When Laurel and Hardy used to drink in a Bottesford pub

A village pub continues to thrive on the publicity of comedy legends Laurel and Hardy dropping in for a pint - even though it was nearly 70 years ago.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 1:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:18 pm
Landlord Callum McIver with some of the Laurel and Hardy memorabilia at The Bull Inn, at Bottesford EMN-190116-091613001
Landlord Callum McIver with some of the Laurel and Hardy memorabilia at The Bull Inn, at Bottesford EMN-190116-091613001

Customers of The Bull, at Bottesford, have long been aware of its special link with the cinematic greats, thanks to a display of photographs and memorabilia on one of the walls.

Their first visit came about in April 1952, because Stan Laurel’s sister, Olga, was landlady of the pub at the time.

He andOliver Hardy reportedly caused quite a stir in the village when they arrived at the Market Street local to take a break from their touring stage show atNottingham.

A photo of comedy legends Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy visiting The Bull Inn at Bottesford in 1952 with their wives EMN-190116-091602001

They returned the following Christmas to pull pints for the star-struck regulars.

Those days have been brought into sharper focus by the release last week of a new movie, Stan and Ollie, starring Steve Coogan and John C.Reilly. Ironically it is set in the early 1950s, when they visited Bottesford, at a time when they fell on hard times when their film careers stagnated.

Callum McIver, landlord at The Bull, has seen an upturn in trade since the new film began to be shown.

He said: “We are offering customers a free pint this week if they can show us ticket stubs from going to see the new movie.

A sign outside The Bull Inn at Bottesford highlighting its link with Laurel and Hardy EMN-190116-091552001

“It’s been popular so far and we’ve served a few free pints.

“We’ve got photos of them on the wall and bits of signed memorabilia, and people seem really interested that they once visited our pub.”

Olga was known as a quietly spoken woman with a strong Lancashire accent.

She moved to The Bull in 1948 with husband, Billy, after running The Plough at nearby Barkston.

Landlord Callum McIver with a photo of Laurel and Hardy at The Bull Inn, at Bottesford EMN-190116-091624001

She was understandably proud of her brother’s Hollywood career, which began with silent movies in the 1920s and carried on when the ‘talkies’ began in the 1930s and 1940s. He made 106 movies with his comedy partner.

The Bull Inn at Bottesford EMN-190116-091541001