Talk will recall visits of Laurel and Hardy

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy on the steps of the Guildhall in Grantham.
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy on the steps of the Guildhall in Grantham.
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The visit of legendary comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy will be celebrated at a special talk next week.

Laurel and Hardy expert A.J. Marriot will be giving his “Laurel and Hardy in Grantham” talk on Tuesday night at the Guildhall so we’ve teamed up to give you a sneak preview of some of the 300 rare photographs that make his presentation.

Laurel and Hardy visiting Grantham in 1952.

Laurel and Hardy visiting Grantham in 1952.

Special guests at Tuesday night’s show will be the Mayor and Mayoress of Grantham – Councillor Ian Stokes and Mrs Sarah Stokes. Mr Marriot said: “When Stan and Ollie came to the Guildhall in 1952, the then Mayor – Ald. W. Goodliff and his lady wife – acted as their hosts, and so the current Mayor has graciously accepted to represent his predecessor.”

The 1952 visit began with a meal at the Red Lion before the party moved on to the Guildhall.

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!”

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

The pair also visited Grantham and Barkston in 1947 when Stan was visiting his 86-year-old father at the Plough Inn at Barkston.

Stan’s father, Arthur Jefferson, who was ever so proud of his boy, told him: “God bless you, son.”

In response, Laurel quipped: “I’ll race you up the street for a pound.”

Laurel & Hardy In Grantham” will be at the Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham on Tuesday, February 26. Doors open 6.30pm.

The show starts at 7pm.

Tickets £8 – children £5, concessions £7. Tel: 01476 406158 or www.guildhallartscentre.com to find out more.