Film ID:
NEFA 21204



Visitor Tabs


Amateur newsreel footage that documents the visit of famous cinema comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy to Tynemouth in July 1932 for a civic reception. Here they preside over a charity event on the terrace at the rear of the huge Plaza Palace, which towers over Tynemouth’s Long Sands beach. Laurel and Hardy present donated gifts to 600 local children in need, who were able to come to the seaside resort for their visit thanks to the Chronicle Sunshine Fund charity. The two comedians smile and play-act throughout the mammoth task. The film was shot by Arthur G. Greaves, a member of Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association.

This sequence opens with an overhead shot of the packed crowds, all smiling and waving to camera, waiting for the arrival of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy at the Tynemouth Plaza. Two presenters stand at a microphone in front of an Evening Chronicle poster advertising “Laurel & Hardy at the Plaza, Tynemouth, To-day.”

Laurel and Hardy walk out of the Plaza smiling. Hardy gives a little wave.

Hordes of enthusiastic young children are on the beach for the event and wave to camera.

Laurel and Hardy take their seats on the Plaza terrace, Tynemouth Bay stretching out in the background, distinguished guests beside them. Portrait shot of Laurel and Hardy.

Overhead shots of the crowd of mainly children on the beach, waving to camera.

On the terrace, Laurel and Hardy improvise some of their screen role gags culminating in Laurel’s characteristic crying routine.

The scene cuts back to the groups of children waving and smiling.

Back on the Plaza terrace, Laurel blows a kiss to the crowd and sits down accidently on Hardy, another of the comedy duo’s gags.  Laurel and Hardy hand out charity-donated presents to some of the 600 orphan children at the event as they file past, courtesy of the Sunshine Fund.

Title: “2…A smile from this kindly gentleman and the present will remain a treasure for all time …”

Hardy is seated on a chair now, still handing out presents. General view of the orphan children, guests and police on the Plaza terrace stage, the Tynemouth headland in the background. Laurel smiles, and the children pose briefly for camera. Laurel signs autographs and Hardy is still seated, handing out presents as a young boy hops off the platform with the present he’s received.

Title: “…Well it’s a solemn business to meet your hero face to face…”

Credits: Commentated and Titled by Stephen Arthur. Photographed by Arthur G. Greaves

A second version of Laurel and Hardy’s visit to Tynemouth follows.

Shots of a single bi-plane aircraft in the air.

Exterior shot of the Plaza façade, the balconies full of spectators, and the grounds in front packed with crowds. High angle shot of hundreds of children and a few adults on the terrace, waiting for Laurel and Hardy to arrive. High angle group portrait of the crowd of children who smile and wave for the camera.

Brief shot of the bi-plane in the air.

General view of the terrace, balconies, stairs, and arches of the Tynemouth Plaza packed with people.

A presenter and a colleague hold a microphone stand in front of an Evening Chronicle poster that reads: ““Laurel & Hardy at the Plaza, Tynemouth, 3 pm To-day.”

Title: “…Hello Folks! Here we are, speaking from the veranda of the Grand Hotel Tynemouth …”

Shot follow of the two suave presenters in front of the Evening Chronicle poster.

Title: “… Here comes Mr Ratcliffe the donor of the entertainment and even the tide is coming up to have a look.”

General view of Tynemouth Long Sands beach, St George’s Church in Cullercoats in the background. Mr Ratcliffe strolls along Long Sands beach dressed in a knickerbocker trouser suit, cane tucked under his arm, a few holidaymakers playing on the beach. A portrait shot of Mr Ratcliffe follows.

Title: “… and Beau Laurel with his hair conquered at last! What next? …”

Ratcliffe (?) and distinguished guests descend the steps at the Grand Hotel(?). They head up the street to the Plaza terrace.

Guests take their place on the terrace of the hotel overlooking the beach.

Group portrait of some of the orphan children waving to camera.

Low angle shot of the two presenters standing in front of the Evening Chronicle poster.

Title: “…Blow the Whistle, We’re Off. Here comes Mr Ogle, Chief Constable of Gateshead. En Famille ….”

Some guests including Chief Constable Ogle, walk along the terrace, crowds massed at one end.  Portrait shot of Ogle, smiling broadly.

Title: “And Mr Blackburn, Chief Constable of North Shields. (Stan’s Home Town)”

Portrait shot of Mr Blackburn.

Laurel and Hardy are on the terrace, the beach in the background.

Title: “Stan and Oliver – Don’t Mind the Police Now – Not Since “Jailbirds.” But Watch Stan – And Watch Your Watch – You Never Know. You Know …”

Laurel and Hardy are seated, Hardy talking to a guest.

Shot of the presenters in front of the Evening Chronicle poster.

Brief shot of the bi-plane in the air.

Laurel and Hardy and distinguished guests are seated on the terrace, smiling.

Title: “… And Now the Serious Business of the Day … The Mayor of Tynemouth is rattling the Chains of Office.”

Portrait shot of the Tynemouth Mayor in a best suit and bow tie, wearing his Mayoral chains. The Mayor makes a speech on the terrace.  General view of guests, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy on the terrace.

Title: “Welcome to your native Village. Stan: What do you think of it Ollie? …”

Portrait shot of the Mayor of Tynemouth. The Mayor makes a speech.

Shot of the two presenters at the microphone.

Title: “… Good! Ollie is going to fire one back …”

Oliver Hardy addresses the audience on the terrace of the hotel.

Title: “… Ollie has taken Stan to one side and there is a light in his eye that would set fire to an iceberg …”

Shot of Mr Ratcliffe (?) speaking, Hardy now seated next to him. Miss Wilson and another guest chat to each other.

Title: “… Miss Wilson says a few words about the Chronicle Sunshine Fund.”

Miss Wilson addresses guests at the reception.

Title: “… Mr Ratcliffe Replies to Miss Wilson and Wishes the Comedians Good Luck.”

Hardy smiles whilst Mr Ratcliffe again speaks to the audience and assembled guests. Portrait shots follow of four of the distinguished male guests, including a final shot of Mr Ratcliffe.

Title: “… No One Likes Laurel and Hardy Better Than the Grown Ups – Except Of Course the Children …”

General view of some of the children paddling on the beach. Group portrait of a crowd of the children.

Title: And here they are in their thousands Bless them, but aren’t they serious about it? …”

Laurel and Hardy hand out more presents to children. The two then improvise a comedy routine.

Shot of the two presenters at the microphone in front of the Evening Chronicle poster advertising the Laurel and Hardy visit.

“…To-Day – Single-handed. These Two Troopers Have Conquered Tynemouth …”

Further shots follow of Laurel and Hardy handing out presents. Laurel and Hardy pause whilst handing a present to a young girl to pose for a publicity photograph, before continuing to distribute presents to more children.

Title: “… It Took Oliver Cromwell with 10,000 Cannon, 10 years to Disarm Tynemouth – Oliver Hardy did it with a smile in 10 seconds …”

Oliver Hardy greets a young woman in the crowd.