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

Hosted by the Call of the Cuckoos Tent

4th November 2017

Willie McIntyre


We had a great day at our Laurel and Hardy Movie Marathon at the Panopticon in Glasgow.

The purpose of the Marathon was twofold. Firstly we wanted to enjoy a feast of Laurel and Hardy films for Sons and members of the public to enjoy. We certainly succeeded. 283 people came along and laughed gleefully in a way which was music to my ears.

The second stated purpose of the Marathon was to raise money for the Panopticon itself and its ongoing restoration and preservation. This we also certainly did. Tents donated money and individuals were all very generous. We raised £569 in donations.

The programme (lasting from 11.00am till after 9.00pm was an eclectic one. It ranged from Sons of the Desert and You're Darn Tootin' to the oft-neglected Fra Diavolo.

Stan Laurel stated that Fra Diavolo was one of their best films and that Oliver Hardy agreed. Hal Roach also considered it a personal favourite of all his films. It had some of the team's best reviews. Eighty-four years after its release, the Panopticon audience also gave it a hearty "thumbs-up".

We even had a visitor from Finland. Young Harry was obviously very happy to be part of our celebration.

Lots of folk we have not seen for a while turned up, including John Bogie, who has been very unwell. Despite his ongoing trouble, John was able to provide some mirth of his own.

Willie McIntyre with John Bogie

Another face which has been absent for some time belongs to Willie Gallagher (below). What a joy it was to see him again "after a long illness patiently borne" (his words!).

We had a very welcome contingent from the Bonnie Scotland Tent.

Janice Hawton, Christine and Willie Black

Bill Crouch and Pat McIntyre manned the reception desk

Three generations of the Murphy family brought along joyful laughter. When young Charley was asked whether she wanted to stay or to leave to see a fireworks display, she asked, "Is this Laurel and Hardy show on every year?" The answer, of course, is "no". She retorted that she can see fireworks every year and therefore wanted to stay to see more Laurel and Hardy. She got her wish. A Grand Sheik in the making! 

The Murphy family (notice the sign in the background): Isobel, Charley, Edward and Nancy

We welcomed Scott Jackson (below), who promptly joined our tent. Scott was a Son of the Desert many years ago and it was great to recall with him past exploits.

Will we do it again? Now there's a good idea!