Liverpool tent at 40


I wonder if, when Les Macdonald founded the Leave ’em Laughing Tent in Liverpool in 1978, he would have realised just what a glorious future was ahead for the tent. When, after many successful years, Les suddenly and unexpectedly died, Bob Spiller took on the role of Grand Sheik. Eventually, after many great years, Bob handed over command to Tony Traynor, who had been with the tent almost since its start.

In recent years, Tony has been unwell and unable to lead the tent, so his daughter Samantha (now married and named Sam Bell) became a worthy successor. That is how it came about that Grand Sheik Sam organised the tent’s fortieth anniversary party at the Firwell Bootle Cricket Club on 29th September.

Sam (left) and her sister Rebecca

What a lovely day we had! There were films, a quiz, toasts, food and drink. Plus plenty of friendship and reminiscing. Well done, Sam, on a real treat and thanks for all you have done.


One person also stands out - Alex Connerty. His mum Sue says, “Alex has watched Laurel and Hardy’s videos for years and absolutely loves them. We were invited along to the 40th Anniversary Party and they had some lovely gifts for him which he was over the moon with. Thank you so much guys and everyone involved.”


Gary (Stan) Slade writes, “There's an appeal for more money to support children and adults with extremely rare forms of dwarfism. Walking With Giants Foundation was set up by Alex's parents, John and Sue, because so little was known about his condition.” 


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Alex Connnerty with his parents Sue and John and lookalikes Gary (Stan) Slade and Robbie Graham

Ron Dunn was there with some vintage material on display and for sale. Ron was a member of the Leave ’em Laughing Tent almost from its inception.

A special bottle of brew was a mystery prize in the raffle. What pity that winner Nick Carter wasn’t in on the joke and inevitably let the bottle drop crashing to the floor!

Tony Traynor as fondly remembered by two of his grandchildren

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