Laurel and Hardy group swaps nights to avoid clashes with Sunderland AFC matches

A promising turnout for the inaugural meeting of the 'Beau Chumps Tent of Sunderland'.
A promising turnout for the inaugural meeting of the 'Beau Chumps Tent of Sunderland'.

A monthly tribute to two comedy greats will be held on a Wednesday - so members can appreciate their cinematic heroes and still go to football matches.

Sunderland’s inaugural meeting of the Laurel and Hardy appreciation society saw more than 40 people turn up, including some from the Carlisle and Bishop Auckland branches.

Mike Jones, left, and George Cullen were among the dozens of Laurel and Hardy fans at the inaugural meeting.

Mike Jones, left, and George Cullen were among the dozens of Laurel and Hardy fans at the inaugural meeting.

“A good time was had by all,” said Mike Jones, who is the man behind the scheme to revive Sunderland’s branch of the appreciation society.

And he told of the plans to hold all future meetings on the second Wednesday of the month at the Boars Head in High Street East.

The decision to choose that date was taken “by popular consensus,” said Mike.

He said it was chosen because Sunderland and other football clubs can have matches on Tuesdays and added: “There are a couple of other ‘society’ meetings on the second Tuesday.”

We all enjoyed Big Business, Beau Chumps and Sons of the Desert and each presentation received rapturous applause at the end and much laughter during the screenings

Mike Jones

The Wearside branch, which is called the Beau Chumps Tent of Sunderland, was first mooted when a taster day was held in January.

It attracted plenty of interest which led to a first official meeting.

Now the branch is well and truly up and running and Mike added: “We knew that several more were coming than the 12 that came to the taster meeting in January, but 40 exceeded all expectations.

“It was great to welcome Melvin, George and Ian from the Them Thar Hills tent of Carlisle and Tony from the Hog Wild tent of Bishop Auckland. Both tents donated raffle prizes which was much appreciated.”

A showing of movie favourites was a highlight of the night.

A showing of movie favourites was a highlight of the night.

Members also watched Laurel and Hardy films and Mike added: “We all enjoyed Big Business, Beau Chumps and Sons of the Desert and each presentation received rapturous applause at the end and much laughter during the screenings.

“We agreed that all future meetings would be held on the second Wednesday of the month, thus avoiding my beloved Sunderland AFC home games and clashes with other organisations who meet on the same night.

“Based on a questionnaire to establish everyone’s favourites, next months films will be Liberty, The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case and Pardon Us.”

To find out more, visit https://beauchumps.wordpress.com.

So much interest in Laurel and Hardy from these fans.

So much interest in Laurel and Hardy from these fans.