Laurel and Hardy
and the
Sons of the Desert
are at the heart of
Bowler Dessert Online



Convention in Ireland proposed

On Sept 9th 1953 Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy docked at Cobh, Ireland to begin a music hall tour. What happened that day was to remain in their memories for the rest of their lives. The quayside was completely packed full of the residents of this Irish port. Children waved and shouted their names and then the great bells of St. Coleman's Cathedral played their signature tune, The Cuckoo Song.

The Jitterbugs Tent Ireland have started proceedings to mark the 70th anniversary of this great event in 5 years time. We have spoken with the Cobh Tourist Board and the Cobh Chamber of Commerce and both are extremely keen to get on board with us. We have meetings with both in February where details of a full Cobh Festival based around the Sons of the Desert will formally begin.

We have planned a bid to host the 2023 European Convention in Cobh where once more the cathedral bells will ring out the Cuckoo Song for the Sons of the Desert.

More details to come as we plan so much more. I know it's early but we want to make sure that the future for the Sons is secure at least for Euro Conventions..

Liam Muldowney

In Dublin on 22 September, 1953



On March 1st we will close the  registration for those who would like to join us at the two days event in Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands.

After March 1st only day tickets will be sold, at the price of ¤75 p.p 

Visit our website to read all about the event, the latest news and how to sign up!

Go to:

Edinburgh Sons

Meeting dates for the Blockheads Tent of Edinburgh have been announced by Grand Sheik Charlie Lewis: 

Sunday March 4th
Sunday April 8th
Sunday May 13th
June 10th

Charlie says, "I'll arrange meeting dates for later in the year as we approach the summer break."

All are welcome at the Scots Guards Association Club, 2 Clifton Terrace, Edinburgh (opposite Haymarket Station).


Ron and Clive

Roger Robinson has given us an update on two senior Sons, Ron Stokoe and Clive Mitchell.


He is more or less housebound since being hospitalised a couple of times over Christmas and discharged to home. He is comfortable at home and he has been out, even driving, to his daughter's and to Wetherspoons for a family meal. He is on a lot of medication. He spends most of the time sat in his chair, talking to visitors, on the phone and occasionally on the computer. His family are very supportive and Roger sees him every 2-3 days. When engaged in conversation the Stokoe sparkle returns, says Roger. Ron is 91.


Clive's declining health resulted in him going to St Ives Lodge Residential Care Home in Chingford, just after Christmas. He was there for assessment and has had a short spell in Whipps Cross Hospital. Unlike Ron, Clive doesn't have any close family, either physically or geographically. He was discharged from hospital and returned to the same Care Home where it is now certain he will remain. Roger has been told told that Clive now has the onset of dementia and can lose the plot in conversation. Clive is 87. Roger spoke to Clive recently on the telephone: "He sounded completely on the ball and I passed on the good wishes of all the Sons. He requested that I thank them."

Roger adds, "Ron and Clive are two lovely men and age has caught up with them both. I am sure I speak for everyone when I say that the wonderful family of The Sons of the Desert have them both in their thoughts."

Stan's wish

You probably know that Dick Van Dyke became friends with Stan Laurel in his late years. Just been looking on IMDB about Dick and in the section on quotes from him he says, "I got to know Laurel at the end of his life and it was a great thrill for me. He left me his bow tie and derby and told me that if they ever made a movie about him, he'd want me to play him."

Tony Hillman

Dani RIP

Eric Schultz writes: "Just read this post from Tudor on the Laurel and Hardy Forum..."

I'm not sure if this is the right place, or whether it's normal or allowed, but during the absence of the Forum, a formerly active member here passed away in December. His username was Dani, which was actually his name.

Anyone fortunate enough to know Dani will agree that we have lost a witty, humorous, good-natured and amiable friend at the early age of 61, and I'm sure that all members will collectively wish to send their sympathies and condolences to his widow Carole and the two daughters.

Dani was an outstanding member of the Laurel and Hardy fraternity in several ways. An enduring member of the Men O' War Tent of Colchester, Dani achieved the tent's Quiz Champion title for many years in succession. His encyclopedic knowledge spanned from their lives and backgrounds to the smallest details in the films. He tried to ensure that he had every single book on the Boys, however peripheral, and together with the movies on all sorts of formats, he used the attic of the family house as his Laurel and Hardy storage den.

Not just the Laurel and Hardy world, but the world as a whole, is a poorer place without Dani and he is greatly missed."

In the press

Radio Times (03.02.18.)

Radio Times (16.02.18.)

Charley Chase DVD set

A 2-disc set of Charley Chase sound shorts from the Roach period has been released in the USA. It is listed on Amazon's website:

One reviewer on Amazon said: 
This 2-DVD collection of early sound shorts starring Charley Chase (and the gorgeous Thelma Todd) produced at The Hal Roach Studios is an absolute DREAM COME TRUE!! Featuring his films made in 1930 and 1931, these vintage comedies look and sound terrific. Two of his most delightful films are here - High C's and the sequel Rough Seas, wonderful three-reelers that you can catch back to back as a kind of Chase feature film that never was. All classic comedy buffs need to support this series so we get more and possibly some of the other Roach series like the Thelma Todd and ZaSu Pitts/Patsy Kelly shorts or The Boyfriends.

Sadly, there is no word of release outside of the USA.