Two of British comedy’s biggest stars are celebrated and enjoyed every month at one of Hyde’s local public houses. Patrons of the Cheshire Ring pub, on Manchester Road (facing Great Norbury Street), are fanatical about a duo, who lit up movie screens across the world, leaving audiences in stitches over many years of early cinema. Their heroes are Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, who still have a huge fan base, across the globe. Fan groups are part of a network who share rare pictures and information on the comedians. Each group has its own name and “Tent” number, the one in Hyde being “Sailors Beware Tent 262 Hyde”, the name originating from one of the films starring the duo. The group meets on the last Thursday of every month, when they enjoy one of the films on a large screen, whist enjoying cask ales and the pub’s homemade curries.

Several of the “Tent” members love to dress as Stan & Ollie and often appear at local charity functions to boost fundraising efforts. They have also appeared at local care homes, entertaining residents, many of whom would have seen the movies in local picture houses when they were first released. The “Tent” also has its own Facebook page, where details of upcoming appearances, along with film nights can be found, as well as photos from past events. Anyone is welcome to come along to movie nights and enjoy some good old-fashioned slapstick and belly laughs, as well as chatting to the experts with any questions you may like to ask. Who knows, you may soon find yourself in a bowler hat, saying; “This is another fine mess you’ve got us into”.

Andrew Richardson