Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy are, without doubt, one of the greatest comedians of all time.  Their films have brought laughter and happiness to many people across the world for over 70 years that is from the early days of silent and talkie film projections on the silver screen to the modern day plasma screen images from VHS and DVD players.  There are many very good websites that pay tribute to the Boys and their film work – but this is not one of them!  Instead, this website pays tribute to their theatrical work particularly by presenting historical research and information concerning their visits to my local area of Nottingham and Grantham. 


Towards the end of their film career, Stan & Ollie embarked on extensive theatrical tours across the UK in 1947, 1952 and then again in 1953/4, where they would appear in Variety with a number of other acts.  This included engagements at the Nottingham Empire Theatre - one week after Easter in 1952 and a 4-week engagement over Christmas 1953 which ran into January 1954.  Stan`s sister, Olga and her husband Bill Healey, also lived in the area during the 1940s and 1950s.  They ran the Plough Inn at Barkston (4 miles north of Grantham) during the 1940s and the Bull Inn at Bottesford in the early 1950s.  They were regularly visited by Stan & Ollie during the tours.


I am Dave Tomlinson, Vice-Sheik of the Hats Off Tent of the Laurel & Hardy Appreciation Society in Derby, UK.  Over the next few months I hope to present material related to their visits to my local area beginning with the village of Barkston. 



I would fully appreciate you contacting me if you have any information concerning their visits in and around the East Midlands area of Derby, Nottingham and Grantham (including Barkston and Bottesford).  I`m greatly interested in any personal stories of seeing them live - either on or off the Nottingham Empire stage.  I am also interested in seeing any memorabilia that would be connected to their visits (eg Nottingham Empire programs, posters, flyers, autographs).  You can contact me at   All information provided will be acknowledged in future articles.


Now on with the show….


          Barkston – A story of Bow and Arrows   June 2003, minor revision Aug 2003


                Barkston – A Sons Perfect Day Out      Aug 2003



Thank you for visiting.


Last Update: 16th Aug 2003