The Perry Winkle 86


The latest issue of The Perry Winkle has an intriguing  couple of opening paragraphs. Roger Robinson has researched a script of Stan and Babe - the Story of Laurel and Hardy, written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais with music and lyrics by Tony Macaulay. For the full story get hold of this great issue, which as always has a multitude of topics on Laurel and Hardy and Sons of the Desert.


Contact Roger Robinson to subscribe. £12.00 will bring you four quarterly issues.

The Laughing Gravy Annual


Not only has the above magazine from the Saps at Sea Tent come through our letterboxes, but we can also report the arrival The Laughing Gravy Annual from the Laughing Gravy Tent, edited by John Ullah and Mandy Finney.


The emphasis is firmily on the activities of the Birmingham oasis, but the magazine has terrific overall appeal.

Our donation to charity

We are proud to report that once again this Christmas we have been able to donate £100 to Variety, the Children’s Charity. This has been achieved by the sale of Laurel and Hardy Christmas cards. We sincerely thank all Sons of the Desert for their generosity in making this possible

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We received the following appreciative letter from the charity…


You are amazing! Thank you so much for your donation of £100.

   On behalf of Variety, the Children’s Charity, I would like to say a huge thank you for your support, and for donating to such a worthwhile cause. It is only with your help and support that we are able to assist children who need various help in their lives.

   Variety works hard to make a positive impact on children and their families who have to cope with sickness, disability or disadvantage; but all this would not be possible without your help!  

   Your generous donation of £100 could go towards sensory equipment to enable children with impaired sight, hearing or touch to play safely, without the usual stress and worry. Ensuring safe play is just an example of how your gift could make a huge difference to young lives. Other ways include:

    Wheelchairs and Sunshine Coaches – Supporting children’s hospitals –

    Vital in-home medical equipment – A much needed day out

 Website of the Beau Chumps Tent


I've now uploaded Andrew Cobby's splendid thoughts on the Sons Of The Desert movie, and these can be found here: https://beauchumps.wordpress.com/2019/12/08/andrew-cobby-writes-sons-of-the-desert/ Please don't miss it. Andrew has put a lot into this and it shows!


I'll also be posting this week’s Image of the Week in the Blog section.


In this one, the full cast of The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case pose for the stills cameraman.  


Mike Jones

Cuckoo Angels

Angel Radio plays old music and very old music – anything from the Sixties and earlier.


Dave de Kort of the Call of the Cuckoos Tent has been with the station for quite some time and you can catch his show Dave’s Indulgence at 12 noon each Sunday and at 3.30am on Saturdays.

   Willie McIntyre’s award winning show Spinning the Sixties has also been running for some time on Angel’s sister station Swinging Radio Sixties. Catch it at 6.00pm on Fridays and at 6.00am on Saturdays.

   Dave also has shows on Dunoon Community Radio and Willie has shows on Heartland FM and on Bute Island Radio. Needless to say, both Dave and Willie have given Laurel and Hardy some air time!


You can catch them online at







Brats Tent at Christmas


The Brats Tent had a fantastic Christmas meeting at the Harlequin pub on 9th December.


With our annual Bring a Prize, Win a Prize raffle (where everyone who donates a prize, wins a prize) running smoothly thanks to Mark and Bev Johnson, all was set for a perfect night.  And with surprise visits from Johnny Sorrow (Laughing Gravy Tent) and Grahame Morris and the usual festive shorts to keep us entertained, it most certainly was..

John Burton

Mark, Kevin, Johnny and John

Bev sorting the raffle

Brian Jessop with his Below Zero wallet

Grahame and Brats

 Saps at Sea Tent at Christmas


It was a merry Yuletide celebration in Southend on Sea for the Saps on 8th December, as testified by this photo from Trevor Bell.

Clive at Christmas


Yesterday I  visited our good friend Clive Mitchell at his Care Home in Chingford. It was their Christmas Party with lots of friends and relatives of the residents. Clive also had an ex-neighbour and two relatives there. There was food galore, drink, music, raffle and laughter. Clive, who I believe is now 89, is doing well. He is a little frail and walks with a stick, but he is on the ball. I gave him copies of The Perry Winkle and ITJ and he suggested that he would like to write a Christmas Card to share with the Sons of the Desert.    

Roger Robinson

Beau Chumps Tent at Christmas


The festivities kicked off at 6.00pm on Wednesday December 11th when 21 of us sat down for Dinner in Diego’s, which is just upstairs from the Ditchburn Suite, home of the Beau Chumps in the Ashbrooke sports club.


A fine time was had by all with several exclamations of ‘Garcon!’ accompanied by snapping of fingers generally overlooked by the staff. Thanks to Peter for expertly rounding up the cash, and to the staff of Diego’s for delivering such fine fayre.


We then moved downstairs for the meeting proper, which began at 7.30. A lower turnout than normal at about 25 were most welcome, perhaps because several regulars were at ‘works do’s’ etc, and also as it was absolutely freezing, the outside temperature being Below Zero, and the winds taking this down to what felt like about -40! This theme was continued in the Ditchburn suite where it seemed colder than that.


As soon as the films started though, the temperature rose to a more acceptable level as we laughed our way though a Christmas themed programme of Big Business, the two reel version of Laughing Gravy (well, there’s snow in it), The Fixer-Uppers and, as we had time, by popular demand, a re-run of Below Zero for the second time in two months - it has snow in it too...


In between the films, we had several chats where I was able to answer most questions, though one that stuck was Alan’s L’s observation that he read somewhere that the little terrier, Laughing Gravy, was named by Stan.


Well, Alan is quite correct, and according to Randy Skrevedt in his amazing The Magic Behind The Movies, “[Salvador] Dali would have loved the surreal name that Stan gave the adorable little dog. Some have speculated that it’s a variation on “laughing water”, a slang term for alcohol, and since many gravies have wine as an essential ingredient, maybe that inspired the name. Or not!”



As expected, Gary D’s uncle, Allan Brett's latest book which features the Chumps on page 69 duly arrived and is quite splendid.


Mike Jones

For the unitiated, Plodgin' comes from the Verb 'to plodge' and is Sunderlandese meaning 'to paddle'!


Also probably worth considering, is that Monkey's Blood is not a reference to Hartlepool's maritime spy activity, but to the red stuff one puts on one's ice cream!

Men o' War Tent

Just a quick reminder that our last meeting for 2019 is tonight at the Manifest. Programme details are  on our website.  


Paul Harding

And finally...

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