The Tynemouth-schooled comedian enjoyed a full correspondence with his cousin Nellie Bushby until his death in 1965
He was the North East’s king of comedy*, and now letters from comedy legend Stan Laurel are set to be auctioned for a princely sum.
Newcastle auction house Anderson and Garland are set to sell off the correspondence from the Laurel and Hardy star, who went to school in Tynemouth and Bishop Auckland, with a guide price of between £8,000 and £12,000.
The collection of 41 letters and envelopes were sent to his cousin Nellie Bushby, who lived in the Cumbrian town of Ulverston, are all hand signed and addressed from his California home and tours of Britain and France, dating from between May 1947 and January 1965.
Stan’s candid letters discuss illness, touring and the death of his “dear pal” Oliver Hardy in 1957.
The letters are being sold on behalf of Laurel and Hardy fans Rodney and Margaret Hardcastle, from York, who have built up a huge collection of memorabilia over 40 years after they won them in an auction at Sotheby’s in 1998.
As well as the death of George VI and the succession of Elizabeth II the correspondence discusses illness cutting a 1954 show short, his stroke in 1955, and working on four feature films.
The last letter states that someone from Australia claimed to be his brother but “Joe Laurel” was unlikely to be family as Stan was born Jeffries, and that he was still unwell. He died five weeks later.
A second lot containing six letters from Stan to Peter Preece, a fan from Portslade, in Sussex, will also be put up for sale including a picture of his boat in California and his honorary membership of the Shoreham Angling Club.
A signed letter sent from Stan Laurel to a Mrs Miller thanking her for a belated Christmas card depicting Tynemouth Pavilion sold for £1,400 on September 16 last year.
The letters will be sold off on September 16.