LEGENDARY comedy duo Laurel and Hardy are not the first names you would associate with North Wales, but in the 1950s they took their talents to Rhyl and Conwy.
Back in 1952, the duo appeared on stage at the Queen’s Theatre in Rhyl, and were later pictured with the winners of a painting competition held by the Rhyl Leader, at the time an offshoot of the Wrexham Leader.
They presented each winner with a signed copy of the book Alice in Wonderland, including Shirley Jones, in the front row of the stage picture.
The Rhyl Leader reported that “Stan (Laurel) and Ollie (Hardy) were just as funny on stage as they are on the screen, and the “House Full” signs were in place all week with police having to control the crowds.”
But the comedy double also loved fishing, and were informed by the manager of the Queen’s Theatre that the waters off Conwy were perfect for letting off some steam.
They went fishing with Rhyl policeman Frank Evans, who was involved with the Queen’s Theatre in Rhyl where they had performed.
Laurel and Hardy appeared as a team in 107 films, starring in 32 short silent films, 40 short sound films, and 23 full-length feature films.
They also made 12 guest or cameo appearances, and greatly influenced many performers.
A signed programme from their performance in Rhyl went for auction four years ago.