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




Latest Intra-Tent Journal is out

Don't miss out on news of Sons of the Desert activities around the world, plus lots of pieces on Laurel and Hardy, their films and all sorts of associated matters.

Contact editor Bill Oates - or Del Kempster for UK subscriptions.

Bella Emberg

Further to our page on the sad passing of Bella Emberg, we have below just a few of the comments we received on Facebook

Paul Allen:

What a lovely lady she was. I had the pleasure of sitting with her at our convention in 2002 and we kept in contact since then. Always sent each other Christmas cards. Went to a panto she was in up north and spent the evening with her. Going to miss a special lady.

Gordon Davie:

I remember her doing the official opening of the extension to the (original) museum in Ulverston. I was standing next to John Robertson and as she cut the ribbon and went to go inside John quipped that Bill would probably charge her the admission fee!

Trevor W Bell:

I feel so very lucky to have met her when she stayed in Southend. She was a lovely lady and insisted I sat at her table with her and her friend at the Westcliff Hotel. In the evening she sat at the bar chatting to John Inman. Very sad news.

Willie McIntyre:

I value her as a truly warm lady and a good pal who, like me, loved Laurel and Hardy. RIP, special lady.


TV mess

Mark Wall tells us that Phil Neville's appointment as England ladies football manager was called 'Another Fine Mess' on BBC News (24th January)!


Guess who?

He went on to become a prominent Grand Sheik. He is pictured opposite in 1969 on holiday in Blackpool.

Can you guess who he is? The answer is at the foot of this page.

Tattoo you

Michael Schmitz spotted something in the tabloids on 9th January...

German tabloid BILD (which is the German equivalent to the UK tabloid The Sun) asks people to send in their pictures when they want to report something. A chap sent a few pics showing his tattoos. One shows our Boys.

Other photos were of Heinz Rühmann (very famous actor in Germany) and Louis de Funes (from France).


In the Christmas sales I treated myself to the DVD box set of 'The IT Crowd', the Channel 4 comedy starring Richard Ayoade, Chris O'Dowd and Katherine Parkinson. In one episode there was a scene which was very familiar: the characters Moss and Roy arrive late for a meeting. Roy then looks back along the corridor to see where Moss has got to, only to be startled when he turns round and finds that Moss has come in behind his back. They then cause huge disruption as they climb over people to get to the front. Once they sit down Moss shifts his chair and traps Roy's hand!

In the commentary writer Graham Linehan (of 'Father Ted' fame) admits that he lifted the whole scene from 'Sons of the Desert' as a tribute to Laurel and Hardy, of whom he is a huge fan.

Gordon Davie

Search this

Search the following free site to not only find L&H films but also those of the supporting cast such as Charlie Hall, Mae Busch, Arthur Housman, Anita Garvin, Thelma Todd etc

One to search for is Walter Long who early in his career appeared in some Rudolph Valentino films.

There are only a few L&H films including some solos, but the site is well worth a visit...

On a separate note, in one of the Celebrity University Challenge Semi-Finals broadcast over the Christmas period one of the questions asked was "What was the name of Stan and Ollie's dog, which is also the title of a Laurel and Hardy film?" 

The contestants didn't get it right.......

John Burton, on the Brats Facebook page


Talking Pictures TV channel

Just been checking forthcoming schedule for Talking Pictures and found that on 28th January at 7.50 is Block-Heads

Tony Hillman

Also the shorts...

From Hannah

Hannah Wilson keeps in touch. We fondly remember Hannah (Ann) and her late husband Les Macdonald, who founded the Leave 'em Laughing Tent in Liverpool way back in the 1970s. Hannah has lived in New Zealand for many years and she forwarded to us a vintage postcard (below) found in a local Cancer Research shop.

What a find!

I wanted to share the story with you about my visit to a book shop in Dubai from last November.

Had a bit of spare time after work on my last evening and took the train to get to Dubai Mall near Burj Khalifa. The mall is said to be one of the biggest in the world and I ended up in one of the biggest book shops I have ever seen.

I though to get something nice for Emi and since she likes cook books very much I went to this section and found long rows of book shelves with hundreds and more of cooking books. With most of the stuff being in English I should have found something nice, but at the end couldn't make up my mind at all. What a shame.

But when I already was leaving the section my eyes well over "The Official John Wayne Way to Barbecue", took it, opened it just somewhere in the middle and this picture turned up where I put my fingers into the book.

What a nice coincidence.

I didn't buy it in the end, because I rather would like to go for the German version (if available)

Michael Schmitz

Did you guess who he was?

The mystery young man photographed further up this page is none other than Dave Beecroft. He describes this as, "Long before the beard, or it appears, the spread of my stomach muscles!"