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




Worthing extravaganza

Sean McDonald is the Mayor of Worthing. He is also a big Laurel and Hardy fan. He tells us, "As part of my Charities this year, I am hosting a Laurel and Hardy evening at the Southern Pier Pavilion on our delightful pier in Worthing."

It promises to be a night to remember and all are welcome.

Frank's film collection

Here are a couple of pictures showing Frank Sugden's incredible collection of Laurel and Hardy films. Frank's family are currently talking with an interested party with a view to finding a new home for the films which will mean they are kept together as a complete collection and will be available for screening to the general public as per Frank's wishes.

Dean Carroll

Laughing Gravy Tent

The Laughing Gravy Tent of Birmingham meets on the first Thursday of each month at the Crown Members Club, Tyburn Rd, Erdington. They show the Boys' films on a giant screen, sell Laurel and Hardy memorabilia, have a raffle and "generally have a good laugh". The club sells hot and cold food and has a large car park. Attendance at meetings isusually around 100 to 120 people. Children are welcome.

The tent publishes a Laughing Gravy Annual every year in addition to regular issues of The Birmingham Bark.


 A Chump At Oxford is one of my favorite Laurel and Hardy films. Recently, I was "chatting" with fellow Son, Irv Hyatt, by email and I asked him about the scenes in that movie where the Boys are in a maze and how that was done. Irv was nice enough to give me some background information, below, that I found of interest and maybe you might, too.

Gino Dercola

In the film, the maze was a set. If you look at the film, you can see the full screen shot of the maze is one of those glass paintings paired with the actual set. Here is a screen capture (thanks to Dave Lord Heath for this). The front hedges and the entry are real, the rest of the hedges and the London background are a mat glass painting. The camera is set up to photograph both the art and the set at the same time. When you see the Boys in the maze, you never see more than thirty foot of hedges at once. I would imagine they would set the hedges in different patterns to make each shot look like they are further into the maze.

We actually went to this hedge maze at Hampton Courts in the 1984 convention. It took at least 2 hours to find your way out, even with over 50 people in it at a time (in groups). When you are with more people, the maze becomes more challenging, not less.

There are two wooden platforms that you can climb to see where you are, and, since they are above the hedges, to see where you need to go. You still got lost. Even following the wall brought you to circles and dead ends.

If you ever get the chance, it is an amazing experience.

 For people who do not go in, there is a platform set up for viewers to check the journey of people in the maze.



Saps at Sea Tent

The Saps will be celebrating Babe Hardy's special birthday 10 days early at our January 2017 meeting. Of course any visitors will be most welcome.

Roger Robinson


Bacon Grabbers Tent and The Big Noise Tent

During the last 13 years Chris Coffey has visited Laurel and Hardy events 6 times in Europe and 4 times in America. We asked Chris for an update on his two tents. He says...

Bacon Grabbers

Norman Leigh remains the Grand Sheik of the Bacon Grabbers Tent. At this moment it is dormant. The locations of Central Manchester and Wigan have ceased. Bacon Grabbers will now be based in my home town of St Helens. I am hopeful that I will start monthly screenings. I still have several members who pay their subs quarterly and in exchange I send them the quarterly Intra-Tent Journal.

The Big Noise Tent

This is dormant but not dead. I set it up to remind Conventioneers not to ignore the plight of the old and infirm in their arrangements. Membership is free and I communicate by email. The only "members" I meet are Marion and Lucy.

Nancy Wardell asked me to take over her Charity Appeal. I am busy with other commitments at the moment, but I hope to use Big Noise to help revive the Charity Appeal.  


Karl Kosiczky

The midget in the lift in Block-Heads was Karl "Karchy" Kosiczky, born 1918 in Austria-Hungary. His deep voice in the film was dubbed by Billy Bletcher. Prior to being with the Boys he had been in the Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn film Bringing Up Baby (1938).

His claim to fame, though, was being the first trumpeter in the film The Wizard of Oz and being one of the singers who led Dorothy down the Yellow Brick Road. He also had two other roles in the film. At 4 foot 5 inches he was the smallest of all the Munchkins.

He died in 2011, aged 93, in Dublin, Georgia, USA.

Tony Hillman

Brats Tent 28th University Meeting

The Brats Tent celebrated their 28th University meeting this month. As part of the celebrations we invited Professor Patsy to perform her Punch and Judy show to a packed house!

Following the performance Patsy stayed throughout the remainder of the meeting and said that she enjoyed the evening so much that she will be returning in future as a member

You may recognise Patsy as she also performed at last year's UK Convention in Sheffield .

John Burton

Two Tars Tent of Philadelphia: Fall Banquet

The Two Tars Tent of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, held its Fall Banquet on October 14, at the well-known Cannstatter Club near downtown Philly. I had the opportunity to join them for this fun event. Grand Sheik Roger Gordon and the other members of the tent were very welcoming to all who attended, and Sons from various tents traveled many miles to attend this Banquet. Of course, the Cannstatter Buffet is very well-known and the food was plentiful and delicious. Featured L&H films included "Scram" and "Saps At Sea," and a few other interesting films were shown. The featured presentation was the stand-up comedy of Bob Greenberg, a member of the Founding Tent of New York, and someone who has appeared on Broadway shows, the Friar's Club, New York's Comedy Club, touring shows, etc. His performance for us included a number of impersonations, particularly of Stan and Babe. It was a very enjoyable night with fellow Sons. 

Gino Dercola

Gino Dercola has a newsgroup which regularly circulates an enormous amount of news and information about the Sons of the Desert and Laurel and Hardy. It is free of change and is highly recommended. Contact Gino at

Did you know?

Oliver Hardy loved the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team.

Morecambe and Wise statue

Have you seen/heard the news about Graham Ibbeson's Morecambe and Wise statue that was unveiled in Blackpool Winter Gardens this week?  Here is a link with more details.

Roger Robinson