Laurel and Hardy boosted business

Sister of Stan Laurel, Mrs W. Healey of Bottesford is pictured in the centre. With her are Mrs Laurel and Mrs Hardy and the vice presidents of the Chamber of Trade John Foster and Colin Tipler.

Sister of Stan Laurel, Mrs W. Healey of Bottesford is pictured in the centre. With her are Mrs Laurel and Mrs Hardy and the vice presidents of the Chamber of Trade John Foster and Colin Tipler.

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BUSINESSMEN in Grantham were attempting to bring more trade to the town 60 years...so they invited Laurel and Hardy along!

Last month we delved into the Journal archives to bring you a Laurel and Hardy special from 1947.

Laurel (far right) and Hardy (second from right) are welcomed by Mayor W. Goodliff and the president of the Chamber of Trade, Mr R. Sandall.

Laurel (far right) and Hardy (second from right) are welcomed by Mayor W. Goodliff and the president of the Chamber of Trade, Mr R. Sandall.

This week we take you back 60 years to February, 1952 when the comedy legends returned to Grantham to officially open the Grantham Chamber of Trade’s three-day exhibition in the Guildhall.

The archive story was brought to the Journal’s attention by Dave Tomlinson of the Laurel and Hardy Appreciation Society. Mr Tomlinson got in touch after reading last month’s story on the duo’s visit to Grantham and Barkston.

Their 1952 visit began with a meal at the Red Lion before heading to the Guildhall were they were mobbed by hundreds of excited Grantham fans.

The Journal reported how the pair were in excellent form and everyone “had a good laugh as Stanley continually tried to attract the speaking Hardy’s attention to tell him - “You’re standing on my foot!”

Laurel and Hardy got plenty of laughs during their 1952 visit to the town.

Laurel and Hardy got plenty of laughs during their 1952 visit to the town.

The visit was essentially a publicity stunt designed to “stimulate interest in private trade and to encourage shopping in Grantham,” the Journal reported.

When Colin Tipler, vice president of the Chamber of Trade, was asked why Laurel and Hardy were half-an-hour late, he replied: “At the request of our guests we drove slowly all the way, especially through Stamford.”