Laurel and Hardy fans throw Wigan party

Sons and Daughters of the Desert gather in Bryn
Sons and Daughters of the Desert gather in Bryn
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Laurel and Hardy’s Wigan fan club took its celebration of the comedy duo into its second quarter century with another afternoon of madcap fun.


The Sons of the Desert, worshippers of the silver screen’s immortal Stan and Ollie, gathered at Bryn Masonic Hall for the 26th annual Laurel and HarDay.

Bowler hats were much in evidence

Bowler hats were much in evidence

Dozens of fez and bowler hat-wearing visitors, both local and from all over the UK, enjoyed films, talks and games.

As has become the tradition, the last of these included a Laurel and Hardy version of a popular TV game show. This year the contest was a take on Pointless which pitted four pairs of contestants in a trivia battle backed by some graphics so impressive that they matched the real thing.

Expert Antony Mitchell-Waite gave a well-researched and heavily illustrated talk on the countless people who have performed filmed impersonations of the double act over the years.

Veteran Son Eric Woods tested the audience’s knowledge with a quiz about the duo’s 107 films.

Memorabilia on sale from Antony and Josh Mitchell-Waite

Memorabilia on sale from Antony and Josh Mitchell-Waite

There was a preview of the organisation’s sell-out British convention which will take place at Haydock’s Holiday Inn next May.

And the event’s climax was the annual World Kneesy Earsy Nosey Championships - a hand-eye co-ordination trick perfected by Stan (look it up online!) - where contestants’ efforts are scrutinised by a panel of judges (the grand sheikhs of each tent or branch) and eliminated one by one.

For the first time in the tournament’s history there was no outright winner, with the trophy shared by young brothers Ben and Jack Galloway, the adjudictors saying they couldn’t separate them because they were both so good.

Ben and Jack Galloway and Edward Rhodes

Ben and Jack Galloway and Edward Rhodes