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Stan's return to Glasgow, 1947

 Bill Crouch reports 

In early 1907 Stan Laurel (Arthur Stanley Jefferson) left school to work as gallery ticket collector at his father’s theatre, The Metropole, 116 Stockwell Street Glasgow. The Jefferson family were living in the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen, three miles from Glasgow at this time.

Stockwell Street, home to the Metropole Theatre since 1897, is one of Glasgow’s eight original streets and It used to be called Fishergait - as it was the way to the salmon fishers village on the River Clyde.


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Forty years later, Stan Laurel was back in Glasgow on a stage tour of British theatres with comedy partner Oliver Hardy.

I was reminded of this story when I was shown an original black & white photograph of Stan with a young lady, by Geordie Hay, a bowling friend of mine.


The photograph relates to an article which appeared in the Daily Record on the 13th June 1947, when Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were in Glasgow and Stan was visiting some of the old streets around the Metropole Theatre.

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Geordie picks up the story:

“My mother Jean Daly and her sister Catherine Daly worked in the fish market/mongers in Stockwell Street.
Stan Laurel approached Catherine and asked her if he could get a photo with her at the ticket office of the Metropole Theatre which was nearby. My aunt Cathy was given time off to go home and change for the photo shoot.


"My family believe that Stan was re-enacting when he was a teenager and collected tickets in that ticket office for his dad.”

Geordie goes on to say:

“My aunt Cathy married Jack McTear, they had a son named John McTear who became a very successful golf professional on the European tour.”

Laurel and Hardy performed at the Empire Theatre in Glasgow for two weeks in June 1947, and as a tribute to the very warm welcome the show received they wore kilts, sporrans and tartan socks for their last five days at the theatre.

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Ollie’s kilt was actually two kilts sewn together in order to fit the portly American.

When not performing Stan visited old haunts in the city, Ollie played golf as he had also done on their last visit to Glasgow in 1932. Not only was he an enthusiastic golfer he was a remarkably good one too.

The Daily Record recorded their ‘wild arrival’ in Glasgow on 9th June 1947:

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A subsequent auction:

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