LAUREL AND HARDY FEATURE PRODUCTIONS LETTERHEAD - TYPEWRITTEN
Vic Silver Esq.,
My Dear Vic Silver:-
Many thanks for your very nice letter of the 26th.ult. with enclosure of snapshots - appreciate the trouble you went to photograph our billing matter in Germany - very kind & thoughtful indeed.
I was most interested to note that you come from Canny auld Shields, & more to to know that Roy Lester hailed from there too - I did'nt know that. I used to live in Dockwray Square, but do'nt recall the name of Blackett, I was pretty young at the time. I visited the Square in '47. & was shocked & saddened to see the state it was in - could'nt get over it.
I guess it was quite a surprise to see us billed as "Dick & Doof" - most of the Foreign Countries use a nickname instead of L&H, about 16 of them, all meaning the same thing - Fat & Skinny, Stupid & Dumb etc. as in Demnark "Goy & Gokka" Sweden "Helan & Halvan" they have one in China, but do'nt know what the hell it is, it runs this way --- instead of that way / or somethn!.
Got a kick out of your billing, "The Tyneside Cowboy" (Gan on Shields!) Sorry to note Pauline's baby looks. like a Yorkshire Chinee, however, I hope it grows up just as sweet as Claude (it'll be an awful struggle with a puss like that!) Please convey my love to them all when you see them again - I wrote to Roy & Pauline a couple of times but never heard from them. Anyway, now that I know Roy went to School in Shields I perfectly understand why. (the bugger can't write!)
I enjoyed hearing from you Vic & hope it wo'nt be the last. Sorry I did'nt have the opportunity of meeting you when I was over there.
Well, all for now hinney, trust alls well & happy.
Lots of good luck & continued success.
NO LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin St., Santa Monica, CA - HANDWRITTEN
Dear Trixie [Wyatt]:-
Thanks yours 31st.ult.
Glad you saw the "Water Rats" show on Tv. & got a kick out of seeing us, even tho' we didn't do anything - was pleased to be in it. Hope we photographed alright without make-up - wish I could have seen it, but it was made in a hurry - had to be sent to London the same day. We appreciate your sweet thoughts of sending a Xmas present Trixie, but please don't dear - there is nothing we really want & don't want you to spend any money on us. Do hope you have'nt already sent it. We are sending your lip stick & Doll for Xmas & will get it off to you in a couple of weeks. Hope you & Dolly enjoyed the Ballet at the Empire! Give my love to her - also Jack & Betty when you see them. No, I don't like Xmas - always glad when its over - its wonderful for the kids.
Note winter has arrived it gets very cold up that way & can be very miserable it's like summer here - haven't had any rain for months now. Everything here as usual so not much to tell you - will be writing you again soon.
Eda joins in love & kind thoughts.
Take good care of yourself.
LAUREL AND HARDY FEATURE PRODUCTIONS LETTERHEAD - TYPEWRITTEN
I first started at a kindergarten at some house in Dockwray Square. It was down in a basement. Then went to a private school in Tynemouth called Gordon’s.
My Dear Vic [Silver]:-
Got a hell of a kick out of your letter of the 6th.inst. enjoyed every line, re living those wonderful care-free days with your vivid description, sprinkled with laughter & Tyneside humour.
I do'nt remember going to King St. school, I first started at a kindergarten at some house in Dockwray Square, it was down in a basement, then went to a private school in Tynemouth, it was called Gordon's - he was quite a character, he collected Cats, do'nt think he ever let them out of the house - you could smell the joint from Jarrow, the fish quay was like a garden of roses compared. The old screwball used to write poetry & we had to sit and listen to it all day long, his favourite one was "Ode To The Tyneside" - used to add new verses to it every day & ask our opinion. I once told him I did'nt like it & had to stand in the corner for an hour. Having so many cats I often wondered if he wrote "Kitten On The Keys"!
After this episode I was sent to a boarding school in Tynenouth I believe it was called Tynemouth College, the reason my folks had me board there was due to my always being in mischief & trouble at home, like setting fire to the house, (accidently of course) & falling into a barrel of fish guts in my best Sunday suit on the fish quay near the "Wooden Dolly", Drinking Gin (thought it was water) got cockeyed & many more escapades too numerous to mention. Think this was the forerunner of my film character!
Got a terrific laugh out of your Dr. & Geordie gag - so typical. Reminded me of another similar gag about a coal miner who had terrible bow legs, his wife begged of him to have an operation & have them straightened out, his excuse was "No hinney they're good enough to go to work in."
I remember all the names you mention, especially Doyle & Gibson (Tommy & Albert) & the Armstrong Bros (John & Ginger) I was in Levy & Gardwell's Pantos with them (1906 & 7.) also Graham & Baron (Jack & Benny) Georgie Wood etc. Knew Billy Mould when he had the Palace Of Varieties when my Dad ran the old Theatre Royal & the "Boro" also Walisend - Jarrow - Hebburn & Blyth. Did you know Adam Tonlinson he was a funny comic, he used to have a shoe store in N.S. Len Long was another comic I used to enjoy, he's still living in South Shields, came to see me when I played Newcastle in '53. 1 think if we met we could talk for hours on end, Even tho' I was born in Lancashire, I've always felt I belong to Shields, I was very fond or Horace Lee, used to call him Uncle Horace - a sweet guy. I had the pleasure of seeing him again in '32. It was quite an emotional meeting, both cried like kids.
Thought I'd die re the 'apenny Dips & Black Bullets etc. what a memory you have.
Due to my recent illness I have'nt been doing much of late - just resting & taking things easy til1 I'm fit & able again - have four Feature films to make as soon as I get in shape to work, so please do'nt hesitate in writing me any time, I enjoy very much corresponding with you.
I never heard of the guy you mention, Raynor Lehr, he probably was an Extra in some Western Movies - the San Fernando Valley is full of these characters.
I got a big laugh re your Mother beating up Tichey Lynn in front of the class - what a scream that must have been,
Well, all for now, Vic, it was nice to hear from you again, I got a lot of p1easure reminiscing with you.
Bye now, good luck & God Bless.
Black Bullets, properly called Jesmona Black Bullets, are a confectionery produced by Maxons of Sheffield and are popular throughout the North of England and most notably in Newcastle where it is said they gained a great deal of popularity with the local miners. A Black Bullet consists of a dark brown peppermint flavored spherical boiled sweet. They are available individually wrapped, or in bags or tins of various sizes. The tins are notable for their traditional decorative style, using only black and white, with text reading “Jesmona Old fashioned Black Bullets.”
RUBBER STAMP - 1111 Franklin St., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN
Did you hear the new song? “The Bottom’s Fallen Out Of Everything But You.” Can you imagine me singing that to Babe?