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Ulverston, Cumbria

The Freezing Winter of '29 will long be remembered - Mr Hardy's nose was so blue, Mr Laurel shot it for a jay-bird.

Ulverston is a quiet little market town in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria, England. It is unremarkable in many ways, but has a very famous son. He was born on June 16th 1890, in Foundry Cottages, now known as Argyle Street. In House number 3, Arthur Stanley Jefferson was born, later to become Stan Laurel.

Stan stayed in Ulverston, while his parents moved away to further their careers in the theatrical business. He stayed with his Aunt, for 6 years before finally catching up with his parents in the north of England and Glasgow.

In 1947, Stan returned to Ulverston with Ollie, and they enjoyed their stay immensely.

My first visit to Ulverston was made in 1990, to coincide with the 100th birthday celebrations for Stan. It was a glorious day, and very hot. After a parade of all the tents was made through the town, everybody split off to do their own thing. Some went to the pub, but most went to the Laurel and Hardy Museum, run by the late Bill Cubin.

The museum is fascinating. On numerous return visits, I have always found new things to see. The highlight of the museum is a small room continuously showing Laurel and Hardy films, complete with cinema style seats, and the museum also contains items and furniture which Stan actually owned. Well worth a visit.

While you are in Ulverston, you can visit the shops where Stan used to go with his Aunt, see the church and the school he attended. Just a stone's throw away from the Museum is Ulverston railway station. This is a fantastic monument to the times when Stan was a lad. Here is surely where he would begin his Summer holidays, waiting for a train. The station appears to be unchanged from those times!

Up on top of a hill overlooking Ulverston is Hoad's Monument, where Stan used to climb to the top and roll eggs down the hill.

'The Pepperpot' as locals call it, dominates the skyline of Ulverston. It is a replica of the famous Eddystone Lighthouse and was erected in the 19th century by Sir John Barrow.

Don't forget to visit the pub called "The Stan Laurel". You will be assured of a warm welcome, and there are pictures of Stan and Ollie inside.

There is also a small restaurant called "Laurels Bistro" which is very interesting, as it has life sized dummies of the Boys in the windows!

While in Ulverston, you are not too far from the seaside, and the Lake District is close by too. A beautiful part of the world.