2007) and people are still visiting as a pilgrimage to the location. 

On 7th August the Call of the Cuckoos Tent of Glasgow are showing Men o’ War (released on June 29, 1929), 90 years almost to the month from release!  Amazing when you look at the quality of the production today. 


Glynne MacDonald

A mess


Bill Crouch saw this in The Herald (27.07.19.).