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New book on the horizon


This year is the BIG year. To celebrate 100 years since Laurel and Hardy were first on the screen together! ‘Hard Boiled Eggs and Nuts’ will be a part of the celebration, an important part I hope, because we really do have a fine compilation of 100 articles gathered from around the world on all sorts of topics.


 Roger Robinson 

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Intra-Tent Journal


The latest edition of the Intra-Tent Journal has arrived, packed with a mix of news and articles.


To subscribe, contact editor Bill Oates in the USA or Del Kempster in the UK.

Babe's birthday


As I'm sure you know, today marks the Anniversary of Babe’s birth and to recognise the day, there's a special entry (click here) in the Beau Chumps news section with a small cross-section of images from his wonderful career. I hope you get the time to view these, and better still, leave your tribute in the comments section of the item. In the meantime, here's a wonderful image from Randy Skretvedt which shows that Babe was a 'big lad' even as an infant!

 Mike Jones 

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Birthday quiz


On this very day, 18th January 1892 the wonderful Oliver 'Babe' Hardy was born. To this end I've knocked up a little trivia quiz all to do with the great man from Harlem.


It's just a bit of fun, helping to take your mind off the crazy Covid-19 virus which is still controlling our lives.


There's no wonderful prize for the first to respond with 10/10 correct answers, but I promise to buy you a cold beer [or a soda?] when we next meet, how's that for an incentive?


Enjoy your head scratching and remember, it's only fun. 


I've also attached an article and photo about Roland Steinert who won the international online trivia quiz last year, it was produced for inclusion in the latest ITJ, but it wasn't used.


The answer sheet to the Oliver Hardy quiz will be sent out next week.


 Eric Woods 

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Voodoo is fine


Our friend Voodoo spent six days in Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ, being treated for Covid-19.  He says, “These drugs are miraculous!  Not only am I fully cured, I am now also PC… that is PC as in a pin cushion. I was stuck more times than a nudist cactus farmer!  But the staff and facilities at Valley are top notch and I feel really blessed to have received such fantastic treatment.”  


Voodoo is the Grand Sheik, Flying Deuces of Northern New Jersey and a regular visitor to our conventions. We are glad to hear he is now in fine form and we look forward to seeing him again in due course.

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Voodoo has lost weight and his beard!

News of Bob

We have some news of Bob Spiller, who for many years was a valuable guiding light of the Sons of the Desert. He was the Grand Sheik of the Leave ’em Laughing Tent of Liverpool and a valued contributor to Bowler Dessert for many years. Eric Woods writes:


Bob's health has been deteriorating for some years and he has been house bound for over 12 months now.


Freda rang me [I'd left a couple of messages on their answer machine recently] to let me know how they were coping.


Bob is not in good health. He spent a few short periods of time in hospital last year. He returned home in September.


He is being supported well at home by means of two carers who visit him four times each day.  Freda is not in the best of health herself.


I ended the conversation by reminding Freda that they were both very much loved by the Sons and that we're thinking about them. Sadly we can't do much more these days.


We have sent our best wishes to Bob and Freda, a very special couple.


On the telly


I have found that Sky Documentaries channel (sky 114) are showing a series called The History Of Comedy and in an episode entitled "In it together" it looks at some of comedy's memorable partnerships. Among those featured are quite naturally Laurel and Hardy. It is being shown on Wednesday 20th January at 12 noon then again later at 7pm. 


Let’s hope the Boys feature for a decent part of the episode.


 Peter Jones 

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From Facebook

In the January 13th episode of 'Emmerdale' on ITV, the character of Marlon (played by Mark Charnock) tried to woo his ex-girlfriend by dressing up as Stan Laurel to remind her of their black and white film nights that 'always started with a Laurel and Hardy'. Maybe next time he can rope in his best friend Paddy to dress as Ollie to complete the effect as the pair of them are invariably the source of a lot of the light hearted storylines in the soap.


 Stan Fan 

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Gerry Marsden RIP

It's well known that Gerry and The Pacemakers were the first act to get to No 1 with their first three singles.  Their third single was You'll Never Walk Alone from the musical Carousel and Gerry used to tell of a connection (albeit a tentative one) with Stan and Ollie. Gerry was watching a Laurel and Hardy film (at the Odeon in Liverpool I think) and stayed in the cinema to watch Carousel. When he heard the song he thought it would be ideal for him to record, and the rest, as they say, is history. I told you it was tentative! 


We saw Gerry and the Pacemakers in Chesterfield a few years ago. They put on a great show, and I was sad to hear of Gerrys passing recently.


 Grahame Morris (and Anni) 

New Year greetings from Cliff Sawyer and family

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... and finally

Spotted by Bill Crouch

Joris founds a new tent

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