George has it covered

Danny Lawrence. Making of Stan Laurel book
Danny Lawrence. Making of Stan Laurel book

ARTWORK by a Whalton resident has been chosen to adorn the cover of a new book charting the life of one of the world’s best loved comics.

The Making of Stan Laurel, Echoes of a British Boyhood, has been penned by retired sociologist Danny Lawrence to examine the background of the comedian, who formed half of the internationally acclaimed partnership with Oliver Hardy.

Much of the book focuses on Laurel’s childhood in the north east, describing his family, childhood and struggle to establish a theatre and film career, as well as discussing his father’s roles in the local theatrical sphere.

And as Laurel spent his boyhood years in North Shields, the cover features an image of the town’s High Light building.

The painting is by Whalton resident and friend of the author Dr George Thomson.

He said: “I did the painting many years ago, probably about 20 years ago.

“Danny is a great friend of mine, he was my best man and we have known each other since our teens. He remembered this painting that I had done of North Shields, which is where Stan Laurel lived for many years, so I dug it out.

“He said it was just what he was looking for to use for the book cover and I was only too happy to let him do so.

“I think Laurel and Hardy were a great team and I’m proud of the fact that Stan Laurel lived in the north east. It is nice to have him as part of the local history.

“I’m not a well-known artist, it is just a hobby and I haven’t done very much painting recently, but perhaps I might do it again now.”

The book, pictured, will be released on Tuesday, priced £29.95, and there will be an official launch event at North Shields Central Library on Thursday, June 30, at 7pm.