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



2018 UK Convention

This year's convention, hosted in Norwich by the Saps at Sea Tent of Southend-on-Sea, was an enormous success. There were 143 conventioneers, representing 8 countries and 31 tents.

Click here for some memories and stand by for reports in the Sons press and on the internet.


Such was the success of the convention that places for next year's convention had sold out in less than a week of details being announced! (See below.) This is an enormous vote of confidence for the Dirty Work Tent, who will be hosting the 2019 event. And, of course, an indication of the enormity of the success of this year's happenings.

We congratulate everyone!

Winners at the Norwich Convention

Double Whoopee (darts) . . . Tony Bagley
Dice Two (dice) . . . Piet Bommer
Another Fine Ace (cards) . . . Denise Tomlinson
At the (Pin)Ball, That's All (bagatelle) . . . Vivienne Pearman
Piddlywinks (tiddlywinks) . . . Piet Lindner
Honolulu Hoops . . . Averril Renton
Two Peas in a Pod-doh . . . Paul Allen

 Other winners

Best dancer . . . Dave Ballard
Dress - winner . . . Gary Winstanley
Fancy Dress  - runner-up . . . Emma Perry
Quiz . . . Blockheads Tent: Martin Tierney, Charlie Lewis, Gordon Davie

Wigan sold out!

Next year's UK Convention will be hosted by the Dirty Work Tent of Wigan.

Within a week of this being announced, all places at the convention had been booked. The organisers say...

Apologies to anyone who wanted a place at our convention. Unfortunately, despite the Holiday Inn having more rooms that would accommodate more people, the main function room has a maximum seating capacity of 120, hence the limit. The Holiday Inn is also the biggest venue we could find in the area, one hotel in Wigan town centre had a limit of just 80 people. Also based on previous convention numbers, we thought this was an average amount anyway.

We never expected to sell out so soon. As far as we are aware, this is a record for selling out a convention so quickly.

It is highly likely, the introduction of an online booking form has speeded things up. We are pleased to have a full convention and are truly sorry to those not on the list.

However, there is hope, as very often, for whatever reason, some people may have to cancel. In the event of any cancellations, there will be a reserve list. Please let us know if you would like to go on the list. "It could happen" (the reserve list has started already too!)

Gary & Julia


Success for DVD release

Thanks to everyone! To all who backed this project, thank you, many times over! You've made my dream of sharing this piece of "Hollywood history" a reality.

 Watching your commitment to get this film "out of the vault" was astonishing! From the first pledge to the last, to those who pre-ordered one or many copies, to those who just made a donation, I deeply appreciate everyone's effort in fulfilling my dream of getting this film "out of the vault" for the enjoyment of my fellow fans and collectors.

KickStarter requires two weeks to sort out the financial end.  They will provide me with a final list of donors. The documentary is wrapping up and the credits are being prepared. 

I can't thank you enough!

 I Joseph Hyatt

Coming Soon:
Like Two Peas In A Pod

Our major new research project
over two volumes exceeding 500 pages each

Volume 1 details all known lookalikes in films and TV programmes from 1930 to today, with information, biographies, reviews and plenty of pictures / screenshots.

Also features new interviews/ Q&A's/ comments with TV and film actors such as David Soul, Alistair McGowan and Tom Goodman-Hill (star of Humans, and yes a Stan look-alike) and Sons of the Desert lookalikes, such as James McKenna, Gary Stanley Slade and Gregg Taylor / Thomas Seymour.

Written with the assistance of Roger Robinson, Benedetto Gemma, Christian Blees, Arn Koppens, Tyler St Mark, Rob Lewis, Howard Parker, Ali Stevenson, Brad Farrell and Michael Ehret.

Foreword by Gary Winstanley.

This will be available late 2018/early 2019.

Volume 2 details all known lookalikes and tribute acts in theatrical stage productions, including street performance, circus and improvisation.

Also features listings of over 30 versions of Tom McGrath plays, with reviews, photos and interviews, and listings of multiple Killing of Sister George "appearances".

Featuring new interviews/ Q&A's with Jeffrey Holland, David Robinson from Searchlight Theatre (the writer of Mr Laurel & Mr Hardy), Ken Chubb (director of 1981's Gone with Hardy), Andrew Craig Shepherd (of Fiddle & the Bow fame), Jonathan Kaufman (director of 1999's Stan & Ollie), Nickie Paule (of the 1984 musical fame), Mark Hadfield (Stan in 1984's Blockheads), Philip Hutchinson (from Lucky Dog), Tyler St Mark, TV star Peter Duncan, Simon Baker (McGrath play 2007), Bud Hodgson, magician Jimmy Carlo, the family of war veteran Harry Griffiths, the son of 1940's "Ollie" Dump Harris, Stephen Harper & Mike Goodenough (conducted in Stoke 2007) and Robin Simpson & Steve Varnom (conducted in Stoke 2008).

Foreword by David Tomlinson, with an "End Word" by Jeffrey Holland.

Available soon... Watch this space!

Antony Mitchell-Waite


School report

Browsing the web, Tony Hillman came across an item entitled "The crumbling of ruins Stan Laurel's Grammar School" on Daily Mail Online.

Mike Jones writes, "Such a shame. I well remember visiting St James' in 1987 when a plaque was unveiled commemorating Stan's attendance, watched on by Bill Cubin, many of the Beau Chumps Tent and many other Sons luminaries.

Sadly, despite a good hunt, I can't find any of the photographs I took on the day, especially as many of these were interiors - I particularly remember the wooden bunks in the dorms.

I did however find a photo taken a year later during the convention parade through Bishop Auckland with St James 1 Grammar in the background.


I also couldn't resist attaching the one below - Peter Wood and Ronnie Dunn with Dinah and 'Rosina' posing for the local paper. Possibly my favourite photo from the Beau Chumps convention.


While looking for the St James photos, I also came across the one below from my Glasgow 1987 snaps. We're outside a pre-restored Panopticon.

'Gee, you sure have altered but you haven't changed a bit!' I've got a fringe too! I can't even remember that...

Willie McIntyre with Mike Jones

On the telly

Tony Hillman notes the following coming up on the Talking Pictures television channel...

18th May: 5.30 Brats

25th May: 5.30 Busy Bodies

27th May: 9.20 Laughing Gravy (plus 29th May: 4.25 and 2nd June: 5.20)

For sale

Before I put this signed photograph of Laurel & Hardy on eBay, I would like to offer it to all L&H fans through this site. 

It's an interesting photo mainly because of its size of 7,8" x 13,4" (20 x 34 cm) and Stan`s partial inscription in French. Oliver Hardy's signature is faded but still visible. The photo is very sharp, but unfortunately, some "block-head" decided to slightly trim it, cutting off part of the 'S' in Stan's name.

Stan & Ollie signed the photo for the bandleader at the Alhambra Theatre, Brussels (Belgium) in December 1947.

The price is 690 US-Dollar (= 590 Euro).

If you are interested to buy it please send an email to:

Michael Ehret

Wigan convention: Babes in Pieland