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




Chickens Come Home Tent of Lancaster

Dave Wilkinson is now the Grand Sheik again for the Chickens Come Home Tent of Lancaster (210).

His contact details are:
41 Meadow Park, Galgate, nr Lancaster, Lancs LA2 0NH


A website outlining pre-convention and convention activities is now available. Point your browsers to

Please check the site regularly as many things will undoubtedly change between now and July 2018! On the site you can sign up to receive regular email updates about the convention.

I thank you, our tent thanks you, and Ethel (especially) thanks you.

Grand Sheik Gene Sorkin, The Chimp Tent
Phone: 513-559-0112

Oliver Hardy Festival 2016

Just a little more information for Sons coming to the Oliver Hardy Festival this year in Harlem, Georgia. This year's theme is "The Chimp".

The Saturday night Sons get-together will start at 7:00pm at Gary and Jean Russeth's museum - just a few blocks from The L&H Museum. They will have snacks and soft drinks, but feel free to bring along some of your own to share.

Gino Dercola

Call of the Cuckoos Tent of Glasgow

The Call of the Cuckoos Tent of Glasgow had around eighty folk at its August meeting, when Sons of the Desert was screened amongst other films. The reception was fantastic.

The next presentation will be on 5th October.

Earlier in August, three members of the Call of the Cuckoos Tent went to Edinburgh to see the play Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy and had a delightful chat and drinks with the actors after the show.

Willie McIntyre, Colin Alexander, Alan Ellsworth, David Leeson and Bill Crouch

TV news from Germany

Today (18.09.16.) I fell over 3 Sat showing Wild West films all day long. Many John Wayne films in the afternoon and Winnetou and Old Surehand films which were very popular in Germany in the 70s in the morning and early afternoon. Very interesting was that they started the Theme Day with a documentation and directly afterwards with Way Out West, which I unfortunately missed.

Michael Schmitz

New CD

Here is the press release for a new LeRoy Shield CD, due to be available in November/December

This album recreates the atmosphere and feeling of the 1930s comedies from the Hal Roach Studios, the 'Lot of Fun', where Laurel & Hardy, Our Gang, Charley Chase, The Boy Friends and Thelma Todd created their biggest successes. These short films were usually enlivened by the catchy background tunes composed by LeRoy Shield (1893&endash;1962). Although the titles of these tunes remained known only to insiders, the music is all too familiar to anyone who ever saw Stan and Ollie embark on one of their doomed journeys.

Trained as a classical pianist, Shield eased into the new medium of film music with apparent ease and knocked off dozens of short, catchy background tunes in record time. It is not funny "comedy music" in itself. Rather, it ranges from slow, sentimental ballads to uptempo dance numbers. Sometimes, there are echoes of Stravinsky, Satie and Casella!

Tracking down original sheet music took years of detective work. For the first time in history, this CD contains renditions of original piano music and original piano transcriptions made by Shield himself - written before the orchestral versions were recorded - of tunes such as 'All Together', 'Little Dancing Girl', 'Gangway Charlie', 'Riding Along', and 'The Moon and You'.

It also contains piano transcriptions of Shield's background tunes from 1930-31 as originally published as loose-leaf sheet music: 'Bells', 'You Are The One I Love', 'In My Canoe', 'On to the Show', 'Riding Along' and 'Good Old Days'.

Originally published in 1931 but today impossible to find, the "LeRoy Shield Song Album" is a collection of even more film background tunes transcribed for piano: 'Prelude', 'Bride's Song', 'Here We Go', 'Look at Him Now', 'Cascadia', 'Dash and Dot', 'Let's Go', 'Antics', 'Give Us a Hand' and 'It Is to Laugh'.

Finally, this collection includes Simonetto's piano transcriptions of Shield's stock music used in various films around 1935-36 and some excerpts from the Our Relations music score, including 'We're Just Happy Family', 'On a Sunny Afternoon', 'Just a Kiss' and 'Dancing on the Clouds.'

Alessandro Simonetto, the pianist

Psychedelic poster

Those Sons who are large collectors of L&H memorabilia are most likely familiar with the below poster. But for those Sons who have not seen it, I thought it was interesting enough to share it.

This is a vintage 1968 Royal Screen Craft Lithograph poster created by graphic pop artist Elaine Hanelock. She created these unusual posters of Golden Age Movie Stars with a psychedelic motif.

The colors are very brilliant, consisting of red, orange, tan, lavender, yellow, black and white. The size is 28-1/2" x 22-1/2" inches. Very unusual, indeed.

Gino Dercola

Cafe in Buffalo

The above photos were taken by three Sons who visited a neat place called Laurel and Hardy Café, located in Buffalo, New York. The Sons are Irv Hyatt, Cliff Sawyer, and Mark Eisler, and they were there the weekend of September 10, 2016. These Sons were in Buffalo to attend a film show. 

Mark Eisler is on the left of our photo and Cliff Sawyer is on the right.

Information about this place is: Laurel and Hardy Café, 1388 Broadway Street, Buffalo, New York. Phone: 716-896-6350.

If you're not familiar with the location of Buffalo, it is just 30 minutes from the US/Canada border. 

Gino Dercola

Exhibition in the Netherlands

Below are photos of a Laurel and Hardy Exhibition in Noord-Schardwoude, a small town north of Amsterdam. The exposition opened earlier this month and will run till the end of January 2017.

Geoffrey Donaldson (who is staging the exhibition and who is seen in our second photo) was an Australian film historian who lived and worked in The Netherlands and did extensive ground breaking research into Dutch silent cinema.