Group 28

2022-09-17 10:25:16 By :

The museum dedicated to the comedy duo is currently located in Ulverston - Laurel's hometown

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At some point, most of us will have gone through a phase of collecting memorabilia of our favourite pop star, TV show or football team.

There's the fun of trading footie cards with mates in the playground or the buzz of finding a limited edition magazine in an antique store or charity shop. But Laurel and Hardy super fan Bill Cubin went above and beyond to show his appreciation for the comedy duo.

Bill, who was born in Ulverston, the same home town as Laurel, turned his hobby into a museum in his own home. He transformed a room, filling it with thousands of picture scrapbooks and collectable items.

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Interest in his collection grew with neighbours and fellow fans invited to visits and marvel at Bill's dedication to the iconic duo know for their slapstick antics and comedy sketches during the silent Classic Hollywood era.

Bill died in 1997 and by this point, his collection had outgrown the tiny spare room in his home. And thanks to a substantial donation by another Laurel and Hardy fan, the collection was moved to the Roxy Cinema site in Ulverston in 2009.

The building is still used as a cinema and boasts many of the Art-deco auditorium's original features while the museum, which is known as the only one of its kind in the world, is currently run by younger members of Bill's family. Visitors can learn all about Laurel's early life and his career in Hollywood with Hardy.

They can explore the hundreds of personal artefacts and rare memorabilia, including letters, film props, movie posters and family photos. There is also a mini cinema at the museum showing classic Laurel and Hardy films and visitors can browse the onsite gift shop for a memento to take home.

Incidentally, there is also a statute dedicated to Laurel and Hardy in Ulverston's County Square outside Coronation Hall, where the pair once appeared on the balcony. It was installed in 2010 and also features Laughing Gravy, a dog which featured in many of the duo's films.

Dressed in their signature black bowler hats and suits Laurel and Georgia-born Hardy featured in hoards of silent films, later transitioning to talking movies during the peak of their careers between the late 1920s to the mid-1950s. Laurel, the son of a thespian father, originally visited America to tour with a comedy troupe in 1912 but decided to stay, meeting Hardy several years later after appearing in more than 20 films.

Their on screen chemistry was infectious and spawned a huge worldwide fanbase. Their talking films have also produced a number of memorable quips, including "you can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be led", "I was dreaming I was awake, but I woke up and found meself asleep" and "A lot of weather we've been having lately"

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