Elland cinema event
The Rex cinema in Elland's annual Laurel and Hardy film evening takes place on Saturday 28th March at 7.30pm.
It is always a good night, a full house with everyone laughing in unison at the antics of our friends. Organist Ben Hinchliffe plays before the show, during the interval and also accompanies the silent two-reeler 'That's My Wife'. The main feature, as you will see, is Sons of the Desert, one of the two most popular features the Boys made.
Admission is £5.50 for everyone and this year, for the first time, it is possible to book online on our website www.nm-cinemas.co.uk.
Elland, if you are unfamiliar with the town, is midway between Halifax and Huddersfield, about 5 minutes from junction 24 on the M62. The cinema is in the middle of the town and there are free car parks nearby.
I am hoping we will also have a Laurel and Hardy memorabilia stall, run by one of the tents.
We have the full range of cinema snacks, including ice cream which is brought into the cinema during the interval.
Get ready for a wild party which we will organize in the South West of the Netherlands this year!
The 5th edition of the Annual Dutch Convention called The Laurel & Hardy Sondayz will take you to the Wild West where cowboys and Indians help you to celebrate a unique experience in Stan and Ollie's Way Out West style.
An update with an advance programme and price will shortly be announced. From then on you will receive once or twice a month information about how far the organisation is and how many Sons have already signed up! Again this year’s Sondayz will include all entertainment, transportation from hotel to locations/venues, all lunches and dinners and even most of your drinks! Again your T-shirt will be part of your goodie bag.
Make sure you register in time for this year’s Sondayz!
Water Rats visit
We have 35 people booked for our visit to GOWR. Sons are coming from Scotland, Wales various parts of England and Netherlands. What a gathering! We have about 15 vacant places, so if you know of any other Sons (or wives, partners, girlfriends) that would like to join us please contact me.
Live Ghost Tent
It’s no joke!
The Call of the Cuckoos Tent will be back at the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall in Glasgow on the first Wednesday in April for the start of our fifteenth season of Laurel and Hardy screenings. Don’t be put off by the fact that the date just happens to be 1st April. You would be a fool to miss this get-together.
Convention attractions in Glasgow
Sons attending the UK convention in May will be back at the Panopticon for a special presentation by the Lucky Dog Theatre. Stan and Ollie lookalikes Philip and Tony will be amazing us with a new act, specially prepared for the occasion.
The convention will also include a tour of Glasgow which visits places where Stan Laurel and his parents lived and where Stan went to school. We will also visit the grave of Stan Laurel’s mother, Madge Metcalfe.
Bill Crouch will conduct the tour and is producing (in conjunction with Bowler Dessert) an illustrated hand-out to accompany this part of the convention.
Bill and Willie McIntyre (again in conjunction with Bowler Dessert) will similarly be issuing a booklet on the role of the Sons of the Desert in the history of the Panopticon.
These are just two of the many attractions of the convention, which runs from 1st till 4th May, and is based in Greenock.
Strange tale of Charlie and Stan
Film that wasn't
Looking at some info about Robson Green on the IMDB site I came across this.
It was announced in the Daily Express newspaper dated 18th March 2007 that he and Mark Benton were keen to play Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in a proposed film based on a script called 'Anything For Laughs'. Robson was quoted as saying 'Mark and I are a similar size to Laurel and Hardy and we're also great fans.'
County Hospital calls
It has been a strange start to 2020 at the Brats Tent
Grand Vizier Mark Johnson visited the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield on 10th January for a planned operation involving day surgery which went well.
No sooner had Mark left the hospital, than Grand Sheik Kevin 'Heppy' Hepplestone was rushed into the same hospital by ambulance.
I am pleased to say that Mark is sore but is recuperating well
Heppy is still in hospital awaiting tests, but is feeling much better than he did when he arrived and of course is located in a ward next to the aquarium.
With it being Heppy, he was sent for one of his tests which involved a camera which turned out to be a catsafterme after trying to insert the camera via one arm, which didn't work. The camera was successfully inserted in the other arm, only for a fire alarm to sound and the camera being removed in case there was a real fire, and the process was undertaken again once the all clear had been given! It could happen!
Heppy said, “As I've got nothing better to do, I've been reading back issues of Bowler Dessert - including the bits that I didn't read first time around - they're really interesting.” Doh!
Hopefully the remainder of 2020 will be hospital free for Brats
Beau Chumps Tent share
Image of the Week: 21 Jan 2020
Alan Kent has forwarded literally hundreds of rare images that he has found. All of these can be found in the features section of the website –
Many of these are new to Grand Sheik Mike Jones who has had Laurel and Hardy involvement for well over thirty years, and rather than in several galleries of fifty-plus photos, they deserve to be celebrated individually, he says.
Helpmates, arguably one of the best Laurel and Hardy sound shorts, was released on 23 January 1932, so it is perhaps fitting that this weeks image is from that classic, assures Mike.
Ollie’s last suit of clothes despite - or because of - Stan’s best efforts
On the telly
While watching ‘Susan Calman’s Secret Scotland’ on Channel 5 on January 17th , where the comedian visited her home town of Glasgow, there was a nice section where she went to the Britannia Panopticon. During the visit she found out about the raucous early days where performers didn’t just face heckles from the audience but the risk of being urinated on from the balcony and pelted with horse manure from the stalls! The highlight though was the extended mention of Stan Laurel’s first appearance there, with a description of his act and Susan was even treated to a private showing of ‘Twice Two’ on a screen behind the stage where Stan started.
On a recent edition of BBC North West Tonight - the nightly regional news programme for the north west of England - there was a piece about a new museum dedicated to fun and entertainment and due to open within a luxury seafront hotel in Blackpool in 2021. Amongst the objects that will be on display, it said, are costumes belonging to Morecambe and Wise, one of Tommy Cooper’s props - and Stan Laurel’s bowler hat. A website has been set up for the museum - https://www.showtownblackpool.co.uk – which may be worth keeping an eye on for further information as to when it will open so we can all plan a visit!
At the Glasgow Empire
Melvin McFadden sent us a link to the Facebook page of the British Music Hall Society, Home of Music Hall & Variety. This is one of the many pages to be seen.