Stan Laurel Timeline - 1954


                May 15th.'54.

                May 17th. '54.
                Palace Theatre.

My Dear Trixie [Wyatt]:-
                Thanks yours of the 10th.inst.
Pleased to know you had a nice time with Jack & Bennie, would [have] loved to have been with you.
     Well Dear, we have decided to finish our tour in Swansea, week of May 24th. we were to have finished two weeks later but did'nt like the dates they offered, so called the whole thing off.
    We expect to sail about June 12th. if we can get accommodations on one of the Holand-American Line ships, which goes direct to Los Angeles through the Panama Canal. they are Cargo ships & stop in for a day or so at different Foreign ports on the way - it's about a 30 day trip, so would be an interesting trip & give us a nice rest, & when we arrive, its only about an hour's drive to our house in Santa Monica, so it practically takes us to our doorstep. If we went on the "Queen Mary" we would arrive in New York & then ride 3 days & nights on the train to Los Angeles. This way (Cargo Ship) is more convenient besides being a great saving in fares. Going on the "Mary" to Los Angeles, costs, for all of us, £1500. this other way £700.
    We shall go to London from Swansea & wait there for sailing date, do'nt know where we shall stay yet, but will let you know. Eda flew to Paris last Tuesday to see some friends before we leave. She will be back again tonight. Enclosed photos for the little Girls.
    All for now Dear, will write you again as soon as our sailing plans are definite.
    Bye Trixie, all join in love & kind thoughts.
                As ever:-
Stan Signature


                Palace Theatre,
                May 18th.'54.

My Dear Booth [Colman]:-
                Thanks yours 30th.ult.
The Blackpool deal is out, so we have decided to close the tour next week in Swansea & as soon as we can get a sailing date, we shall be on our way home.
    We are trying to come back on a cargo ship by the way of the Panama Canal, but as they have no definite sailing dates, it is uncertain when we shall leave here. Anyway we are going to London & will wait for the first opportunity, & will advise you as soon as we know. The trip takes around thirty days & arrives at San Pedro.
    Thanks for Mae West's address - I dropped her a line. I had some news from Australia, that Olsen & Johnson were a great disappointment & the show closed after six weeks, they were set for a twenty week run. Understand the management lost about Forty odd Thousand Pounds on the deal - had paid all fares & expenses both ways & a terrific cost of publicity & advertising etc. Too bad, these failures do'nt help the business any & certainly makes it tough for future imports to the Country. The show must have been pretty bad, as I have been told the Aussies are a very enthusiastic audience & will give any kind of show a fair break - especially an import. Maybe, the over billing had a lot to do with it, causing the customers to expect too much, it can be very dangerous. However, it is unfortunate for all concerned.
    Delighted to note you are getting frequent calls for TV. & filling in time till you get a worthwhile chance in a real good picture. I think the TV appearances will help you a great deal Booth in many ways.
    Eda flew to Paris for a few days last week, to visit some friends there & really enjoyed the flight both ways & is fully SOLD on that medium of travel.
    All for now Booth, will keep you posted & am looking forward to seeing you again soon.
    Eda sends her love & best.
                Kind thoughts always:-
Stan Signature


                May 18.'54.
Dear Mrs. [Grace] Hone:-
    We appreciate very much your kind invitation to the Scout Fayre on the 22nd inst. but regret it is not feasible for us to attend due to the fact that we have a matinee & it is a strict rule that we never leave the Theatre during the hours of our performances. Trust you will fully understand & please excuse us.
    Our regards & best wishes always,
Stan Laurel Signature                 LAUREL & HARDY.

Note from the Editor

This letter was written by Stan in reply to a request by my late mother asking if they would open the Scout Fayre of the 2nd Elburton Scout Troop, Elburton, Plymouth, Devon. They were on a tour of the provincial cities of the U.K. at the time.

Southampton to New York Ship Manifest - May 25, 1954
S.S.: United States
CLASS: Cabin
FROM: Le Havre, France 21 May, 1954
ARRIVING AT PORT OF: New York, NY 25 May, 1954

LAUREL, Virginia R. 18771 3


We have decided to close the tour next week in Swansea and as soon as we can get a sailing date, we shall be on our way home.

Stan Laurel

                Washington Hotel,
                Curzon Street,
                May 26th.'54.

My Dear Booth [Colman]:-
                Thanks yours of the 20th.inst.
Babe is feeling better, but decided to cancel last few weeks & return home.
    We sail from Hull, June 2nd. on the MS "MANCHURIA" & due to arrive Los Angeles (San Pedro) June 27th. via the Panama Canal. Having nothing to rush back for so thought it would be a change to come back on a cargo ship. Think I mentioned the idea to you in my previous letters.
    Do'nt know of course exactly what time of day we land or number of Dock, but you can phone Mark & Helen, as we shall be cabling them as soon as we know, & if you would care to meet us, I have a plan - Mark & Helen would drive in their car & Ida Mae would drive mine, You could meet them at 1111,Franklin, leave your car & ride out with Ida Mae, then I could drive you back to the house. However, it is just a thought in case you do want come & you could make time arrangements with the Family.
    The Line we are coming on is THE EAST ASIATIC CO.LTD. a Danish concern, should be an interesting trip & also a nice rest after this hard tour since last September.
    Busy as hell getting ready, so excuse short letter. Will give you all news when I see you. Got lots of laughs to give you while the leg of lamb is cooking!.
    All for now Booth. Eda joins in love & best.
    Bye & bless:-
                As ever,
Stan Signature


                May 26.'54.
Dear Walterina [Hunter]:-
    Thank you for your letter of May 20th. Appreciate your kind thoughts. Pleased to tell you Mr. Hardy is feeling better but still very weak - However we cancelled our Tour & will return home to the States - sailing June 2nd. I think the rest will do us all good. I have your address in my book & as I promised will drop you a line when I get back to California. All join in saying Good Bye & every good wish to you.
    Good Luck & God Bless.
                Sincerely always.
Stan Laurel Signature                 LAUREL & HARDY.


                STAN LAUREL
                c/o Bernard Delfont Ltd.
                1-5 Jermyn St.
                Haymarket, London, S.W.1.
                May 26th.'54.

My Dear Mr [William] Willis:-
    Please pardon delay in acknowledgement of your kind letter of the 22nd.inst. which was deeply appreciated. Many many thanks.
    We too were very much disappointed, not being able to fulfil our engagement with you - unfortunate for all concerned, could have been a profitable and happy week. Anyway, we hope to have the opportunity and pleasure of meeting and playing for you again in the near future.
    Mrs Laurel and Mr and Mrs Hardy join in kindest regards and every good wish always, and remember us kindly to Mr Heath, the staff and regular patrons.
                Very Sincerely:-
Stan Signature

Note from the Editor

William Willis was manager of the Palace Theatre in Plymouth.


Hardy is feeling better, but still very weak, so we decided to cancel the rest of our tour and return home.

Stan Laurel

                May 31st.'54.
My Dear Nellie [Bushby] -
                Thanks dear for your letter.
Hardy is feeling better, but still very weak, so we decided to cancel the rest of our tour & return home. We sail from Hull next Wednesday June 2nd & due to arrive in Los Angeles the 27th. via the Panama Canal, so should be an interesting voyage - stopping in several Foreign Ports en route. Sorry we won't be seeing you and Betty before we leave. We did have a deal on to play Blackpool for a summer run - but didn't go through - I think our terms were too high for them - however, as things have turned out, we wouldn't have been able to anyway, due to Hardy taking so ill. Only thing is, I'm sorry we won't be seeing you & Betty once more.
    We sail from Hull - Wednesday June 2nd on the M.S. "MANCHURIA." Beatrice is coming tomorrow (Monday) to stay till we leave. We stopped in at her place on our way to Birmingham about three weeks ago. Eda flew to Paris & back when we were in B'ham - spent a few days there - had a lovely time & really enjoyed traveling by air. We didn't expect to come to Hull till Tuesday June 1st. but when we read about the threatened East Coast Railway strike we got out of London as quick as we could - didn't want to chance missing our ship.
    Well - all for now Nellie - will drop you a line when I get home.
    Eda joins in lots of love - Good bye - Good luck - to Betty - self - Jean & Frank.
                Fondly always,
Stan Signature

Stan Watermark