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




Another Fine Mess-age

Gerry Dunne and Keith Davidson have published the latest edition of Another Fine Mess-age magazine.

Highly recommended, as always, it has a wealth of first-class material on the tent and on Laurel and Hardy.

Contact Gerry Dunne.

Last opportunity to join in the L& H fun at Southend

We are sorry to say that Lee and Dee McBeath, who have a nearly perfect record in attending all the International Laurel and Hardy Conventions, have had to cancel  for health reasons. We will certainly all miss seeing them.

Lee and Dee were also booked to attend the pre-Convention in Southend. So at this late stage, we now have two vacancies to fill. Probably most Sons have now made their travel plans, BUT if you haven't and you would like to join us (there are 54 other pre-Conventioneers) then please contact me ASAP by e-mail.

We have a fun-packed four day event arranged.

Contact Roger Robinson


Jean Poulain spotted Stan and Ollie behind the window of a restaurant (le California) in Angers.

Beatles mention

I got the Beatles Anthology DVD set - I hadn't spotted before (and don't know if it was in BD at the time) that Stan was in the 'Free as a Bird') video. If you didn't know, try to spot him.

Stephen Barlow

Laurel and Hardy Taxi Driver is a Nonagenarian  

Yes, Ron Stokoe, Laurel and Hardy's taxi driver in Southend in August 1952, is now 90 years young! Many of you will know that he is quite a character. Friendly, gregarious and always has an anecdote to share. A number of people have said to him"You should write this in a book". I am pleased to say that I had the privilege and pleasure to help him do just that.

Ron was born in Charlie Chaplin's area of London, learned to drive when he was 14, was evacuated at the beginning of the war, set up his own taxi business aged 17, served in the army in India during the war, worked at the Ekco factory in Southend and even met and spoke to the Queen (she couldn't get a word in edgeways!). Shortly after he retired, he sadly lost his beloved wife Iris. His role in his military retirement reunions, umpteen holidays in Canada and becoming a Son of the Desert have kept him busy and enjoying life. Oh, and he has been known to drink and stay up late at night!

The 100 page A4 book covers all this and much more and is a fascinating read and is richly illustrated with photographs throughout.

Although this book was produced primarily for his family, extra copies have been printed for Ron's friends in the Sons. It will also be available at the International Convention in July.

Cost is just £5 + £3 p&p in UK

Roger Robinson

Cuckoo Maiden Challenge Cup

My attention was caught whilst watching At The Races (12th May) when the commentator announced that the horses were lining up for the Cuckoo Challenge Cup. The race was won by a horse called See U Again Son.

Now can you beat that?

 John Burton

The Cuckoo's Echo

Sons know that one of the ways to keep tent members informed is by putting out periodic magazines, newsletters, etc. There are many wonderful magazines still being published. One of those is by the Block-Heads Tent of Prato, Italy; in Italian, Block-Heads would be "Teste Dure." It is produced by the Grand Sheik, Alessandro Santi. The magazine is called L'Eco del Cuckoo; in English, "The Cuckoo's Echo." It is really a wonderful magazine to see. He has published 5 issues now. For example, issue #3 has 70 pages; issue #4 has 100 pages; and the latest issue #5 has about 100 pages. The magazines are 8-1/4 x 11-1/2. Below is the cover for issue #5, where you'll see Alessandro in the photo which was taken in the Hollywood Museum during the 2014 Sons of Desert Convention in Hollywood, California. 

 Gino Dercola


Film Fun book

I thought you might be interested in seeing images of this great book I picked up at an antiques fair in Doune, Perthshire. It has all our favourite stars of the time. L&H feature throughout the book, also Wheeler & Woolsey, Ben Turpin, Buster Keaton, Charley Chase and many others.

 John Bogie

Another Fine Mess play

We are performing a play about a Laurel & Hardy tribute act called "Another Fine Mess" at The Little Theatre in Chester on Saturday 11 June at 7.30pm, which includes extracts from Way out West, plus Blotto and Thicker Than Water.

White Cobra Productions are a multi-award winning touring theatre company and fellow appreciators of Laurel & Hardy.

Kate Billingham



...also in West Sussex

I saw this play back in October 1998 (in fact the night before the launch of the 'Saps At Sea') when it was playing under the banner of 'Another Fine Mess'.

It is a clever and funny play and has a few surprises. It is certainly worth seeing.

 Roger Robinson

Chaplin's World

Ian Knowles of the Saps at Sea Tent was at the official opening of Chaplin's World in Vevey Switzerland a few weeks ago. One of the displays which he admired is shown below.