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Another Fine Mess Tent is "on ice"

Further to the earlier news of the possible folding of the Another Fine Mess of Northern Ireland, Grand Sheik Keith Davidson writes:

Many of you will have received by email from Gerry the sad news that for personal reasons he has had to step down as Vice Sheik of the tent. He kindly and thoughtfully asked if anyone might be able to offer assistance with running the tent, and a couple of very kind offers came in, including one from a member for whom helping us would prove very difficult due to work and family commitments. This is typical of the affection and comradeship you have shown over the past 12+ years.

Those who have attended meetings in the past will be aware of my health issues, and in fact over the past two years I have been unable to attend and have had to rely on the kindness and support of Gerry and Pat to keep the club going.

While the Another Fine Mess Tent is something that Gerry and I have been very close to and proud to be involved with, despite the generous offers of help to keep it running, the truth is that the tent was always something that was a love shared between two close friends - much like the partnership of Laurel and Hardy - and just as Stan refused to go back on screen after the death of his - partner, even if I were physically able, I really couldn't think of running the tent without support from Gerry.

Consequently, regrettably I have decided to put the tent "on ice" until further notice, and by that I mean to postpone all meetings until further notice with immediate effect.

Hopefully our personal circumstances will improve in the future and we can recommence club activities. Meanwhile I shall endeavour to pass on any relevant information to those for whom we hold a valid email address.

So that we can make contact please continue to pass on to me any changes to home or email addresses and phone numbers.

Since the tent was 'foundered' in November 2004 we have all had a great journey with many notable highlights, especially the meeting when we were honoured by the presence of the late Jean Darling who acted in Babes in Toyland with Stan and Ollie. Notable too was our interview with the late Eric Sykes, and our visits to the International Convention in Amsterdam in 2008 and the UK Convention in 2009. However, the overwhelming thing has been the success of the tent - never in our wildest dreams did we think we'd have 217 members! - and the friendship and generosity of spirit that we have been shown by all our members and friends in the Laurel and Hardy community at home and around the world.

So, a big "thank you" to all of you for your support. It's been a gas, and let's hope that when the time is right we can do it all again…

 In the news 

Melvin McFadden sent us a couple of press cuttings. One is from the Daily Mail (13.02.17.) and the other from a local evening paper of the same date. Melvin says, "Spot the deliberate mistake on the front page."



On the telly

I frequently watch the TV auction programme Flog It!, usually when I am sitting and eating a meal.

A fellow came in with Laurel and Hardy autographs (on 13.02.17.) which came from their appearance at the Wolverhampton Hippodrome on their UK tour. The expert James Lewis (who said he was always an L&H fan) said that to confirm authenticity Stan's signature was always to the left and Ollie to the right. Stan Laurel always signed his name with a fountain pen but Oliver Hardy used a ball point pen.

The signatures sold for £240.00 which they said was about the right price.

Dave Dearle


Episode 1 of the Laurel and Hardy Podcast is now online. It is hosted by Ross Owen, and his special guests include...  


VAL LACKEY (above), who met Laurel and Hardy on several occasions during their 1953 UK tour. Her parents Tommy and Dee Godfrey became close friends with the Boys. 

TERRY MOORE, who appeared in the Laurel and Hardy movie A-Haunting We Will Go.

CHRISTOPHER GUEST, actor, writer, director and musician (Spinal Tap, For Your Consideration, Waiting For Guffman, Mascots) is a lifelong Laurel and Hardy fan.

Listen via any of the following links





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