PAST NEWS - BUT STILL INTERESTING
MAY 14th - “LAUREL & HARDY" IN MILWAUKEE -CAN YOU HELP?
I have just received this request from Michael Ehret in Germany -Can anybody help?
I am presenting the rare colour footage of the
"Driver`s Licence Sketch" performed in Milwaukee in 1940 at ROLDUC Convention
together with some other rare film & audio material on Friday, 10th of June
2011. I obtained the original 8mm home movie and then digitized & restored it,
see the before and after image above.
I am now compiling a documentary with all kinds of material about the footage:
film, text and photos.
I am trying to find some more photos of their performance in Milwaukee (1940).
If anybody has a high resolution photo of Laurel & Hardy performing the "Driver`s Licence Sketch" (no matter where it was performed) I would love to obtain a scan. I would of course credit the owner in my presentation at the Convention .
Please send me an Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, MICHAEL EHRET
MAY 8th - “LAUREL & HARDY CONVENTION” THANK YOU FOR COMING ALONG
been week since the Convention, and we are just about recovered. It’s
unbelievable how much energy just a one-day event can burn up. But, judging from
your emails and cards, it was all worth it. Here is just one “Thank You” which
covers most of the points raised. (Others can be found on our ‘Convention
Report’ page along with photographs. Go to this
Just wanted to say what a fab Laurel and Hardy Convention - well done indeed! It was truly amazing. It was wonderfully organised and made for a most enjoyable and full day of fun. I particularly enjoyed meeting the authors, Ray Andrew, Glenn Mitchell and of course the wonderful 'A.J' Marriot who gave such a wonderful and comical presentation on a preview of his forthcoming book the 'USA Tours' - which made it ever so special. It was really interesting to see L&H on the ipad/iphone from Russell Babidge - so I can't wait to hear more details on any future launch.
I must also mention the Hotel which was really excellent and most comfortable, a lovely warm pool and pleasant atmosphere all round. Everything was spot on and couldn't have been better.
Once again – many, many thanks Rob to you and your team. Kind regards,
APRIL 24th - DOCTOR WHO - UPDATED
Doctor Who returned to our screens last night with a nice surprise for ‘Laurel and Hardy’ buffs. The Doctor (Matt Smith) appeared in with ‘the Boys’ in a short clip from ‘Flying Deuces’ wearing his Fez!
MARCH 31st 2011 - “LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE” - MAILED TODAY
Our next quarterly A5 colour Laurel & Hardy Magazine ( VOL. 8 No.5 ) was mailed today to all subscribers worldwide. Once again we have managed to come up with several snippets of information we believe you didn’t know, and lots of photos you haven’t seen before, all on the subject of our comedy heroes - Laurel and Hardy.
We find that Stan Laurel’s ‘lost’ brother fell out of a different tree; unearth some scandalous politics; solve the mystery of Stan and Ollie demonstrating ‘table etiquette;” catch the Boys reading magazines on-set; and find out the set-up behind a newspaper drawing competition.
Then we have our regular features; “Who, What, Where, When,” which is split into two sections in this issue; and “Meet the Collector” in which we reveal a man with the largest known collection of Laurel and Hardy merchandise. All this – and much more!
The Helpmates Laurel & Hardy Convention
WHEN: Sunday 1st May 2011 (Bank Holiday Weekend)
WHERE: The Holiday Inn, Maidstone Road, Chatham, Kent. ME5 9SF (next to Chatham/Rochester Airport).
WHAT TIME: Arrive from 11a.m. onwards. Programme 12 noon - till late.
WHAT’S ON: Two Films Rooms, screening Laurel & Hardy films and rare footage - supervised by Richard Ellis; Memorabilia Displays, Raffle, Restaurant, Bar and Lounge; plus Sales Room - with merchandise from around the world.
WHAT SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS ARE THERE? Our own “A.J” Marriot will be giving a presentation on “Laurel and Hardy’s U.S. Tours,” with rare and unseen photos and footage, assisted by film historian Dave Wyatt. Autograph expert Dave Tomlinson will have an impressive display of Laurel and Hardy autographs, and will give advice on how to spot fake signatures. Antony Mitchell-Waite will be there to chat about his next work, “Laurel and Hardy in Advertising,” and Ray Andrew, author of “On the Trail of Charlie Hall” will have a fine display of rare Charlie Hall memorabilia. Film expert Trevor Dorman is flying in from Ireland to present some specially restored films; and Russell Babidge from “The Laurel and Hardy Archive” will be doing a special presentation and display. Film expert, Glenn Mitchell will also have copies of his Encyclopedia to sell and sign. Plus, you never know who else may turn up!!
WHO CAN COME: Our event is open to all members of all Tents, their family and friends.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST: Just £10 for adults and £5 for Children (15 and under) gives you full access to all the Convention rooms; including our own Private Bar where, as well as buying drinks, you will be able to order Bar Meals.
HOW MUCH TO STAY AT THE HOTEL: At the time of going to press, we still have some rooms available at a Special Convention Rate of £59 per room - whether it is a single, twin, or double - Breakfast included. Those staying at the hotel also have full access to the Swimming Pool and other Leisure Facilities.
For HOTEL ROOMS you must book direct, by calling the hotel on 01634 673543 (Mon-Fri 09.00-17.30) quoting the Group reference LH1. You will need to give your Credit/Debit Card details to guarantee the booking, but you won’t be charged until the day itself.
CAN WE JUST TURN UP ON THE DAY: Yes! but tickets will cost a little more: ADULTS £12.50 - CHILDREN £6.
The hotel restaurant will also be offering a 3-Course Sunday Lunch Carvery for those who wish to book it, details will be sent with the tickets. We can provide full directions and rail times for those who need them. Please note that high-speed trains now run from St. Pancras, which may save some of you from travelling to Victoria.
We do hope you will make every effort to join us, as we shall be making every effort to ensure you have a great day. Whether you wish to keep your own company, or find friends old and new, we can guarantee you a safe, secure, and friendly environment.
To watch Laurel & Hardy films on DVD at home is one thing, but to watch them on a big screen, in a room filled with scores of other fans laughing out loud, makes for one heck of a great atmosphere. DON’T MISS IT!
FOR FULL CONVENTION DETAILS AND BOOKING PAGE NOW ONLINE - GO HERE:
FOR FULL CONVENTION DETAILS AND BOOKING PAGE NOW ONLINE - GO HERE: CONVENTION
Where are they now?
When we attend the Laurel & Hardy Convention, in Chatham, on Sunday 1st May, it would be great if we could make it even more special by having a reunion of those who haven’t been to a convention for a number of years.
Over the years we regularly topped the two-hundred mark in attendance, and even broke three-hundred on occasions. Then what about the 30 Sons 'AJ' took to Amsterdam in 1988; the 80+ Helpmates we took to several USA Conventions; the two Leeds Castle Banquets, and many other extra events we have organised? Where are those members now?
Let’s see if we can get everybody together again for one big HELPMATES REUNION. But, we also would like to see some NEW FACES attend, as we have had many members who have joined us since our last event, so we are asking YOU to come along to join us too. And remember, this event is open to ANY fans of 'Laurel & Hardy', family and friends.
We are very pleased with the advance ticket sales for our event so far. We are now getting very close to using up our quota of reserved rooms, so we would advise you to book ASAP if you wish to stay at the hotel.
FOR FULL CONVENTION DETAILS AND BOOKING PAGE NOW ONLINE - GO HERE:
FOR FULL CONVENTION DETAILS AND BOOKING PAGE NOW ONLINE - GO HERE: CONVENTION
March 22nd. 2011 -STANS HOME FOR SALE / FILM RESTORATION
Stan Laurel's home to be auctioned
A HOUSE where comic Stan Laurel once lived will be auctioned this month.
The two-bedroomed property in Bishop Auckland where Laurel, one half of duo Laurel and Hardy, lived with his thespian parents when he was a baby, is up for auction through Keith Pattinson estate agents. Bids for the unoccupied house, thought to have been used as a rental property, start at £40,000.
Although Laurel was born in Cumbria, he spent much of his childhood in Bishop Auckland and was educated at King James Grammar School, in the town.
There is a blue commemorative plaque from the Bishop Auckland Civic Society above the front door of the mid-terraced house, which reads: “Stan Laurel (Arthur Stanley Jefferson) of Laurel and Hardy lived in this house with his parents. He was baptised in St Peter’s Church on 21st October 1891”.
The ‘Sons of the Dessert’ society organised for the plaque to be installed on the front of the building several years ago and some of Stan’s relatives came up to unveil it.”
Bishop Auckland county councillor Sam Zair stressed the importance of maintaining Bishop Auckland’s links with Laurel.
He said: “The Stan Laurel link is vastly important to Bishop Auckland and one that we need to keep going because it is such a vital part of the town’s heritage."
March 17th. 2011 - CONVENTION UPDATE / ATOLL K.
Laurel & Hardy Convention , Sunday May 1st (Bank Holiday Weekend) , CHATHAM, KENT - IMPORTANT UPDATE
I have just heard from the Holiday Inn Hotel, they have informed me that all the rooms that I held (at our special reduced rate) have been taken. However, I have negotiated for another 5 to 10 rooms. BUT, these will only be held at our special rate until the end of this month. So if you are thinking about staying at the hotel I would suggest you book NOW.
I will be sending out Convention tickets and extra details to all those who booked on Friday. There are a handful of names on the hotel reservation list that have not obtained their event tickets as yet. So it would help us if have got a room at the hotel to make sure you have your tickets as well. Of course you can still book tickets for the actual event, even if you do not intend to stay at the hotel.
FOR FULL CONVENTION DETAILS AND BOOKING PAGE NOW
ONLINE - GO HERE:
FOR FULL CONVENTION DETAILS AND BOOKING PAGE NOW ONLINE - GO HERE: CONVENTION
In the summer of 1950 Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy washed up on the shore of the Cote d’Azur to shoot what was to be their last film, Atoll K. A number of scenes were shot on the Riviera, on Cap Roux for example, in the port of Marseille and in the Studios de cinema de La Victorine in Nice. Now a television production company from Germany are making a documentary about two of the most celebrated film comedians of all time and are on the hunt for people who witnessed the classic film being made firsthand.
The team of documentary makers, in the South of France from the first to the fourth of April, hope to interview some of those who worked with the Hollywood stars on the movie or who saw them or met them whilst they were based in the region for the shoot. They are also interested in finding photographs and film-footage (professional or homemade) taken on the set of Atoll K or of Laurel and Hardy in France, and also of other general items connected to the movie like scripts, props and costumes. Anyone who can help should contact Andreas Baum of Exit Film email: email@example.com
January 8th. 2011 - NEWS UPDATE
Many thanks to all of you who contacted “A.J” and myself with your kind comments about our recent WINTER SPECIAL magazine. I was pleased to learn it arrived at most destinations prior to Christmas, despite the bad weather holding up a lot of mail. Judging by the fast rate of renewal forms coming in, you can’t wait till the next issue!!
Well what’s in store for 2011?
We have had so many bookings for our 1st May Convention that we have had to reserve another block of rooms at the hotel. You do not have to pay a deposit to secure your room, as you pay the full amount when you check out, so I would advise you to book your room ASAP, as the hotel cannot guarantee our low rate for the Sunday night. For more details, follow the links below.
FOR FULL CONVENTION DETAILS AND BOOKING PAGE NOW ONLINE - GO HERE: CONVENTION
As of yet, I have not booked any Memorabilia Shows for 2011, as I want to concentrate all my efforts on the Helpmates’ Convention. If we do book anything later in the year we will let you know.
More News as-and-when!
- “LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE” - MAILED TODAY
December 17th. 2010 - WINTER SPECIAL - “LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE” - MAILED TODAY
The next issue of the “Laurel & Hardy Magazine” – our A4 “WINTER SPECIAL” - has just been mailed to all subscribers today . Hopefully UK member / subscribers should get theirs early next week (snow permitting), overseas subscribers will take longer due to the Christmas mail.
In it, we follow up the article on Viola Richard, with more previously unknown facts. There’s a write-up on the Fred Karno Centenary Celebrations, and an illustrated aerial photo of the Hal Roach Studios layout.
We reveal new information of some ‘missing’ scenes from “Duck Soup,” and some rare snapshots taken during filming of “Atoll K.” We present even more rare snapshots, which Laurel had sent to a relative. Add to this our usual mix of exclusive articles and rare photographs – including two in glorious colour, and you have yet another ‘Festival Special’ to save and enjoy.
HELPMATES CONVENTION UPDATE.
We have just been in negotiations with the hotel concerning room rates for our 1st MAY 2011 Convention, and I am delighted to inform you that the rate they gave us was lower than the one we had 3 years ago. This is great news for those of you wanting to stay over for one night, or more. Once we have signed the contract, our web page will go up and you will be able to start booking your hotel rooms and buying entry tickets for the Convention itself.
Thinking of Christmas? Then I would strongly advise that, if you require presents, you order them sooner, rather than later, as it gets busy the nearer we get to the day itself. Plus, some of our items are specially made to order, such as Neil Sims Laurel & Hardy busts. Neil is busy at the moment preparing our show order, so we will have a nice selection of his busts on our stall at the NEC.
More News when it comes
OCTOBER 18th 2010 - FIXER UPPERS BUSTS / HELPMATES CONVENTION
Neil Sims has done it again, he
has made a new set of busts with a Winter theme. I was very pleased
when I opened his email with an image of the new set of the NEW FIXER
UPPERS BUSTS. I must admit that I was VERY IMPRESSED when I saw them, again
Neil has captured their likenesses perfectly.
Why not take a look: FIXER UPPERS BUSTS.
Holiday Inn Hotel, Chatham,
Sunday 1st May 2011
We are pleased to announce that the next 'Laurel & Hardy Helpmates Convention' will be on SUNDAY 1st May 2011. As this is a Bank Holiday weekend, you will have no need to worry about getting to work on the Monday. Again, we are hosting it at the ever-popular Holiday Inn (former Crest, and Posthouse THF), next to the Chatham/Rochester Airport.
We have secured many extra function rooms, where we will be hosting a diversity of entertainment and attractions, completely private from any other hotel guests. There will be two Film Rooms running concurrently, from midday - till late, screening Laurel & Hardy films on the Big Screen. The films will be interspersed by talks and rare material from some of our regular Helpmates' Laurel & Hardy experts. A.J MARRIOT, DAVE WYATT, TREVOR DORMAN, and THE LAUREL & HARDY ARCHIVE, will all be doing presentations.
At our events, you can choose how you spend your time. Some people like to chat at the bar, or socialise in one of the lounge areas; while others pick and choose which Laurel & Hardy films or presentations to watch in our two screening rooms.
And for the very many of you who love to collect Laurel & Hardy Memorabilia, our well-stocked Sales Room will be open all day with enough goodies to satisfy everyone from the smallest, to the biggest, collectors.
If you are the shy type, don't worry as YOU do what YOU want to do. You can stay on your own and go where you like, or there will be "Helpmates' Hosts" on hand to introduce you to other members, if you so wish.
The Hotel will also offer special Reduced Rates on rooms, for those of you who wish to stay overnight. For those of you who want to make a weekend break of it, there is lots to see in and around the MEDWAY area, including DICKENS WORLD indoor theme park.
This event will be open to ALL 'Laurel and Hardy' buffs. i.e. you do not have to be a member of the Helpmates to attend.
We will issue an on-line booking page nearer the time, and in our December Laurel & Hardy Special. Keep watching this space!!
OCTOBER 5th 2010 - SIR NORMAN WISDOM RIP
The legendary, and well-loved, British comedian Norman Wisdom passed away yesterday (October 4th) evening at a nursing home, on the Isle of Man. Norman, who retired from acting in 2004, became Britain's favourite screen-comic in the 1950s, starting with the film "Trouble In Store," followed by others where the little man fails to fit in, such as: "The Bulldog Breed," "A Square Peg," "On the Beat," and "A Stitch In Time." His last acting role was in the TV series "Last of the Summer Wine." He was also a theatre act, and played scores of Summer Seasons, and Pantomimes, which carried on long after his film career.
He was 95. There will be a full tribute in our next magazine. Meanwhile, go to this link for a special article on "Norman Wisdom Meets Laurel & Hardy." - http://www.laurelandhardythebritishtours.com/saysir.html
SEPTEMBER 29th 2010 - LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE MAILED TODAY/ WHERE WAS STAN BORN?
Tourism bosses made a 'fine mess' by printing 50,000 copies of a brochure claiming comedian Stan Laurel was born in their county.
County Durham tourism office claimed he was born in Bishop Auckland when in fact he was born in Ulverston, Cumbria. Bosses have now apologised for the blunder but said they cannot correct the mistake on the leaflet and map because of funding restrictions. The leaflet says: "Bet you didn't know that Bishop Auckland was the birthplace of Arthur Stanley Jefferson, better known as Stan Laurel."
I must admit that I did not know anything about the mishap until BBC Radio Kent rang me up this afternoon for a live interview. They had people ringing their station saying that Stan was born in London and other locations, so they wanted me to confirm it was indeed Ulverston. The sad thing is that the error is going to stay in the brochures until next time they are reprinted...DOHHHHH!!
MAGAZINES IN THE MAIL.
The September issue of the Laurel & Hardy Magazine has been mailed out today to all paid up subscribers. In Who Where What When we present a mystery photo of Roach beauty Viola Richard. This ties in well with a great biography on Viola, written by American Helpmate BRad Farrell. Another American Son, has written an informative article on the history of the hats Laurel and Hardy wore in their films.
On the home front we have a tribute to the late- Ray Alan, and one to Laurels English nephew, Huntley Jefferson Woods. Anthony Waite switches from covering Laurel & Hardy in Cartoons to an appeal for The Boys in adverts. Add to this our usual mix of Letters; rare stills, and merchandise, and you have yet another pure Laurel & Hardy-packed issue.
If you are a new member, or you wish to bring your subscriptions up-to-date, follow the links below:
SEPTEMBER 13th 2010 - NEXT MEMORABILIA SHOW.
NOVEMBER MEMORABILIA SHOW
I can now confirm we will be attending the November Memorabilia Show at the NEC Birmingham, it will be held on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st. Last year we had quite a few members travel from all over the UK, so we do hope you can make it. Some members even book into a hotel and make a full weekend of it, there are plenty of hotels next door to the NEC complex.
SEPTEMBER 9th 2010 - "Laurel and Hardy" By Tom McGrath - American Premiere
"Laurel and Hardy" By Tom McGrath - American
Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA, September 24 - November 14, 2010
Starring Gerard Neugent and Bill Theisen, Directed by Laura Gordon, Music Direction by Paul Helm
This witty and moving play pays a loving homage to the world's best-known comedy double-act as they reunite for a look back on their roller-coaster career. Chock-full of the duo's slapstick humour, as well as their world-famous routines and well-loved songs - including "Shine on Harvest Moon," "At the Ball, That's All" and "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine," LAUREL AND HARDY skilfully reveals the men behind the laughs, as well as the events that shaped their rise to Hollywood stardom. A treat for the whole family!
For more information, visit www.milwaukeerep.com.
2010 - HUNTLEY
JEFFERSON WOODS R.I.P.
AUGUST 22nd 2010 - HUNTLEY JEFFERSON WOODS R.I.P.
It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Stan's Laurel nephew, Huntley Jefferson Woods. Huntley was a lovely, gentle man, and a talented musician. He lost his battle for life on Friday 20th August, having just reached his 88th Birthday. A full tribute will be in the next Laurel & Hardy Magazine.
AUGUST 14th 2010 - BONNIE SCOTLAND ON DVD IN THE UK
I have lost count how many times I have been asked when Bonnie Scotland will be officially released over here in the UK. It has been available in the USA for some time where it has a lot of desirable extras plus the feature Fra Diavolo. However, 'Bonnie Scotland' (on its own) has just been released by ORBIT MEDIA as an HMV EXCLUSIVE release. You can get it post free direct from their web site for £5.99 or from their stores. It will be on General release in November, as amazon.co.uk are taking advance orders. 'Hollywood Party' will be released via ORBIT/HMV in December.
Lets hope 'AIR RAID WARDENS' and 'NOTHING BUT TROUBLE' are released in the future.
Click here for a few more selected UK Laurel and Hardy DVDS.
JULY 27th 2010 - JIGSAW PUZZLES / LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE BACK ISSUES
As you can imagine, over the years we have produced many quality Laurel
& Hardy Magazines. Back
issues are often sought after, especially the older issues.
I have now updated and made another
BACK ISSUES web page, so now all available issues are on
LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE BACK ISSUES # 1 RECENT: LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE BACK ISSUES # 2
JULY 9th 2010 LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE -MAILED TODAY
We are pleased to inform you that the next Laurel & Hardy Magazine (Vol.8 No.3) has been mailed to all subscribers worldwide today.
Its an A5 issue, but youll be pleasantly surprised at the number and quality of photos in it.
JULY 5th 2010-LAUREL & HARDY FLASH DANCE
JUNE 26th 2010 - RICHARD ELLIS SNR R.I.P. - FRED KARNO
FRED KARNO - CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
In September 2010, biographer A.J Marriot is hosting an event to commemorate the Centenary of the 1910 Karno Company which sailed to America to play in Vaudeville. In the company were Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel, but the celebrations will acknowledge all 15 Karno members.
Click on this link to discover
if you may qualify for a personal invite.
Richard Ellis Snr. - R.I.P.
We have just heard the very sad news from Richard Ellis Jnr. that his father Richard Ellis Snr. Had passed away, aged 92.
Both Richards have been very loyal and strong supporters of the Helpmates. For many years they supplied and ran all the films and projection equipment at our events. This involved getting there the night before, and spending many hours setting up their equipment. And on the day itself, they would spend the whole time running the films, with never a thought for themselves.
We will certainly miss seeing Richard Snr., who never passed one comment of complaint, nor ever asked for one of praise. He is certainly deserving of our praise and thanks for the pleasure he gave to all the many Laurel & Hardy fans who attended these Conventions.
Our thoughts are with Richard Jnr. at this time.
JUNE 18th 2010 - DOROTHY DEBORBA R.I.P. STANNIES BIRTHDAY
Apologies if you thought wed missed out two recent events: the sad passing of Our Gang actress Dorothy Deborba, and the 120th Anniversary of Stans birth, but I have only recently returned from my holiday. Since then, A.J Marriot and I have been busy compiling the next Laurel & Hardy Magazine and so a full tribute to Dorothy will be in the mag, plus a special feature on Stans birthday.
More news will follow soon, when the magazine goes to press. Meanwhile, make sure you are up-to-date with your subs as it promises to be another cracking issue.
Thank you to all those who supported the recent Collectormania Show at Milton Keynes. It was nice to meet up and have a chat. During my holiday, which followed, we visited the TV, RADIO, and TOY MUSEUM, in Montacute, which was very interesting indeed; with its TV Memorabilia going right back to when television was still in its infancy! Display items included several original FILM FUN annuals with Laurel and Hardy on the cover. So if you are ever in the Somerset or Dorset area, then its well worth a visit. For the full address and details go to their web site.
It is that time of year to keep a lookout for Laurel and Hardy items tucked away in seaside shops. I saw some nice, but BIG, busts and figures in a shop in SWANAGE, Dorset. It is getting harder to find collectables on The Boys - this is why we have our CATALOGUE, where items that would be spread out in all different sources, can be brought to you in one simple location.
In association with The LAUREL & HARDY ARCHIVE we have added a new club pin-badge to our badges range, which will be going out with our end of June issue to those of you who have recently renewed. However we do have a few extra badges which collectors can purchase. Go to this link: PIN BADGES
Some new metal-figures will be added in a weeks time, so do check back.
MAY 24th 2010 - RAY ALAN /COLLECTORMANIA MILTON KEYNES
Kevin Doig has just emailed me with some sad news.
Ventriloquist Ray Alan has died suddenly at the age of 79.
Ray Alan was technically a brilliant ventriloquist and was very funny indeed
He worked with Laurel and Hardy when they were touring the UK. He was so in awe that he could not bring himself to even talk to them! He was right at the bottom of the bill so, as is customary, his dressing room was right at the top of the theatre.
One day, he answered a knock at his door and when he opened it he saw that
the elderly Stan Laurel and very overweight Oliver Hardy, they had climbed
all the stairs to see him. "I'm Mr Hardy," Oliver apparently said to him,
"and this is Mr Laurel." Ray
I FULLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK: JUST CLICK BELOW:
APRIL 23rd 2010 - LAUREL & WHO? / NEWS UPDATES
Firstly, many thanks for all the kind comments sent to both A.J Marriot and myself regarding the March issue of The Laurel and Hardy Magazine. We are so pleased you enjoyed it. Between writing for the magazine, A.J is busy working away at his next epic volume on Laurel and Hardys stage tours, provisionally titled: Laurel and Hardy the World Tours. I have been privileged to see sneak previews of it, and I must say that the content is outstanding, with most of the material never before published. This book will be well worth the wait. When it comes out, we will have a special Helpmates launch, so make sure to keep your subscriptions up-to-date, then you dont miss out.
Talking of books, I have heard from Russell Babidge regarding the second instalment of his 3-part reprint of the Laurel and Hardy bible. Although the first book (THE SOUND SHORTS) was very well received, Russ still needs to sell more copies, to finance this second volume. In fact, if sales were to increase sufficiently, Russ would produce BOTH the second and third volumes - the SILENT SHORTS and the SOUND FEATURES simultaneously. So if you havent yet bought the first volume, be sure to do so right away, which will in turn assist the release of the other two.
Doctor Who producer Steven Moffat recently made the following quote about new Doctor Matt Smith:
"Both Chris [Eccleston] and David [Tennant] were quite cool Doctors, and while Matt certainly isn't short on cool, he has an amazing clumsiness. Smith brings back the Doctor's silliness at times. We find out he's a bit rubbish at flying the Tardis, and he trips over his feet and breaks things. He's halfway between Indiana Jones and Stan Laurel.
I suppose Stan would have summed it up as Matt Who??
We were saddened to hear that long-time Son of the Desert Bob Stowell passed away this month. Bob was the Grand Sheik of the Rogue Song Tent and was instrumental in the early days of the Sons. He also wrote several articles for the Laurel and Hardy Magazine, covering his search for the missing Rogue Song film.
He was thrilled to have attended a Way Out West banquet last year, and meeting up with his old friends there was something he talked about constantly.
Bob had visited Stan Laurel a number of times and corresponded with him often. When Stan died, he actually attended the funeral. Here is a nice photograph of once such meeting.
We are lucky to have two talented artists associated with the Helpmates Tent. Firstly, sculptor Neil Sims, whose current pieces include superb figures of the Boys from a CHUMP AT OXFORD. The detail in these is outstanding.
The other is Leon Garcia, who has drawn many images for us over the years, produced on all sorts of collectibles. He not only draws Laurel and Hardy, but many other film and TV and film stars as well, some of which can be found in our off-shoot FILM FUNSTERS on-line store. To see the new pages featuring the current range of Leons KITCHENALEA just follow the links below.
CHUMP AT OXFORD FIGURES / LEON'S KITCHENALEA
The UNIVERSAL 21 DVD box set has been re-released, but in different packaging. The box is now HALF the size of the original, as the DVDs are in slim-line cases and not the silver-foil blocked ones. Missing too is the booklet with notes about each film. HMV still sells them in the original LARGE BOX format, while Amazon has gone over to the smaller version.
We are pleased to inform you that next Laurel & Hardy Magazine (Vol.8 No.2) was mailed today to all subscribers worldwide.
Its an A5 issue, but youll be pleasantly surprised at the number and quality of photos in it.
In Focus on a Photo Stan and Babe make a skyscraper disappear. We follow up the surprise in Foxy Lady in the last issue, with an update of the lady in question. We introduce a new column called Cutting Comments, which features contemporary newspaper articles about the lives of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. The series on Transport has been revised, with a twist; and A.J Marriot gives Part 1 of his recent travels to the U.S. and the Caribbean.
We have more amazing finds of the Laurel & Hardy characters being used in cartoons; and in Media News we inform you of the latest merchandise on the market, and in the media. Then there are our regular Editorial columns; plus our Letters page returns. Added to all of this are some wonderful rare stills, which make this yet another issue full of amazing Features, Finds and Photos.
MARCH 17th 2010 - NEXT YEARS OFFICIAL LAUREL & HARDY CALENDAR
Your thoughts may be only of Spring, but if you want next years 2011 Laurel & Hardy Calendar we suggest that you place a pre-order NOW!! These always sell out well before December.
The theme of the 2011 Calendar is LAUREL & HARDY - The Later Years, and charts a period often overlooked in the histories of the two comedians. It is a thirteen month calendar, with rare photographs complemented by interesting and informative text by author Glenn Mitchell.
Produced in association with our Laurel & Hardy Magazine, it will be available in two versions:- the LARGE SQUARE calendar, and the SLIM version. GO HERE: 2011 CALENDAR PRE ORDER PAGE
FEBUARY 16th 2010 - TWO NEW BOOKS .
|Antony Mitchell-Waite has emailed us to
let us know about his new book, which is titled LAUREL & HARDY'S ANIMATED
ANTICS. It has been updated and improved, the book contains a full reference
guide about 'the Boys' in cartoons , it now has 160 pages.
Now available to pre-order before its release at Easter!
Price £8.99 plus £2.00 postage (UK) Europe 15 (including postage) / US $20 (including postage) Cheques and PO's payable to A. Mitchell-Waite PayPal payments to firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com
Please state if you want the book dedicating. Order via e-mail, or post from 100 Reeves Avenue, Upper Milehouse, Newcastle, Staffs, ST5 9LA.
"Otay!"The Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas Story
Just Released in Hard Back and Soft Back Versions
William Thomas, the man known as "Buckwheat," one of the most beloved characters in the history of the Our Gang and Little Rascals films, rose from obscurity to become an American icon. Billy's heritage grew to be more than the ninety-three comedies in which he appeared as Buckwheat. He was a husband, father, and soldier. Several generations have come to know Buckwheat as if he was a real person, but few knew Billy, the man behind the myth.
In "Otay!" The Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas Story, William Thomas, Jr., Billy's son, joins with acclaimed author David W. Menefee to brush back the sands of time and unearth the facts beneath the fable. For the first time, the true story is told how producer Hal Roach, Sr. plucked three-year-old Billy from hundreds of children and raised him on a pedestal before an adoring public. For a decade, Billy was the most prominent Black American in motion pictures, but World War Two brought an end to the famous comedy series and a halt to his film career. Billy went on to live a private, nearly normal life, married, fathered an adorable child, and then answered the call to arms and enlisted in the US Army during the Korean War. Years later, imposters attempted to steal his limelight, but Billy forgave the offense with his characteristic, childlike good humour.
In an era when most Black American actors were struggling to gain a foothold in Hollywood, Billy achieved a lasting legacy. Enjoy the timeless tale of a baby superstar, who once shown brightly on movie screens during Hollywood's "Golden Years" and still fascinates audiences today.
JANUARY 20th 2010 - NEIL SIMS BABES IN TOYLAND BUSTS / GERMAN MURDER CASE ON DVD
Talented sculptor Neil Sims has produced another fine set of busts, this time depicting the 'Boys' as Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee from BABES IN TOYLAND. I am sure this will be as popular as his other sets, so do order early if you would like to be one of the first to own these.
Please note for overseas members, it is a good time to buy as the POUND is now weaker against the dollar and Euro and the price of the busts have dropped!
BABES IN TOYLAND BUSTS
News from Wolfgang Gunther - Laurel & Hardy Museum Germany
Hi Laurel & Hardy friends, I have good news to tell you from Kinowelt. After a long periode of waiting at last we can get "Spuk um Mitternacht" on DVD. You remember, this is " The Laurel & Hardy Murder case" but the only talkie that has survived in the original German version. The DVD has also the German spoken trailer of "Pardon us" and an interview with Stefan Droessler from The Munich Filmmuseum. This can be ordered from the German amazon site (www.amazon.de).
NEWS FROM Greg Lenburg
I thought your readers would be interested in learning that Stan and Babe are well represented in a new e-book that puts the antics of Hollywood's greatest comedy teams in focus. It's "Classic Comedy Teams: A Screenshots Book." For more information, go to http://www.laurelandhardyscreenshots.weebly.com
DECEMBER 17th 2009- MAGAZINE MAILED TODAY / MEMORABILIA SHOW
We are pleased to inform you that our December 2009 A4 Annual Laurel & Hardy Magazine was mailed today to all subscribers worldwide.
Because of its larger size we have, as usual, concentrated less on text, and more on nice big photos. These are shown off to best vantage in Focus on a Photo - in which we feature a photograph which DOES seem to lie; in Who Where What When - where we have not one, but TWO great photos; and in a special feature on Transport - where we have a whole gallery of photos showing very rare shots of Stan and Babe.
Trevor Dorman presents his findings of the film The Rogue Song, and Michael Ehret has some exciting news about the recently discovered footage of Laurel and Hardy on stage.
And we give you the promised surprise ending to the 2-part article Dig For Victory featuring a mysterious Hollywood starlet. To round off the photos and illustrations are some sample pages from a Laurel & Hardy press-book. All-in-all its full of eye-pleasing presentations.
Stanlio e Ollio - Due teste senza cervello
Laurel & Hardy (Stanlio e Ollio) have always been very popular in Italy, where they have a huge present-day following. The Italian website www.laurel-e-hardy.it has had over 300,000 hits. There is also an Italian branch of the "Sons of the Desert" - "Noi Siamo le Colonne", Oasis #165.
And sticking with Italy: Many of you know about "Cuckoo," the 90-minute BBC documentary special, narrated by Morecambe & Wise, about "The Life and Comedy of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy." It was a first-class production, with rare clips, and interviews with people who were a part of the Boys' history. But what you probably did not know is that there was a comparable 4-hour TV special aired from RAI TV Italy around in 1985.
I remember seeing it on VHS, all in Italian, and wishing it could be in English. So you can imagine how surprised I was when a package arrived from the Italian Tent, containing two DVD's of this documentary, and a book ( in Italian) all in a nice box-set. The great news is that my wish of nearly twenty-five years ago has finally been realised, as it has been released in an English Language version (as well as Italian).
This is the first documentary of merit about Laurel & Hardy ever issued on DVD. Interviewees include Hal Roach, T. Marvin Hatley, Felix Knight, John McCabe, Richard W. Bann, and William K. Everson. Some sequences were filmed at the New York 'Sons of the Desert' meeting of 1984, which is great to see, as you can spot several of Laurel & Hardy's co-stars along with Stan's valet, the late- Jimmy Murphy. To top it all, the documentary includes extracts from Laurel & Hardy films, plus rare stills, and home-movie footage. Details:
Double-DVD box (4 hours of running time, Region ALL, PAL system).
Book: 143 pages (only Italian language) Size: 19 x 13.5 cm
It is released only in Italy, and will be available for a limited period only. However, thanks to our Italian Tent, I may be able to get some copies for our Laurel & Hardy Magazine subscribers . In fact, I am hoping some will arrive in time for Memorabilia 2009 The NEC Birmingham . If you want one, send me a self addressed stamped envelope, or EMAIL US and I will let you know if and when I get any.
OCTOBER 31st 2009- LAUREL & HARDY BOOKAZINE NOW OUT (UK ONLY)
"The Lighter Side of LAUREL & HARDY"
Released October 2009.
Although it is a potted history of Stan and Babe, from life to death, there are many diversions along the way which take us to new and interesting aspects of the Boys' careers and private lives. Topics include: The Solo Films, Shorts, Features, Forties, and Foreign releases - which ends with a very useful Filmography. Then comes some fantastic Gallery pages showing candid shots, deleted scenes, off-camera shots, and gag-shots.
Refreshingly, there are also some excellent feature articles, covering the UK, US, and European stage tours; plus a section on "Collecting Laurel & Hardy Memorabilia." In the later pages we get more photo-galleries of Stan and Babe at play; with their wives; and in their twilight years. And to round it all off there are four great double-page reprints from 1930 film magazines.
Throughout, the text is punctuated with new information, and side comments, as are the captions, which one must take the time to fully read.
"The Lighter Side of LAUREL & HARDY" is richly laced with almost 300 photos and illustrations, - many of them previously unseen, and all accompanied by informative and often amusing captions. It is a perfect introduction to anyone not too familiar with Laurel & Hardy in print, whilst still containing more than enough new material to satisfy even the most ardent buff.
PLEASE NOTE: The only way to obtain a copy is direct from a W H Smith store at this point in time. Or if you are a PAID UP subscriber of our magazine. Our members have been informed on how to obtain a copy.
I can now confirm that we are booked for MEMORABILIA at the NEC Birmingham on November 21st and 22nd.
SEPTEMBER 27th 2009- WIKIPEDIA / NEW ITEMS
I thought I would notify you of a disturbing find, concerning the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, which is that anybody can edit it, and put in whatever they wish to. Thats fine if our experts supply the information, but its downright annoying when idiots get in there and start writing rubbish.
When I looked the other day, some plonker had made up a whole paragraph perpetuating the silly myth that Clint Eastwood is Stan Laurels son. I quickly removed it. But, the overall worry is How many more idiots have tampered with this site as, when you search for Laurel & Hardy on Google, Wikipedia comes up in the top three searches. So do keep an eye on it, in case of any further sabotage. To find out where this myth originated, go to our STAN/EASTWOOD page.
We have added several new pages to our 'LAUREL & HARDY CATALOGUE' . First is a range of GLASSWARE from Leon Garcia plus a new page of posters from PERRYS POSTERS . From 'GOOD SOLDIERS' we have some nice metal figures added to COLLECTIBLES page.
At the Glasgow show we launched a SPECIAL variation of Neil Sims busts, it was 'the Boys' as depicted in the 'FLYING DEUCES'. As several of you asked me if you could get hold of these, we have decided to release them for a limited time so that you can add them to your collections: FLYING DEUCES BUSTS
I must draw your attention to the SLIM Appointment Calendar VERSION (ideal for your kitchen), the cover has been changed to be different from the SQUARE version. I have the SLIM VERSIONS in stock ready to go.
AUGUST 21st 2009- FAKE AUTOGRAPHS
FAKE Laurel and Hardy autographs have started to surface again on ebay. There is one that is definitely a fake; several us emailed the seller who refused to take it down, ironically it is on a nice rare press still. It's an old trick of forgers to buy old original press stills, then fake autographs on it. They then say it has passed an age test (rubbish of course). So be weary of this one as it may still be doing the rounds, and don't be fooled just because it may be an image you have not seen before. Remember with autographs its BUYER BEWARE. Go Here for our AUTOGRAPH GUIDE.
JULY 4th 2009- LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE MAILED TODAY - DVD NEWS
I have just had this news from Vic Pratt, who is a member of the Helpmates tent and is also the curator at the BFI (BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE).
"I wanted to let you know about a new DVD that we're releasing at the beginning of August. It features two very rare early Peter Sellers / Goon films, PENNY POINTS TO PARADISE and LET'S GO CRAZY, in new BFI restorations (funded by a very generous benefactor, Sellers aficionado Laura Camuti). I think these may well be of interest to Sons of the Desert in their own right (Dave Wyatt and Tony Saffrey both kindly lent us material for the restoration), but I wanted to make sure you knew about the "bonus extra" on the disc, which is particularly relevant to fans of The Boys, THE SLAPPIEST DAYS OF OUR LIVES. This odd film is a compilation of clips from silent comedies, featuring Stan, Babe and Fin in early solo appearances, with a new voiceover by Peter Sellers - who does a very convincing Stan Laurel impression (in fact, he adopts the persona of Stan for much of the film). It's not a masterpiece by any means but this forgotten film will surely interest all Sons."
IT ON THE WAY- MAGAZINE MAILED TODAY!
Our latest A5 colour Laurel & Hardy Magazine ( VOL. 7 No 12 ) was mailed today to all subscribers worldwide. Again, we have come up with some rare and exciting finds, all professionally presented - with great text and features.
In Meet the Boys we feature candid shots of Stan and Babe with one of the most popular stars in Hollywood history; and in Trains and Boats and Planes we have Part 2 of Boats - wherein Laurel and Hardy meet three Queens of England.
Then theres Part 1 of Laurel & Hardy in Cartoons, and, for What, Where, When, we have not one, not two, but THREE mystery photographs showing Stan and Babe visiting what appear to be printworks.
Theres a report of the statue unveiling in Ulverston; and a fishy tale regarding two that didnt get away. All this, plus Fraternally Yours and Tell me That Again. Theres also an invite to come on a Caribbean Cruise, and retrace Stan and Babes Flying Showboat tour of the 1940s.
JUNE 16th 2009- STANS BIRTHDAY UPDATE / NEW PIN /BOOK NEWS
We have started sending the next issue of the 'Laurel & Hardy Magazine' to our printers, again we have had some very interesting contributions from members . And our own A J Marriot has been beavering away producing some more interesting features that not only bring you rare photographs, but the stories behind the them. As regular members know, we produce four different club membership pin/badges each year that are sent our to members who renew each quarter. When we produce a pin/badge we run ONLY 50 over the top for our collectors, once they are gone we never run them again. For our end of June issue we have produced a nice SWISS MISS POSTER metal pin/badge, the good news is that they have arrived early, so you can order one one right now from our TANKARDS PAGE (scroll down for the pin). I should say that on our regular BADGES PAGE some of the pins are now down as low as just 4 each left, so again I would say get them while you still can.
I have been asked many times for LARGE A4 binders to store your special 'Laurel & Hardy Magazines' in. The good news is that we will be offering these for the very first time. Each binder will store 12 of our Large A4 size magazines to form a book. The binders have the SONS LOGO on the front and Laurel and Hardy on the spine blocked in gold foil. Go to this NEW page for the BINDERS (both A5 and A4 )and other new items: BINDERS PAGE
For those of you wondering about the next "SILENT SHORTS" book, here is a message from Russell Babidge who runs the laurelandhardyarchive.com
Firstly, many thanks for all the emails and messages regarding our "SOUND SHORTS" hardback. I am pleased that everybody who wrote in liked it. Also, many thanks for the various suggestions to improve the final two editions. I have taken these comments on board and they will add even more to the next two books.
The "SILENT SHORTS" was meant to be released during June, however, this has now been put back because of David Wyatt's indisposition. Dave was going to help with many parts of the 'Silents' book, and I was reluctant to go ahead without his input, so I would rather hang on until he is up to it. I am so pleased that Dave is now out of hospital and I wish him well. I will of course keep you all posted as to when the next edition will be released.
There will be many changes from the original Laurel & Hardy 'Bible' - including the availability of all the stills from "Bacon Grabbers" and "Flying Elephants" - and many other rare images from the early silent films. The latter have been taken from the original Hal Roach existing files and the collection of Peter Mikkelsen of Denmark. And from Dave Wyatt's collection, will be images from "Now I'll Tell One." These will make for a very exciting update to the original 'Bible,' along with all the 'Behind the Scenes' and additional information updated and unavailable at the time of printing of the 1975 version.
MAY 12th 2009- MAGAZINE BINDERS
I have lost count how many times I have been asked for these binders to store your magazines in. Well, the good news is that we can now offer them again. Each binder will store 12 of our SMALL A5 size magazines to form a book. The binders have the SONS LOGO on the front and Laurel and Hardy on the spine blocked in gold foil. Leon Garcia has come up with another nice little display item, this time for your car, so go to this NEW page for the BINDERS and new items: BINDERS PAGE
APRIL 20th 2009- LAUREL & HARDY UNVEILED!
The big day finally came yesterday when the Laurel and Hardy statue was unveiled in Ulverston by Ken Dodd.
Hundreds of people attended the unveiling, including members of The Sons of the Desert fan club who helped raise funds for the sculptures. A special tip of the FEZ should go to Eric Woods who coordinated and looked after the mammoth fund raising task.
Ken Dodd said he was "tickled" to be chosen to unveil the memorial.
"Laurel and Hardy made the world laugh. They were the kings of comedy," he said.
The unveiling kick started media interest for 'the Boys' as I was asked to be on BBC Radio Kent this morning. I thought I was going to be interviewed over the phone, so imagine my surprise when their radio car turned up outside my home and a 30ft mast shot up from the roof. Then I realised it was a live interview, but I am pleased to say it went off well.
Now click below and watch the unveiling for yourself:
PHOTOS OF THE DAY TAKEN BY STEPHEN NEALE : STEPHENS GALLERY
APRIL 4th 2009- NEXT LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE MAILED TODAY
Vol.7 Number 11 of our printed 'Laurel and Hardy Magazine' has just been mailed to all subscribers today . Hopefully UK member / subscribers should get theirs early next week, overseas subscribers allow 10 days from now.
After our 30th Anniversary Special in December, we have a lot to follow but, again, we have come up with some rare and exciting finds, all presented nicely with great text and features.
We start with Fraternally Yours which gives feedback on comments you sent in about your memories over the last 30 years. For Focus on a Photo we have an extremely rare shot of Laurel and Hardy awaiting a celestial happening! What you might call Hollywood Stars looking at Heavenly Stars. In Who, What, Where, When we solve the mystery of a set of photographs which we featured fourteen years ago, but which no-one was able to identify until now.
In Tell Me That Again are details of how you can help with a new research project being done on Laurel and Hardys U.S. and European Tours; and we have Part 2 in our series of articles, based around the theme of Stan and Babes usage of Trains and Boats, and Planes this one being Boats.
Auction Watch catches up with numerous items of Laurel and Hardy memorabilia, which have been sold recently, and also gives a stern warning about buying at auction. Then we have features sent in by two of our overseas members. One covers Laurel and Hardys 1947 appearances in Sweden; and the other details an amazing new discovery of some 1940 colour footage of Laurel & Hardy performing on stage. We also have a brand new feature titled: Meet the Boys in which we show rare photos of Stan and Ollie meeting other Hollywood Stars.
JANUARY 20th 2009- COPIES OF LAUREL & HARDY AUTOGRAPHS SOLD AS THE REAL THING!
Our Sherlock Holmes of FAKE 'Laurel and Hardy' autographs, Dave Tomlinson, brings you this scam for you to be aware of.
Preprints being sold as Genuine Autographs
Preprints are essentially photographed copies of an original signed photograph, in the last year, we have noticed a marked rise in the number of preprinted autographs being sold as genuine on a certain internet (ebay) auction site. In most cases, we have been able to contact and correct the sellers and avoid a purchase from being made. However, there still remains a criminal element who knowingly sell preprints as 100% genuine (or at least in a shroud of uncertainty) after they have been tipped them off with all the evidence. Most preprints sold in this way are presented in some form of picture frame and under glass. This prevents a buyer from performing checks to see if the autographs are on the surface or preprinted in the surface of the photographic emulsion - a check which can be done under a strong light.
However, recently we have seen a rogue trader con a buyer out of £270 for what is a common "Double Derbie pose" preprint without a frame. In "delayed response" communications with the seller he argued that there were indentations in the emulsion that proved it was genuine. However, faced with a mountain of evidence against him, he continued to sell to a buyer who I could not tip off due to the internet auction site`s policy to keep buyers anonymous. The photo appears relatively modern and the autographs are not as fine as other copies I`ve seen - I suspect that the seller has traced the autographs with a dummy pen or may have used a little fountain pen ink to give some form of credibility. This particular preprint has been circulating for many years, it has appeared in various sizes up to 14x10 inches, in grey or sepia tone usually presented in a cheap wooden picture frame. The LHS edge may be cropped to remove the "Sam" inscription. Most are sold for what they are, - preprinted photos of the Boys . However, sadly I`ve now seen quite a few of these sold in more expensive frames as genuine. Please buyer be aware of this common type of preprint, preprints in general and autograph purchases under glass.
At a future date we`ll put together a gallery of preprints which have been mistaken for genuine.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL
Firstly, may we wish you all: "A Very Happy 2009" and a special "Thank You" to all those members who sent in cards and festive greetings. As we had to concentrate on getting our 30th Anniversary Special issue out in time for Christmas, we weren't able to mail out individual cards, so had to send our greetings within the magazine.
Many thanks, too, to all of you who took the time to write in to say how much you enjoyed the 'Festive Special' magazine. Many members commented how much they enjoyed the features, and especially the discovery about Stan and Ollie's connection to 'The Beatles.' (If you are saying: "What discovery?" then you need to pay your subs quickly, and pick up a copy). And our "Look Back over 30 years" seems to have brought back many happy memories for our long-standing members.
The publication of the new 'SOUNDS SHORTS' book has now been put back to mid-January, as they need to correct a fault in the binding process. I have seen the finished book and it will be worth the extra wait.
As yet, we have not decided what Memorabilia Shows we will attend during 2009, if any, but will let you know if we do.
NOVEMBER 7th- STANS STATUE DEFACED
Yobs deface Stan Laurel statue Published Date: 07 November 2008
THE SOUTH SHIELDS GAZETTE REPORTS:
THERE was nothing fine about the mess caused by vandals during an attack on a statue of Stan Laurel.
The bronze figure, created by South Shields artist Bob Olley was unveiled in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, just 10 weeks ago. Now vandals have daubed the tribute to the comic genius with a graffiti moustache and obscenities.
The £37,000 statue stands on the corner of Theatre Corner, where Stan's father Arthur Jefferson ran the Eden Theatre a century ago.
Tony Hillman, a grand sheik of the Laurel and Hardy Appreciation Society, said he failed to find anything funny about the attack. He said: "I think it is absolutely disgraceful that such a well-loved character has been targeted, especially after the trouble and expense that the council has gone to."
A spokesman for Wear Valley District Council said the statue was cleaned as soon as the vandalism was reported.
OCTOBER 28th- WILD POSES ON DVD(in USA)/SITE CHANGES
Just to let you all know that our very first original web site hosted on AOL (http://members.aol.com/oxford0614/) will close on October 31st. This is because AOL will close all sites listed on its free web space, it will also affect many sites around the world. Our early site served us well over the years and still gets many hits. I have fond memories of making my first ever web site and extending it over the years.
However, THE GOOD NEWS IS. ... that our site has been running on its own domain (HERE) now for well over a year and all the content from our original AOL site has all finally been moved over and a whole lot more added.
So please make sure that you have http://www.laurelandhardy.org bookmarked as your main entry page from now on. OH, if any of you have blogs, web sites or FACEBOOK, then feel free to add our link.
As Christmas is approaching fast, now is a good time to remind you it's a good idea to order anything from our ONLINE STORE now. Many items have been added; so do take the time to have a look.
Go here for all your Laurel and Hardy Collectables
VISIT: The ALL NEW 'Laurel and Hardy Catalogue'
NEW MEN O WAR BUSTS
As you all know Neil Sims busts are very popular indeed amongst members and collectors. I am often asked my members when is the next set coming out...and what will it be.
This is a special set of the 'Boys' in sailor suits from 'Men O War.' But this time Neil is also offering a special variation of them in blue sailor suits from 'Two Tars', with a discount if you buy both sets. Be first to order just GO HERE: MEN O WAR BUSTS
SEPTEMBER 12th- SALES UPDATE
Keep an eye on our site as next week Neil Sims will launch his NEW set of 'Laurel & Hardy' Busts...so watch this space. In the meantime we have added another sales page to our online catalogue with many new items and our NEW club badge. NOTE: those members who renewed with the last magazine will be getting this badges inside our next magazine.
GO HERE: NEW SALES PAGE or FULL CATALOGUE
Just a reminder that we have BOTH versions of the OFFICIAL LAUREL & HARDY CALENDARS IN STOCK
AUGUST 18th- BEWARE FAKE AUTOGRAPHS ON EBAY / COLLECTORMANIA
As we promised, Dave Tomlinson has now finished his report into the recent spate of FAKE 'Laurel and Hardy Autographs' on ebay. It makes a very interesting read, and proves you can not trust images that you see on ebay. For the full illustrated story, just go here: FAKES ON EBAY
AUGUST 8th- STAN & OLLIDAY REPORT ONLINE
Just to let you know that 'AJ' Marriot's splendid BRITISH TOURS SITE now has photographs and a write up covering his STAN & OLLIDAY weekend. Why not take a look to see what you missed? Go to this page, to see the photos and then scroll down for Howard Parker's write up: STAN & OLLIDAY
BEWARE OF FAKE LAUREL & HARDY AUTOGRAPHS ON EBAY
If there is one subject that really winds me up, it is the selling of FAKE Laurel and Hardy autographs on ebay. It had been fairly quiet for a while on ebay after the news got out of a successful prosecution for selling a fake Stan Laurel autograph by trading standards officers. The seller was fully investigated and they found many more forgeries, it made quite a lot of newspapers.
RED ALERT. Our 'expert ' has been finding quite a few fake 'Laurel and Hardy Autographs' on ebay and several people have been stung already. This new scam is related to fake autographs on autograph book pages, many with copied vignette stickers.
We will reveal the story soon on all 'Laurel and Hardy News outlets', so in the meantime play safe, and visit our guide page. BUT...some of these are CLEVER (well not that clever as they were spotted ) fakes, so personally I would not take a chance.
Nothing gets round 'our experts' detective work and he knows who the prime forger is. All I can say is they are risking TRADING STANDARDS officers knocking on their door. We will not let up our crusade against fakes; so do visit our guide page to help you:
VISIT OUR: BUYER BEWARE PAGE
A full report on this new scam will appear once Dave has completed his investigations.
I have just put up a new page on our 'Laurel and Hardy' Catalogue, this is for our range of JUMBO CLEAR FRIDGE MAGNETS, these are very popular on our sales stall where we have about 50 different L&H. But to get started I have put a page up, more selections will follow if they prove popular. GO HERE: FRIDGE MAGNETS
I have just heard from SLOW DAZZLE to tell me that the LARGE version of our 'Laurel and Hardy Calendar' are almost ready, so I have placed the order and they will be delivered direct from the printers to me BEFORE anybody else has them. It's not to late to place your order:
THE OFFICIAL LAUREL & HARDY CALENDARS
JULY 14th- LAUREL & HARDY CALENDAR - SLIM VERSION
After doing a small test run last year of a SLIM version 'Laurel and Hardy Calendar', Slow Dazzle will be doing the same this year, but this time we can offer it in advance, thus making sure you can get a copy. Of course we will still offer the larger ORIGINAL version. But why not get a slim line version for your office or kitchen, I know most die hard collectors would want both. Just go here: OFFICIAL LAUREL & HARDY CALENDARS
JULY 4th- LAUREL & HARDY ENCYCLOPEDIA / LARRY HARMON
Great news, Glenn Mitchell's Laurel & Hardy Encyclopedia has now been published -Now revised and updated. As promised our stock has been sent direct from the printers -HOT OFF THE PRESS.
I will send out all those who have pre-ordered on Monday. My first impressions when I opened the box was , hey, a new cover design and a more easier to handle size. But overall, a very impressive book.
Ranging from Academy Awards to Zoos by way of Another Fine Mess, Hats Off and ties, The Laurel & Hardy Encyclopedia is the one and only complete reference guide to cinema's greatest comedy partnership. Now re-issued in a more accessible format, the book includes:
* synopses and critiques of all the Laurel & Hardy films * comprehensive biographical information * influences - from Valentino to music hall * details of the duo's solo film careers * stage, radio and television appearances * co-stars, directors and gag men behind the partnership * stills and promotional artwork
With over 600 entries, The Laurel & Hardy Encyclopedia provides both the opportunity for endless browsing and the chance to discover a new slant on cinema's best-loved comedy duo.
Glenn Mitchell has been a loyal member since the early days of 'HELPMATES UK' . Now he is a renowned author and historian of silent cinema and the early talkies, and a popular comedy scriptwriter for both radio and television. NOW IN STOCK
GO HERE TO ORDER : Laurel & Hardy Books
LOS ANGELES - Larry Harmon, who was known to ' Sons' for owning the 'character' rights to 'Laurel and Hardy' , died Thursday of congestive heart failure. He was 83 and was best known for being BOZO THE CLOWN, for the full story go here: LARRY HARMON
JULY 3rd - LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE MAILED TODAY
I was recently asked if I could get some more copies of the popular 'AVALON BOYS' CD. The good news is that I have got hold of just EIGHT more copies, I feel once these are gone, that's it! So if you want one, go to our AUDIO PAGE.
Vol.7 Number 9 of our printed 'Laurel and Hardy Magazine' has just been mailed to all subscribers . Hopefully UK member / subscribers should get theirs around Saturday / Monday, overseas subscribers allow 10 days from now.
"A.J" Marriot and I have received a larger than usual content of material about Sons, written by Sons, but have managed to balance this with some extremely rare items from the "World of Laurel and Hardy."
In the last issue we had some previously unseen early photographs of Babe Hardy. This time around it's Laurel's turn, with two publicity photos from his pre-Hardy films made by Joe Rock. In 'Focus on a Photo" we reveal the details behind a photo taken during one of Stan and Babe's European Tours; and in Auction Watch we reveal some amazing items of memorabilia that recently went up for sale.
Our main feature is a report and photos from the tremendously successful May Bank "Stan & Olliday" at Butlins Skegness. We also have a short review on the play about Stan Laurel, titled 'Please Stand Up,' and news of yet another statue of Laurel and Hardy about to be erected. Then there is Part 2 of 'Laurel & Hardy in Cartoons'; plus our regular items 'Fraternally Yours,' Media News, and 'Readers' Letters.'
I have been giving our 'Laurel and Hardy Catalogue' a clean up and deleting some pages but adding others, so why not take another spin round. The cover of next years 'Laurel and Hardy Calendar' has been slightly modified, we are pleased to present the final passed and approved version on our order page.
APRIL 19th - The Laurel & Hardy Museum- On the move!
The original Laurel and Hardy museum in Cumbria, which commemorates the world's most famous comedy double acts, is to be expanded. The Laurel and Hardy Museum, in Stan Laurel's home town of Ulverston, has been granted planning permission to move to larger premises. The decision by South Lakeland Council was welcomed by museum manager, Bill Cubin's daughter Marion Grave as "an exciting opportunity". Items of Memorabilia will now be moved to a disused warehouse at Heron Glass, near to Booths supermarket.
Marion said: "We want to create a environment which is easy for the public to enjoy" . Until the decision to relocate was granted the museum had limited space and struggled to cope with visitor numbers. She added: "We will now be able to accommodate coach loads as well as individual visitors"
As you all know Stan Laurel was born in a three-bedroom terrace in the town's Argyle Street which is still there today.
If you plan to visit Ulverston, you will find these two pages helpful: PLACES TO VISIT and ULVERSTON by Kevin Doig.
APRIL 5th - LAUREL & HARDY NEWS UPDATE
Peter Mikkelsen has compiled a list of foreign titles for the missing 'Laurel and Hardy' films, these may help everybody with their research in trying to locate them; MISSING FILMS
Well, a week has gone by already since last weekends Memorabilia show at the NEC Birmingham. I would like to say a special to all those who made the effort to come along and enjoy the show. Ace Laurel and Hardy look-a-likes Gary (STAN) Slade and Rob (OLLIE) Graham were there both days entertaining the crowds and were very popular indeed. In fact they have put up a gallery on their site: LOOKALIKES and MAGIC., then click on the videos and photos page.
I have been busy adjusting our sales pages of our site, I do have just a few copies of HARRY HOPPE'S superb 'LIFE & MAGIC' book in stock, in fact if you look on amazon, they want £73 for a second hand soft cover copy, we are offing brand new hardbacks for £24 BUT, I do only have 10 left. Go to our BOOKS PAGE.
Our Laurel and Hardy Magazine Back issues page has also been updated.
I have also added a nice James Finlayson mug to our 'FIN PAGE'.
Since I put the catalogue up exchange rates have changed, the Euro has become stronger, whilst the Dollar is weaker against the pound. So I will be going through our whole site making price adjustments.
How many of you saw a copy of HATS OFF listed on ebay on yes, APRIL 1st. Even though the date would put most people on high alert it is being investigated by members just in case but I doubt it.
Many thanks for all the compliments we have received for our recent issue, the speed of the subscription renewals coming in also reinforces how much you enjoy reading our printed magazine.
MARCH 20th- MARCH LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE MAILED TODAY
Vol.7 Number 8 of our printed 'Laurel and Hardy Magazine' has just been mailed to all subscribers a few days ahead of schedule! Hopefully UK member/subscribers should get theirs around Tues./Weds.(due to the Easter break) , overseas subscribers allow 10 days from now.
A.J Marriot and I have brought it out earlier than scheduled, so that we could incorporate news of two time-sensitive events: The Birmingham NEC Memorabilia Film Fair, and the Stan & Olliday at Butlins Skegness. Further details of both events are in the magazine, and also on this website.
STOP PRESS: I can now confirm that ace Laurel and Hardy look-a-likes Stan (Slade) and Rob (Ollie) Graham will be attending both days at The Birmingham NEC Memorabilia Film Fair.
Among the attractions in the March magazine are:- a look at the current fate of one of the locations for the film The Flying Deuces; a huge feature on Laurel & Hardy in Cartoons; a review of the Tom McGrath play Laurel and Hardy; news of some newly-found found footage from Our Relations; a report on the tribute to Ronnie Hazlehurst; our photo features Focus on a Photo and Where, What, When? plus some extremely rare and early shots of Babe Hardy - relaxing at a beach house. All this plus our regular items Fraternally Yours and Readers Letters.
MARCH 5th- LAUREL AND HARDY PLAY by Tom McGrath Review.
As many of you know if you read our LATEST NEWS page, this play is now touring the South East of England. I had heard from member Nick Rich how good it was, in fact I have seen it twice over the years. Loyal member Adrian Scott enjoyed it so much that he sent in this review, as it was too late to go in our next magazine (which is at the printers right now), we have turned it into a web page for you all to read: LAUREL AND HARDY PLAY by Tom McGrath
FEBRUARY 25th- OFFICIAL 2009 CALENDAR / MARCH MEMORABILIA SHOW / MAGAZINE
I am pleased to be able to exclusively reveal next years 2009 Laurel & Hardy Calendar cover, plus to avoid disappointment we are taking ADVANCE ORDERS now. 2009 CALENDAR
GOOD NEWS. I am pleased to confirm that we will definitely be attending the BIG NEC MEMORABILIA SHOW at the NEC BIRMINGHAM on Saturday March 29th and Sunday March 30th. This is a show not to be missed, it was great fun at the November show, especially when Ace Laurel and Hardy look-a-likes Stan (Slade) and Rob(Ollie) Graham turned up, they were a BIG hit. They also hope to attend this March show. You can get plenty of bargains, for instance, I am collecting the Gerry Anderson diecasts, these sell at around £39 in the shops and I got them from £15 to £20 at the last show. So its worth coming not just for our 'Laurel and Hardy' sales stall..but for everything else as well. See what you missed last time: SHOW GALLERY.
We have already started send material to our printers for the NEXT issue of our printed 'Laurel and Hardy Magazine' (VOL 7 No. 8) . It still amazes us that we find even more rare photographs, but in this issue we guarantee we will have rare photographs that you have not seen before!!
FEBRUARY 19th- A TRIBUTE TO RONNIE HAZLEHURST
Last week Del Kempster, Chris Coffey and myself were invited to the BBC for a tribute to our honorary member Ronnie Hazlehurst. Del Kempster has written a full report about the show along with his own fitting tribute to Ronnie .
GO HERE: RONNIE HAZLEHURST TRIBUTE
FEBRUARY 16th- Laurel and Hardy A CHUMP AT OXFORD BUSTS
Talented sculptor Neil Sims has produced another fine set of busts, this time depicting the 'Boys' in their CHUMP AT OXFORD garb. I am sure this will be as popular as his other sets, so do order early if you would like to be one of the first to own these.
THE CHUMP AT OXFORD SET
I have been busy adjusting odd pages on our site, plus I have deleted some of the sales items and replaced them with new collectibles.
I am pleased to say that we can now offer some very nice watches from the 'Laurel & Hardy Museum' in Germany.
GO DIRECT TO THE PAGE: Laurel & Hardy Watches
FEBRUARY 8th- Laurel and Hardy WHATS ON / FAKE AUTOGRAPHS / OLLIDAY
LAUREL AND HARDY PLAY by Tom McGrath is touring the SOUTH EAST of England.
Tom McGraths acclaimed play Laurel and Hardy captures the very essence of their unique relationship: although we all recognise their film personas - the assured and pompous Ollie with his hapless sidekick, Stan - paradoxically their roles were often reversed in real life.
In McGrath's play, Stan and Ollie - stuck in a limbo-like waiting room between this life and the next - must revisit the story of their lives before they can move on. As they retrace their steps through the high points and pitfalls of their long careers, they bicker and make up, swap gags, adopt different roles and occasionally break into a popular comic routine or two.
For the full list of venues all over Kent and Sussex go here:
This news item is in all major newspapers today:
Businessmen 'forged' sports memorabilia
Two businessmen "systematically" forged the autographs of such leading sports personalities as David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Sir Alex Ferguson, a court has heard.
Michael Owen, the England striker, and Jonny Wilkinson, the rugby fly half, are also alleged to have had their signatures forged. All the forgeries are said to have been used to help offload a complete catalogue of counterfeit goods that were sold around the country.
The items included photographs and "poorly made" replicas of England international caps.
Graeme Walker, 45, is now on trial at Chester Crown Court, accused of more than 50 counts of cheating customers of his shop, Sporting Icons Ltd.
The jurors were told that Sporting Icons did not just sell sporting memorabilia. They were shown photographs of the shop and print-outs from its website depicting framed autographs and pictures of Laurel and Hardy, Rock Hudson, Sylvester Stallone and Muhammad Ali.
Other stars featured included The Beatles, Queen and Nat King Cole.
Mr Thomas said the bulk of the fraud took place in 2005 when Wilkinson helped England win the Rugby World Cup with a celebrated drop-kick and Liverpool FC achieved their historic fifth Champions' League victory.
"The defendants were involved in selling effectively worthless items to the public"
FOR THE FULL STORY: Telegraph.co.uk and THE SUN
As you probably know FAKE 'Laurel and Hardy' Autographs are rife on the Internet auction sites, so we were pleased to read this news.
For a full guide on collecting 'Laurel & Hardy Autographs' GO HERE: BUYER BEWARE
JANUARY 28th- Laurel and Hardy Watches / SONS BUSTS
I am pleased to say that we can now offer some very nice watches from the 'Laurel & Hardy Museum' in Germany.
GO DIRECT TO THE PAGE: Laurel & Hardy Watches
I have revamped the Sons of the Desert Busts page by Neil Sims with new images: SONS BUSTS
JANUARY 17th - NEW T SHIRT PAGE ADDED
We have often been asked for BLACK and COLOUR materialT shirts, so I am pleased to offer a selection from 'Leon Garcia': NEW T SHIRT PAGE
JANUARY 14th - UNIVERSAL / PHOTO PAGES/STAN & OLLIDAY
I have just added two more photograph pages to our online store and have been revising pages as I go along. Just follow these links for our new and revised pages:
GLOSSY PHOTO PAGE FOUR LAUREL & HARDY LOBBY CARDS RARE & PRESS SET
And do not forget there will be plenty of events to look forward to. At the moment it looks like we will be doing Collectormania in Coventry on March 1st and 2nd. We will confirm that nearer the date. Then there is AJ Marriot's Stan & Olliday event at the end of May. If you are thinking of going, then now is the time to book, as you would not want to miss out.
Now that Universal has renewed their contract for 'Laurel and Hardy' on DVD you can expect more releases later this year. It's all hush, hush at the moment and nothing has really been decided. However, their Laurel and Hardy 21 DVD BOX SETS are now in plentiful supply in all major stores, some at bargain prices. I should point out that these 21 DVD Sets are slightly different from the original release. The silver foil lettering in each sleeve has been replaced with black ink, the slipcases are black and not white and they do not have the information booklets written by Glenn Mitchell inside each DVD. However, they are still a bargain, grab them while you can.
DECEMBER 6th - ROGUE SONG FOOTAGE ON DVD- MEMORABILIA
*********************************** A reliable source has informed me that Universal have signed again with Beta to be able to re-release the 'Laurel and Hardy' titles on DVD next year.
NEWS of a re-published very popular 'Laurel and Hardy' book will be in announced in our Christmas Special 'Laurel and Hardy Magazine'
NOVEMBER 8th - YOURS MAGAZINE- PHOTO HELP
Just to let you all know that YOURS MAGAZINE has just been published this week; it has a full-page article on Laurel and Hardy by our honorary member Roy Hudd. Roy has been a member of HELPMATES for many years, so I was pleased when he told me he was going to do a page on 'Laurel and Hardy'.
During our recent HELPMATES Convention I was so busy making sure the event ran smoothly that I did not get a chance to take many photos. If you took some photos of our look-a-likes,etc. Could you email as I am looking for a couple more images for our Christmas Special magazine.
The WINTER Memorabilia Show sounds like it is going to be the biggest yet. This is one not to miss, especially if you want any usual Christmas gifts. You can get plenty of bargains, for instance I am collecting the Gerry Anderson diecasts, these sell at around £39 in the shops and I got them from £15 to £20 at the last show. So its worth coming not just for our 'Laurel and Hardy' sales stall..but for everything else as well.
24th & 25th November Memorabilia 2007 The NEC Birmingham
We had two films running continuously throughout the day, this would not have been possible without Richard Ellis and all his equipment. Its dedicated members like Richard and his father who have helped make these events run smoothly.
We shant be hosting a Helpmates Convention at the Holiday Inn Chatham in 2008, BUT, we are delighted to be giving our full support to A.J Marriots 3-day May Bank Holiday 2008 event, being held at a major holiday centre 23-26 May (Fri-Mon). It will be a three day holiday, with a little bit of Laurel & Hardy thrown in for good measure. A.J. has titled it a STAN & OLLIDAY. Ive seen the programme for this and, believe me, its going to be something you wont want to miss out on.WATCH THIS SPACE.
MORE MAGIC FROM LAST WEEKEND
These video's were filmed by movie cameraman Ray Andrew, author of the 'On The Trail Of Charlie Hall' book.
You can order Stan and Ollie in Santa outfits NOW, as Neil will be producing them alongside his other busts in the range. They will make a nice decoration for Christmas and certainly will be nice for your collection. BUT ORDER EARLY for pre-Christmas delivery.
GO HERE: LAUREL & HARDY SANTA BUSTS (Limited Edition)
OCTOBER 2ND- RONNIE HAZLEHURST (1928-2007)
We are saddened to hear the news that our Honorary Helpmates Member Ronnie Hazlehurst passed away last week, in a Guernsey hospital, after suffering a stroke.
Ronnie wrote many famous theme tunes for television shows such as Only Fools and Horses, and Last of the Summer Wine, among others. He was a former Musical Director at the BBC and, as such, was closely involved with the Eurovision Song Contest and actually conducted the UK entry on no less than seven occasions.
He also had a great love for not only the films of Laurel & Hardy, but also the musical compositions of Marvin Hatley and Leroy Shields, which compliment them so brilliantly. I always recall watching BBC's The Generation Game and hearing familiar Laurel and Hardy music being played in the background during the games by Ronnie and his Orchestra.
One day Tony Hawes, another Helpmates member, took the late- Peter Elkins and me behind the scenes of ITV's Looks Familiar show, and introduced us to Ronnie, which is how he also came to be a member.
With encouragement from myself and other Sons Ronnie researched into the music of the Laurel and Hardy films and then produced his first album - Laurel and Hardy's Music Box Vol. 1. He used his best BBC musicians and did a wonderful job; something I witnessed first-hand as I was fortunate enough to be invited to sit in on the actual recording. We then launched the album at our Helpmates' Convention in 1979, at Leeds Castle.
Ronnie then joined us for the Hollywood 80 trip, where he actually met the man himself - Marvin T Hatley. Marvin was moved to tears when Ronnie played him the album. This led to a second "Music Box" album which was later released on CD along with Vol.1. Ronnie performed live at another one of our Leeds Castle events, with his whole Orchestra, which made it a great night for all present. Conventioneers in the USA also had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Ronnie, when he played 'live' at the Las Vegas 92 Convention.
I have been to many events with Ronnie in the past, so I was very sad indeed to hear this news. However, Ronnie's memory will live on through his music, and be enjoyed by Sons everywhere - which is something that pleased him more than anything.
GO HERE FOR BBC NEWS VIDEO:
These two photographs of Ronnie were taken during the recording of 'Laurel and Hardy's Music Box' Vol. 1.
SEPTEMBER 28th- MAGAZINE MAILED TODAY
Vol.7 Number 7 of our printed 'Laurel and Hardy Magazine' has just been mailed to all subscribers a few days ahead of schedule! Hopefully UK member/subscribers should get theirs around Tues./Weds. , overseas subscribers allow 10 days from now.
Again, the Laurel & Hardy Magazine is in FULL-COLOUR and, to cater for the huge amount of material, we have had to make it EIGHT PAGES longer than our quota.
SEPTEMBER 21st- NEW PAGE ADDED
Trevor Dorman has written a follow up to his research on the lost films of Laurel and Hardy, you can also play film clips from this new addition to our ever expanding web site: A Guide to the Lost Films of Laurel and Hardy - Updated
WEB SITE NEXT MAGAZINE
I have been busy adjusting our sales catalogues deleting a few versions of the 'Laurel and Hardy Busts' by Neil Sims. So if you are after any of these, now is the time to buy them, as when Neil releases a new set....an earlier set will be deleted.
Our next magazine is now at the printers, and will be sent out at the end of September. Once again Im sure you will be astounded at the amount of material that A.J. Marriot and I have unearthed since the last one. Articles include: a review of a Disney DVD featuring cartoons containing Laurel & Hardy; a report on the 60th Anniversary Celebrations at the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, back in June; and some very interesting Letters from our Readers.
Our regular feature Focus on a Photo is a rare shot of Stan in a pub with his sister but its not her pub. And in the series Stans Single Thoughts Stan gives his thoughts on "Laurel & Hardy sketches on TV." Our star piece is a previously undocumented account of Laurel & Hardys 1950 Visit to Rome. Plus, of course, many Rare Photos from our Archives.
Again, the Laurel & Hardy Magazine is in FULL-COLOUR and, to cater for the huge amount of material, we have had to make it EIGHT PAGES longer than our quota.
AUGUST 13th- SONS OF THE DESERT CONVENTIONS BOOK / COLLECTORMANIA
I have just received a copy of the book, 'SONS OF THE DESERT- THE CONVENTIONS' by Savannah Furman. I must say that I am very impressed, I was expecting a small thin book, but this is a large format thick quality book . Well, what's it all about ? It covers the International Conventions with photographs and stories and its a fun read, it includes everything, the celebrities, events, locations, personal stories and even the things that went wrong. In fact, every 'Son' should buy a copy as it is a job well done. Just go to this special page to order a copy: SONS OF THE DESERT- THE CONVENTIONS
I will have some copies on our sales stall at the GLASGOW COLLECTORMANIA show which is coming up soon on SATURDAY 25TH AND SUNDAY 26TH AUGUST 2007 . I am looking forward to meeting members from North of the Border :-) But I do know of some members making special trips to the event from other parts of the UK. So why not come along??
Our NEW set of 72 black and white trading cards is called the Press and Rare Photos Collection' ( the proofs look great) are being printed this week and are on schedule to be launched at the Collectormania Show. All pre-orders will be mailed as soon as I return from the Glasgow event.
Finally, bookings are coming in at a steady pace for our October Convention, we have updated our Convention page with more news of what to look forward to. I suggest that you book early for this one:
OCTOBER 27th The HELPMATES Laurel and Hardy Convention-Chatham, Kent.
JULY 25 th -Calendars NOW OUT - NEW CD- NEW CARD SET
Next years 2008 'Laurel and Hardy Calendar' has arrived in stock ahead of schedule, in fact I have been busy mailing them out to all those who pre ordered. If you have not ordered yours yet, then just click the image below.
Our NEW set of 72 black and white trading cards is called the Press and Rare Photos Collection', as the set features many rare Laurel and Hardy images from around the world. Not only will this set look very nice, it will also provide you with some images you have not seen before. We now have a web page up for these, just click on the centre image.
REMEMBER WHEN WEEK ENDING 20th DECEMBER 1975, Laurel and Hardy were number two in the UK pop charts with 'On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine'. The 'Boys' were very popular at the time with BBC 2 TV screening their shorts every day. So to capitalise on their popularity, United Artists were quick to release two 12" Vinyl LP compilation records. Of course these were very popular indeed as they were skillfully mixed dialogue and music sequences . They were a delight to listen to. The original Vinyl's are long gone but are still sought after collectors items.
Well, the good news is that you can now enjoy those LPs again on a digitally Remastered CD
Just go to our MUSIC CD PAGE or click on the CD cover below.
JULY 17th- Railway Day Souvenir Web Page / Laurel and Hardy Play
Sunday July 8th saw members of the 'Sons of the Desert' descend on the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway in Kent. It was a FANTASTIC day out, I know we enjoyed it along with everybody who turned up. To commemorate this event we have put up a special web page with a full gallery and even video, so if you were there or could not make it, then take a look at this page:
The Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway -Laurel and Hardy Special Day
The New Vic Theatre presents
Laurel and Hardy- By Tom McGrath
Fri 27 July Sat 11 August
In a side-splitting New Vic production, Stan and Ollie are re-born for the stage in Tom McGraths affectionate, fascinating and very, very funny play. Brilliantly re-creating some of their greatest ever routines with amazing precision, the theatre in the round looks set for a season of slapstick heaven with the finest comedy double-act in history.
TVs own Ollie, Mike Goodenough, will be returning to the stage as Hardy following his success in the popular BBC 4 drama Stan. Seeing off fierce competition from the cream of the entertainment industry to star in the TV special, Mikes appearance at the New Vic will be a showbiz first.
Joining Mike is acclaimed comedy actor Stephen Harper as Laurel. A clowning buff and master of physical theatre not to mention a talented National Theatre actor Stephens latest role demands all his expertise, as he and Mike bring the comedy legends to life. Making his debut at the New Vic theatre, director Paul Warwick leads the creative team.
New Vic Theatre, Etruria Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 0JG
Tickets for Laurel and Hardy, which cost £7.50 £16.50, can be booked by calling the New Vics Box Office on 01782 717962, or online at www.newvictheatre.org.uk
LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE MAILED TODAY - FILM EVENING LANARK
Vol. 7. number 6 of our 'Laurel and Hardy Magazine' has just been mailed to all subscribers two weeks ahead of schedule! Hopefully UK member/subscribers should get theirs around Tues./Weds. , overseas subscribers allow 10 days from now. We moved this issue forward so that we could advertise Roger Robinson's 100th meeting celebrations in July ( see above RHDR Railway link).
Ross Owen has just informed us about a special evening of 'Laurel and Hardy ' films to be held in the last original art deco single screen cinema in Scotland, the THE REGAL CINEMA, Bannatyne street, Lanark, Scotland, ML11 7JS on Sunday August 5th: MORE DETAILS
Go here to find out about a NEW MUSEUM IN HARLEM by Gino Dercola
NEIL SIMS BUSTS- LAST ORDERS ON SOME SETS!!
OH DEAR...some sad news for all of us who collect the superb 'Laurel and Hardy' busts by Neil Sims. Due the rising costs of the marble resin and materials, it is no longer viable for Neil to make and offer the full range. To be honest, they should really cost a whole lot more than what we offer them for as each set is made and painstakingly painted by Neil.
BUT GOOD NEWS....So that he can keep producing a new set every six months, each set will be limited to just 200 units. The price for existing and new sets will be raised slightly to cover time and costs producing them. After July 30th these sets will be permantely deleted: THE CHUMP AT OXFORD FIGURES,THE ORIGINAL SET OF BUSTS, TWICE TWO SET and all 54mm figure sets. If you want any of these, then I suggest you get your orders in.
But to be fair for all those loyal collectors who have purchased any in the past, Neil is giving us until JULY 30th to place your last orders. Member James Prideaux asked us to put some of our new JUMBO FRIDGE magnets on our online store, so I have.
Go here for : FULL CATALOGUE ORIGINAL VERSION
SALES PAGES ADJUSTED
I have just been adjusting our sales pages adding TWO NEW sets of COLOUR POSTCARDS, our new DOUBLE DERBY PIN and finally the NEW LAUGHTOONS CD. Just follow those links or go direct to the main CATALOGUE as all the pages are now there along with the new BLOCKHEADS BUSTS.
MARCH 24th- MAGAZINE MAILED
The latest issue (Vol.7. No.5) of the 'Laurel and Hardy Magazine' was mailed this morning to all destinations. Hopefully UK members should get yours around Tues/Weds, overseas subscribers allow 10 days from now.
From The Times March 22, 2007
Blaze guts Stan Laurels school
BISHOP AUCKLAND Arson is suspected in a blaze that has all but destroyed the school attended from 1903 by Stan Laurel, the comedian.
The roof and spire of the Laurel Building, at Bishop Auckland Grammar School, Co Durham, collapsed and most of the upper floor and a quarter of the ground floor were destroyed.
The Grade II listed building, unused since 2000, may now be demolished. Youths were said to have been seen in the building before the fire.
NEW BLOCKHEADS SET - TRAILER FOUND - LOCATIONS
I have just passed the proofs for our next issue of 'The Laurel and Hardy Magazine', so if all goes well it will be printed Thursday, bound Friday and back to me for envelope stuffing over the weekend. I hope to mail them on Monday!
Neil Sims has just sent me the first picture of his new 'BLOCKHEADS BUSTS', I must say that they look great! We will be launching them at the next MEMORABILIA SHOW coming soon on 31st March & 1st April NEC Birmingham: Details: MEMORABILIA So we do hope to see as many of you there as possible, its a GREAT DAY OUT. However, you can be FIRST to pre-order your set of these busts now by going direct to our BLOCKHEADS PAGE.
BEAU HUNKS TRAILER
Good news for film collectors from Film Archivist Stan Taffel ,Grand Sheik of the Hollywood Party Tent of California.
Yesterday, I received news that another Laurel and Hardy trailer was discovered.
What makes this discovery doubly exciting is that it is from a film that previously wasn't available in trailer form AND it's from a short subject! It is the ONLY trailer from any Hal Roach short that has been found.
The trailer is from Beau Hunks (1931) and runs 54 seconds. It isn't in perfect shape; some splices and lines but it is complete AND it's from 35mm. This is a great addition to the film world of the boys. Trailers are hard to find from films of the early 30's and until now, impossible to find for short subjects. Now it can be documented.
And the search continues.............Here are a couple of frame grabs below.
FROM WOLFGANG IN GERMANY
Hi Friends, we hope that we meet a lot of you next year in Amsterdam. If you are planning to visit us, see the museum and travel around you now have a helper. A couple of weeks ago a book was published called the Wupper Valley. It is written in English by Roy Kift, a British journalist and covers all the attractions in the Bergisch Land area. Of course, the Laurel & Hardy Museum is featured too. You can get it by Amazon or other book stores, the ISBN No. is: 3-89861-520-0.
FEBRUARY 6th- MEMBERS AREA UPDATE- MEMORABILIA
I have just added a BABES IN TOYLAND gallery, TV Commercial to watch and a new sales page that can only be accessed from our members area : MEMBERS ENTRY
James Finlayson is very popular with members, so much so that we have put all the 'Fin' items we offer on the same sales page...We have just added a FIN...DOHHH T Shirt. NEW FIN PAGE
ON THE TRAIL OF CHARLIE HALL
Several years ago loyal member Ray Andrew researched and produced a book about Laurel and Hardy's nemesis Charlie Hall. He unearthed many unseen and rare photographs. The book was very popular and sold out years ago. Since then second hand copies have occasionally surfaced on Internet auctions for as high as £56. Well, knowing there will be a demand Ray has produced a limited run of 1000 copies in soft cover costing £12.50 (or $30) post paid.
Ray is pleased to say that his PAYPAL shopping cart on his site is now fully operational , so you can now buy this book online.
ON THE TRAIL OF CHARLIE HALL
NOVEMBER 20th- UPDATE
I have just received my copy of the NEW colorised 'March of the Wooden Soldiers', it is SUPERB and well worth adding to your collection. Just click this link to see the trailer: March of the Wooden Soldiers Trailer . Just go here to order a copy :REGION ONE/ZERO ORDER PAGE
Our BIG A4 size CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 'Laurel and Hardy Magazine' has now been delivered to the printers, we hope to mail this out on schedule around Dec. 18th so you get it just in front of Christmas.
October 8th - MORE AUTOGRAPH TIPS
Our expert ,Dave Tomlinson has provided us with some very interesting information regarding buying autographs online:
Recently, we have seen a number of fake, or at best dubious, Laurel & Hardy autographs on Ebay that are claimed to be verified as genuine by external third-party authenticators. On further investigation it was found that some of the authenticators did not exist or were known to be disreputable. We also found some sellers were using COA's (Certificates of Authenticity) from companies that were under FBI investigation and prohibited under Ebay.com rules! We have also seen dubious material being sold by known dodgy sellers that have been surprisingly authenticated by so-called reputable companies. Also, sadly, at the moment the autograph press is full of stories on corruption between dealers and authenticators.
It should be remembered that, at best, even the most reputable authenticator can only provide an opinion, which is based on forensics. That is, looking for characteristics that would dismiss the item as fake (e.g. paper age, ink stability, flow, autograph shape). The authenticator does not normally look at signing behaviours (e.g. material type, inscriptions, placement, ink type and colour), which would only come from some knowledge of the Boys autographs. So, an authenticator can only prove an item is fake or judge if an item is possibly/probably genuine. If you want to buy a L&H autograph our best tip is to do your homework; get to know the autographs supported by opinions from experienced collectors, buy from a reputable source, go for A1 perfect items and preferably seek out its provenance. So, buyer beware.
You can also pre-order AIR RAID WARDENS + NOTHING BUT TROUBLE on DVD
On November 21, Warner Home Video (REGION ONE USA) will release "Air Raid Wardens"/"Nothing but Trouble" on DVD for just $11.19 , just go to our :REGION ONE/ZERO ORDER PAGE
Laurel and Hardy Versus the Automobile
Following on from the River Wye 'Babes at War' sub set, we have produced another mini set of Trading Cards: This collection features Movie Stills of Laurel and Hardy fun with various Automobiles. Produced on high quality 400gm laminated card . This is a strictly Limited 9 card Sub Set production . This set would make a nice addition to any of our existing card sets. We have produced these for our trading card collectors.
NEW TRADING CARD MINI- SUB
Babes at War Special Tribute Edition Set
As a follow on to their blockbusting WW2 D-Day Trading Card Release River Wye have produced a tie-in release for WW2 collectors and Laurel and Hardy Fans. The Babes at War Special Tribute Edition.
This special Limited Edition pays tribute to the war efforts of the worlds greatest comic duo, who brightened the hearts of the world with their unforgettable humour and slapstick style of comedy.
The collection features Movie Stills and Candids of the Babes at War. Produced on high quality 400gm laminated card in full colour. This is a strictly Limited 9 card Set production with each set Individually Numbered.
MEMBERS AREA. Paid up magazine subscribers can now download THE FLYING DEUCES PRESS BOOK and Hal Roach Studio Stationary, listen to 3 radio shows and read a feature on 'Laurel & Hardy and Magic'...recently added. BUT you have to subscribe to get access:
If you a past subscriber who has let their membership lapse, then why not RENEW now.
September 2nd- BACK ISSUES
It is nice to see our back issue magazines offered on auction sites and fetching high prices. But, why look for them there when we have a whole page full of back issues on offer. In fact I have fully updated the page today adding our more recent magazines. GO TO: BACK ISSUES
Laurel and Hardy Films in HD- MEMBERS
This information came through my newsfeed yesterday:
"Classic Black & White films like film noir, comedies and westerns set for revival as upgrade to Hi-Def brings out the shading and textures not seen since original release. Blue Ray Group acquires 1,000-title film library for B&W Hi-Def release."
It is amazing that almost all of the Laurel and Hardy films are now out on DVD. Many members over the years purchased them on the old 8mm (and other home formats) then moved on to VHS and buying them all. Most fans seeing their VHS collections redundant shelled out and purchased them on DVD. Many collectors are more than happy (apart from the odd quibble from the die-hards) with their 'Laurel and Hardy' collection.
The Blue Ray Group has acquired libraries totalling 1,000 film titles that are being culled for re-mastering and hi-def release on Blu-ray Disc (BD). Laurel & Hardy (HMM..I wonder what titles they mean??) and Hopalong Cassidy will be among the first B&W titles from new division BRG Classics.
Personally, at the moment I am more than happy with my DVD Collection and, as yet, I have not moved into High Definition TV. However I do feel HD TV suits the wide screen modern movies of today and I am not sure about a 4:3 B/W image in the middle of a big plasma screen. I will have to see a demo first to see if it blows me away with enough enthusiasm to go and buy a Blue ray DVD machine along with a HD TV...only time will tell.
As you know, for our paid up subscribers we have a member's area on our site with extra pages. At the moment, I am constructing a NEW members area with even more material. I am archiving interesting features and articles from old back issues of our printed magazine going way back. As I only have these in the printed form, I am scanning all the pages with OCR (optical character recognition software) to change them into text I can work with for the web site, this is a very time consuming process. Of course being online I can add more pictures and material to add even more to those original articles. Once I have enough material up on our new area, I will email all our PAID UP subscribers to let them have new passwords and the link ...more later.
Bookings are coming in at a steady pace for our HELPMATES CONVENTION on October 28th, we are already putting together a great programme of 'Laurel and Hardy Rarities' to show. We would suggest that you book sooner....rather than later, especially if you intend staying at the hotel.
August 16th- AIR RAID WARDENS + NOTHING BUT TROUBLE on DVD
On November 21, Warner Home Video (REGION ONE USA) will release the "Classic Comedy Teams Collection," featuring six classic comedies from three of Hollywood's legendary comedy teams - The Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, and Laurel and Hardy. The three double-feature discs include "Meet the Baron"/"Gold Raiders," "Air Raid Wardens"/"Nothing but Trouble" and "Lost in a Harem"/"Abbott and Costello in Hollywood." The Collection will sell for $28.98 SRP with the individual double features of each team available for $14.97 SRP.
Lets hope they follow FOX's example and release these in Europe. I will post USA ordering links and cover artwork as soon as I have them.
Look out for 'Laurel and Hardy' Lottery tickets as Pollard Banknote Limited Partnership ("Pollard Banknote") has made a multi-year deal with Larry Harmon Pictures Corporation for the worldwide rights to introduce the Laurel & Hardy(TM) brand to the lottery industry.
August 10th-DVD-ON THE TRAIL OF CHARLIE HALL-DVD NEWS
Several years ago loyal member Ray Andrew researched and produced a book about Laurel and Hardy's nemesis Charlie Hall. He unearthed many unseen and rare photographs. The book was very popular and sold out years ago. Since then second hand copies have occasionally surfaced on Internet auctions for as high as £56. Well, knowing there will be a demand Ray has produced a limited run of 1000 copies in soft cover. If you would like to obtain a copy then go to : ON THE TRAIL OF CHARLIE HALL
Both of the FOX DVD Box sets are due for release in the UK in October. We will provide a link once pre orders are being taken via our amazon store links later.
Computer-colorized films have been around for some time now. In fact we actually screened the first ever colorized film 'HELPMATES' when we co hosted the 1984 International Convention. Helpmates was primitive by today's standards. So I was more than impressed when 'March of the Wooden Soldiers' was released in glorious colour in the 1990's. In my eyes the colorization was superb . until now
Recently an American company 'Legend Films' who specialise in the restoration and colorization of old black and white films, has announced that they will be bringing out March of the Wooden Soldiers with today's even better technology. This will be an even better version of ' Babes in Toyland' from 1934. Judging by the work that Legend has released so far this will be a DVD to look forward to. Due out around November.
I have just heard from Bram Reijnhoudt (PERFECT DAY TENT ) that the next International Convention will be in Amsterdam, July 9-13, 2008. Bram will be attending our HELPMATES CONVENTION on October 28th, so anybody interested will be able to ask Bram all about it. http://www.tellmethatagain.info/
June 22nd - HELPMATES CONVENTION OCTOBER- FOX VOL 2 DVD RELEASE DATE
We are pleased to announce that, after a long break, we are about to host a 'Laurel & Hardy Helpmates Convention', at the ever-popular Holiday Inn (former Crest, and Posthouse THF), Chatham, on Saturday 28th October 2006. GO HERE: HELPMATES CONVENTION
We strongly suggest that you book in advance and also secure your hotel room(s) , we have block held a limited number of rooms, so get in first!
Thanks to one of our regular visitors , Andrea Ippoliti , we can now tell you the actual release of the next FOX DVD SET
20th Century Fox Laurel and Hardy Giftset VOL.2
Fox Home Entertainment have announced the Region 1 DVD release of The Laurel & Hardy Collection Volume 2 for 12th September 2006 priced at $34.98 SRP. This set contains 3 classic Features + more!
But ORDER it NOW for just:Price: $24.49
TO PRE ORDER NOW
Also to find out the FULL contents...
GO TO OUR : REGION ONE/ZERO ORDER PAGE
June 11th - A HAUNTING WE WILL GO....BUSTS and DVD NEWS
Talented Sculptor, Neil Sims has just produced his latest set of Laurel and Hardy busts....A HAUNTING WE WILL GO! I must admit they look superb from the prototype images. We are now taking orders from this special page:
Talking of A HAUNTING WE WILL GO, we can now tell you the release date and contents of the NEXT FOX (USA) Box set.
The Laurel & Hardy Collection Volume 2 for 12th September 2006 priced at $34.98 SRP. This set contains 3 classic comedies
MAY 29/ 30th- WEB SITE ON THE MOVE / BBC 4 UPDATE /NEXT MAGAZINE
Our web site started way back hosted on our AOL web space, since then it has just grown and grown and has become very popular. However, there is a limit to how much free space we had and we were bordering on using it all up. We own the domain www.laurelandhardy.org and since 1992 we have had an automatic pointer that sent surfers to our site on AOL.
Well, the good news is that we now have a FULL hosting package directly under our web address of: www.laurelandhardy.org. We now have a huge amount of disc space to use, so expect even more pages to be added.
However my first task is to duplicate our whole site under its new home, already I have most of our feature pages up. While I was uploading to our new space I tweaked some pages and expanded them with more info. Our AOL site will also remain in place, but we would now advise you to go direct to www.laurelandhardy.org and bookmark it as your new entry point.
BEWARE PIRATE DVDS on Ebay
As you all probably know by now, ebay is a haven for FAKE AUTOGRAPHS of 'Laurel and Hardy'; there are fakes for sale every week. We have also noticed a spate of PIRATE DVD copies of Universals 21 DVD set for sale. Member Dave Tomlinson and I have been able to spot these as their descriptions are a dead giveaway, but most would not see the tell tale signs. Of course these have all been reported and in most cases we have got them removed. In fact we have done the pirates a favour, as they could have got into more serious trouble. Sellers think they can hide behind their ebay ID's, not so. Major copyright holders patrol ebay for copyright infringements, they will even pose as a customer to buy items for evidence. Ebay has to provide the sellers home details in any dispute. So the pirates could end up with a knock on the door from FACT (Federation of Copyright Theft). Believe me they DO take action as I personally know of two cases.
AJ Marriot and I have now started to compile the next printed issue of 'The Laurel and Hardy Magazine'. It is not due out until the last week of June/1st week of July, but it does take a lot of advance work.
MAY 3rd - NEW KINGS OF COMEDY SET
We can now offer a new mini set of standard (cigarette) size cards featuring colour portraits of some of the legends of film and TV comedy. Eric Morecambe, Spike Milligan, Terry Thomas, W. C. Fields, Eric Sykes, Norman Wisdom,Tony Hancock, Jimmy Edwards, Laurel & Hardy, Tommy Cooper all feature.
They are on offer within our NEW ONLINE STORE.
The reverse sides give details of these great stars' lives.
I have just received both the new Laurel and Hardy DVD box sets from the USA; I must say that I am VERY IMPRESSED. The Laurel and Hardy Gift set from Fox had newsreel footage that I had never see before. I enjoyed watching the award winning documentary, THE REVENGE OF THE SONS OF THE DESERT on the extras. Meanwhile the new WARNER BOX set has a HOST of extras including a documentary about Comedy Shorts, narrated by Chevy Chase. I found this very interesting indeed along with all the extracts from, THE ROGUE SONG. HOLLYWOOD PARTY, HOLLYWOOD REVUE of 1929 and PICK A STAR. The Laurel and Hardy sequence from the OUR GANG short WILD POSES is featured in the documentary. If you have not ordered these, then do not miss them.(Go HERE TO ORDER!!) . Michael Agee ( HAL ROACH STUDIOS) has been keeping me informed about his restoration work on his new updated DVD BOX SET, he has found even more pristine material to include. There will be more details on this site as soon as Micheal is ready to release the news. From what I know already, boy, you are in for a treat.
APRIL 14th- LAUREL & HARDY TRADING CARDS/
I recently met up with Robin Welch of CMA CARDS (River Wye productions) and purchased his entire remaining stock of Laurel and Hardy Cards. In the batch was a few sets of both his PREMIER and MILLENNIUM Sets of Trading cards, plus a selection of bonus cards and some rarities. So for a limited time (as some stock is very low), I can offer the full range, plus of course we have another three sets on offer.
Take a look, just in case you want to fill some gaps in your collection: LAUREL & HARDY TRADING CARDS
I have also added some more pin badges to our site: PIN BADGES
IMPORTANT NEWS FOR LAUREL & HARDY TRADING CARD COLLECTORS
The original set ONE 'Laurel and Hardy Trading Cards' from CMA have now been officially retired. Of course some of the special BONUS cards ran out before the sets. However, here is the good news, I am buying the entire remaining stock of both SET ONE and SET TWO (The Millennium Collection). This small supply that includes some of those deleted bonus cards. But the MOST SOUGHT AFTER will be the Stanley Motion Card. Also included in this purchased are some gems such us uncut OLLIE MOTION CARDS and Uncut Gold Foil signature cards. CMA has pulled together an interesting range of odds and rare cards. I will pick up the stock next Wednesday. Following that I will revamp our Trading card pages.
For a short period I should be able to offer the entire range, but some cards are in VERY Short supply. If you would like me to email you as soon as I put up those limited cards, then CLICK HERE TO EMAIL US
The updated card offers will only appear in the NEW VERSION of our ONLINE STORE. Do take a look round all the pages as some new items have been added:
Go here for all your Laurel and Hardy Collectables
FAKE AUTOGRAPHS ON EBAY
THICKER THAN WATER-AUCTION NEWS
Over the past few weeks we have been patrolling the online ebay auctions, as usual fakes are rife. We have successfully managed to get some removed, but not all. Sadly, there are some poor people have purchased fakes, but as these unscrupulous dealers hide the buyers names we cannot contact them to tell them they have got a dud.
You may have watched the Laurel and Hardy film 'THICKER THAN WATER', where they are inside an auction room. Unaware, Stan and Ollie end up bidding against each other pushing the price up of a Grandfather Clock and then winning it themselves. Well, some unscrupulous dealers use a similar activity we frown upon. This is the practice of SHILL BIDDING where the price of an item is artificially pushed higher by a person bidding on his own item under another ID or getting a friend to bid.
The practice of SHILLING is still going on, it does not take Einstein to work out that an autograph ( even if its a nice genuine item) is being shilled. A Shiller normally puts in a really high bid to sucker bidders in, then he pulls out his high bid leaving the other high bidders like sitting ducks.
Shillers think they can hide from our experts, but we go back and see where the false bidders are located and see what they have bid for and when. It does not take long to find a pattern emerge.
There is also a CLEAR FAKE Stan Laurel up at the moment, so far three of our team have tackled the seller and he gave us differing replies. PLUS looking back through his history it looks like he is a Shill bidder himself.
If you are new to the Internet, let me say be VERY VERY careful of Internet auctions as fakes or copies of originals (passed off as the real thing) are RIFE. As a guide go to our BUYER BEWARE page. If you want the real think then come to a show like MEMORABILIA at the NEC BIRMINGHAM, come and see me on our stall and we will point you to some trusted dealers.
MARCH 7th- CATALOGUE
I have been adjusting our online 'Laurel and Hardy Catalogue' , we now have this new version that operates with frames and drop down menus: NEW CATALOGUE .But we will also keep our original no frames versions for older browsers: ORIGINAL CATALOGUE. However, the same shopping cart is linked to both Catalogues and the rest of our site, so it does not matter what version you jump to your cart remains the same.
FEBRUARY 21st- MORE FOX DVD NEWS
Just as we were going to press today with our next printed 'Laurel and Hardy Magazine', we heard that the second Fox release will be a Volume 2 set that will include The Dancing Masters, The Bullfighters, and A-Haunting We Will Go. Author of "Laurel and Hardy, From The Forties Forward," Scott MacGillivray, has recorded the commentaries. As yet, there is no news about the other bonus materials, or the release date, but it certainly sounds like another set worth adding to your collection.
Susan Marshall e-mailed me to tell us that the "The Revenge of the Sons of the Desert," a fun documentary about the Philadelphia International Laurel & Hardy Convention, will be included as an extra on the soon-to-be released Laurel & Hardy DVD collection, by 20th Century Fox. It was made by Alexander Marshall, who won an Emmy for it, and which features interviews with Laurel & Hardy co-stars; plus the fun and antics of an International Laurel & Hardy event - and more.
This information was backed up by Michael Agee (Hal Roach Studios) who told me he had been contacted by Fox regarding his material used in the documentary. This is a possible extra on this second FOX DVD set, you can go HERE TO PRE ORDER the first FOX DVD set coming out in April.
Since our last update I have changed our whole LAUREL AND HARDY CATALOGUE entry page, hopefully to make it far more easier to use. Some new items have been added and some items deleted.
SITE UPDATES Today I had the great delight of being present when the management of T.T. Litho (who also print our magazine) presented "A.J" Marriot with the first batch of his book "CHAPLIN - Stage by Stage." Not only that, but I had the honour of receiving the first signed copy. Talk about "hot off the press." I must admit at being very impressed with the overall quality of the book, it is packed full of information and very rare photographs. It is common knowledge that Stan Laurel was a Karno Comedian for a few years, but how much do you know about those years? For starters, just how many years was it? And just how much of that time was spent in the UK, and how much in the US?
It's also widely known that Laurel was understudy to Chaplin in the sketch Mumming Birds, but is this the only Karno sketch in which these two played together?
Well now, for the first time ever, you can discover exactly when, where, and with whom Laurel spent his time in the Karno Company.
[Early in November] I spent the weekend in Glasgow, to attend the Glasgow Memorabilia Show. People ask me why I bother to go to these Fairs, when I could stay at home and use our online catalogue. Well, I would never get to meet all the many Laurel & Hardy buffs who come to our stall. This year we had even more 'Sons' through the doors as several members of the new Fra Diavolo tent turned up, including their Grand Sheik, Ross Owen. Ross came away from the show happy as he managed to buy autographs of the Roach Stars: James Finlayson, Billy Gilbert and Charles Middleton. AND, being a 'Son of the Desert,' he got a big discount from the sellers - Autographs Ink. See what a little kindness can do?
So, as you have just read many bargains can be found at these shows if you look around. Coming up soon is the biggest Memorabilia show of them all to be held at the NEC Birmingham on November 26th / 27th . Again we will be there with our FULL 'Laurel and Hardy' sales stall. We are on stands A52 and A53 near their stage area. This show is so big that it takes over both HALLS 11 and 12 at the NEC.
I have just got stocks in of the brand new LEONARDO 2005 range of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy figures. They stand over 12" tall and are VERY NICE indeed. The first chance you will have to obtain these will be at this forthcoming Memorabilia Show. They come very well packed in nice boxes and are quite sturdy and solid. So if you want to add these to your collection, then do come along to the MEMORABILIA SHOW . If you want to make sure you get a set, then just CLICK HERE TO EMAIL US and we will hold you a set behind the stall for pick up at the show.
We have just added a another new page under our DVD Review section, this one covers Retour De Flamme. the latest edition of Serge Bromberg's DVD series, Retour de Flamme, includes a (mostly) unknown Laurel & Hardy film, never shown to the general public. Dubbed in French, the film, A Galaxy of Stars, is a promotional film intended for MGM exhibitors in Europe and Africa. This page includes a FULL GALLERY plus a description of the action. Just go direct to: A GALAXY of STARS.
Almost all of our next LARGE FORMAT (A4 size) Christmas Special issue of 'The Laurel & Hardy Magazine' is now at our printers. Again it will be full of rare photographs and more, so if you have not subscribed, then now is the time to consider joining/subscribing.
OCTOBER 5th - RONNIE BARKER
We were very sad to hear that TV comedian Ronnie Barker has died after a long illness on Monday of this week. He will be remembered for his many TV shows including The Two Ronnies, Porridge and Open All Hours. We have fond memories of Ronnie playing Oliver Hardy with the late Roy Castle playing Stan in 'Another Fine Mess', which was a short comedy in Ronnie Barker's series Seven Of One . The good news is that it will be out on DVD later this year and makes a fitting tribute to his many comedy talents. To pay our own tribute to Ronnie we have put up a special page from last year when Ronnie told us his memories of 'Laurel and Hardy'.
PICK A STAR RONNIE BARKER
We have also revised a few of our sales pages and added a few new items: THE LAUREL & HARDY CATALOGUE
THE LAUREL & HARDY MAGAZINE VOL 7 No 1
I passed the proofs for this issue on Monday and it is being printed right now. Check back to this page and we will tell you when it has been mailed. Also the cover of the current issue will change on our home page when it has been mailed.
AUGUST 27th- AVENUE OF STARS / WESTMINSTER/ SHILL BIDDERS / DVD NEWS
Britain's Avenue of the Stars to be Unveiled in Covent Garden
Stan Laurel will be among 100 legendary British and Commonwealth stars to receive silver plaques in the The Avenue Of The Stars located in Covent Garden, London.
Chris Tarrant will present an ITV1 tribute, which will include the unveiling of the Avenue of the Stars, on September 18.
"It will be intriguing to see who makes the list and who doesn't.
"With so many names to choose from, there are bound to be some surprising omissions, as well as names that will raise a few eyebrows", Tarrant said.
The ceremony, set to honour one hundred celebrities will take place in Covent Garden.
The silver stars will be placed outside St Paul's, The Actors' Church, in Covent Garden, where many celebrities had been invited to attend the launch, and also to perform on the live program.
According to press sources, Stan Laurel's daughter Lois is upset she has not been invited to the opening.
One online news report quotes:
A friend says, "Lois found out about it only a couple of days ago and hit the roof. She couldn't understand why no one had told her or why none of the family had been invited.
The ceremony, set to honour one hundred celebrities will take place in Covent Garden.
The first 18 recipients announced include Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir Charlie Chaplin, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, but also Nicole Kidman, who has unveiled her Hollywood star in 2003.
As this will be devoted to British celebrities, sadly Oliver Hardy will not have a star as he was born in the USA.
THICKER THAN WATER-AUCTION NEWS
Over the past few weeks we have been patrolling the online ebay auctions, as usual fakes are rife. We have successfully managed to get some removed, but not all. Sadly, there are some poor people have purchased fakes, but as these unscrupulous dealers hide the buyers names we cannot contact them to tell them they have got a dud.
You may have watched the Laurel and Hardy film 'THICKER THAN WATER', where they are inside an auction room. Unaware, they end up bidding against each other pushing the price up of a Grandfather Clock and then winning it themselves. Well, some unscrupulous dealers use a similar activity we frown upon. This is the practice of SHILL BIDDING where the price of an item is artificially pushed higher by a person bidding on his own item under another ID or getting a friend to bid. Sadly we recently detected a genuine autographed 'Laurel & Hardy' postcard that was bid up in price by the seller. We just happened to know both of this sellers ID's so he was caught out.
Upon being detected he tried to claim he only put another bid in to find out how high his bids have gone (pull the other one). That excuse did not wash with us because we looked into his bidding history and see he actually bid on his own (not a Grandfather Clock) items earlier, but slipped up and won them himself for £411 (how dumb can you get). Not only did he pay listing fees, he also paid a commission on the sale. To avoid embarrassment we will not name the SHILLER, as he now knows what he has done is against ebay rules, but our team will be watching closely. Ebay reacted when one of our team complained and shut down his other ebay ID.
We have come across this practice a few times, even with fakes being bid up in price, so again it certainly is BUYER BEWARE.
As you know we offer the largest selection of 'Laurel and Hardy Collectables' anywhere. Many of the items are exclusive to our site and Magazine only. After some thought we have now modified all of our DVD PAGES to direct you to the best offers. DVD's will be the only items that you will not be able to buy direct from us. As our site has visitors literally from around the globe every day, we now direct you to the best place to buy each title.
We have added an extra page that covers the most frequently asked questions about DVD formats and how to buy them in different countries, plus tips on Multi region players.
Go to our new: DVD INTRODUCTION AN INFORMATION PAGE.
But, for everything else on our site and CATALOGUE , you just carry on and use our secure PAYPAL SHOPPING cart system. Its safe and easy to use, we have three CART BUTTONS, one for the UK (POUNDS), one for EUROPE (EUROS) and USA/REST OF WORLD (Dollars). Just use the cart relevant to where you are located as all our prices include postage and packing. The price you see is what you pay.
July 12th- NEW PAGE ADDED
I have just added another page to our ever expanding site: BERTH MARKS at ULVERSTON by Kevin Doig.
May 26th- NEW MUSIC BOX BUSTS FROM NEIL SIMS
We have started working on our next printed 'Laurel and Hardy Magazine' full of interesting photographs and news. In this forthcoming issue we will bring you another Internet auction watch. We have seen fake autographs ,Bowler Hats, Fezes...and now we have seen a caravan that the seller says was owned by Oliver Hardy. But they tripped up by faking a photo of Ollie standing in front of it. The photo of Ollie came from the 1930's...but the caravan was built in 1953!! More news in our next issue.
Neil Sims has now completed the master moulds for his next set of Laurel and Hardy Busts. This time its 'Stan and Ollie' their Music Box garb.
As these will be very popular Neil has already started making sets ready for when orders are placed. Take a look at our more detailed images :
THE MUSIC BOX FIGURES.- NOW OUT!
MARCH 20th- BEWARE OF FAKE L&H AUTOGRAPHS
As many visitors to our site are aware, we have been warning about FAKE 'Laurel and Hardy' autographs being sold on internet auction sites for some time. Dave Tomlinson constantly monitors ebay and finds fake almost every week. One poor person has just won the examples below ( for £325/ $625) . These were on a still for FLYING DEUCES, in fact it looks like an original still with the date stamp on the back. This is a ploy that fakers often use, they buy old stills, but fake the signatures on them.
We have a more details on our BUYER BEWARE PAGE full of information about all the tricks fakers employ, or just click on the above image.
I can't reveal anything yet, but Universal are working on another L&H project for future release......more later.
FEBRUARY 14th- 'BABE' and 'THE COMEDY WORLD OF STAN LAUREL' back in print!
I have lost count how many time over the past year or so that I have been asked for these two books: 'BABE THE LIFE STORY OF OLIVER HARDY' and 'THE COMEDY WORLD OF STAN LAUREL' both by John McCabe. Well, they have indeed been republished, in fact they slipped out rather quietly. I only noticed when the publishers sent me their latest catalogue. The nice thing is that both these NEW editions have matching book covers! The good news is that we have now added them on to our BOOKS SALES PAGE and are now taking orders. Also Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy by John McCabe is also back in print.
FEBRUARY 4th-BIG BUSINESS PAGE ADDED
We have just added another page to our site, check out:
Laurel & Hardy Locations-BIG BUSINESS HOUSE Then & Now.
FEBRUARY 1st- SITE UPDATES
I have been going through our site page by page, perhaps slightly tweaking a page here and there that has out of date information. I gave our PLACES TO VISIT page a complete revamp as it was quite out of date. If you know of any L&H related places to visit,then drop me and email and I will add it.
JANUARY 8th- WAY OUT WEST USA RELEASE- SITE UPDATES
I have lost count how many times I have been asked by USA members and visitors to our site asking for WAY OUT WEST on REGION ONE DVD. Well your wait will soon be over, as on March 15th 2005, HALLMARK (Lionsgate) will be releasing another Laurel and Hardy DVD. It will contain ,Way Out West, Block-Heads and Chickens Come Home. You can pre order it now,just CLICK HERE for details or go to our USA DVD PAGE.
I have just added another GALLERY to our ever expanding web site, this page is a dedicated gallery for the FOX FEATURE JITTERBUGS.
I am still working my way through the whole site updating pages, I have just updated our BADGES PAGE and our BACK ISSUES PAGE. Also some sales items have been deleted and new ones added to our other sales pages,so do check those out too. Why not subscribe to 'The Laurel & Hardy Magazine' SUBSCRIPTION DETAILS AND PRICES.
CLICK HERE TO EMAIL US
Some random pages to visit on our site
OUR BEHIND THE SCENES PAGES
The Music Box Steps. are still there in LA.
MORE INTERESTING PAGES
All features on this site are (c) The Laurel & Hardy Magazine