Laurel and Hardy group is set for a revival in Sunderland

Mike Jones and Tony Kenny get ready for the next meeting.
Mike Jones and Tony Kenny get ready for the next meeting.
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Get ready for a lorra Laurel and Hardy laughs at a new Wearside group which will meet next week.

A taster meeting of an appreciation society to the comic legends was a huge success.

Mike Jones and Tony Kenny get ready for the next meeting.

Mike Jones and Tony Kenny get ready for the next meeting.

And it means the organisers are now planning the first regular meeting of the Sunderland branch of the ‘Sons of the Desert’ on Tuesday, February 12.

It will be held in the Boars Head on High Street East starting at 7.30pm.

Mike Jones, who is behind the revival of Sunderland’s branch of the appreciation society, said the pilot meeting went well.

“Twelve fans attended, all of whom confirmed that they would come back for the meeting on February 12 which is a great start. We are also pretty confident of comfortably exceeding that number as several members of the ‘Them Thar Hills’ tent of Carlisle and a couple from the ‘Hog Wild’ tent of Bishop Auckland are hoping to attend.”

Twelve fans attended the taster session, all of whom confirmed that they would come back for the meeting on February 12 which is a great start.

Mike Jones

The dozen who did attend may also bring friends to swell the numbers - and the tents referred to by Mike are the names for branches of the society.

Stan and Laurel’s links to Wearside stretch back more than 60 years.

They played the Sunderland Empire in both March 1952 and February 1954, and visited the Boars Head on many occasions with Stan’s old stage pal, Bennie Barron.

In the 80s and early 90s, the Laurel and Hardy appreciation society had a strong presence in Sunderland.

Mike said: “It has long been my intention to re-establish this and as I am now essentially retired, I have the time to make this happen.

“So, in conjunction with the release of the new ‘Stan and Ollie’ film in cinemas, the Sunderland branch, or Tent, of the Sons of the Desert - the International Appreciation Society - is relaunching and will meet every second Tuesday of the Month at the Boars Head in High Street East in Sunderland.

Stan and Ollie played the Sunderland Empire in both March 1952 and February 1954, and visited with Stan’s old stage pal, Bennie Barron, at the Boars Head on several occasions.

Those wanting to find out more can visit https://beauchumps.wordpress.com, or they can email hello@boars-head.com.