By 1932, Laurel and Hardy had been a team for five years.
After completing their second film and another of their short comedies, they decided it was time for a holiday.
Stan wanted to visit his native England, while Ollie was keen to try out the golf courses in Scotland.
However, before they set sail from the United States they were mobbed by adoring fans and hundreds more welcomed them in Britain.
This response prompted their producer Hal Roach, and his distributor MGM, to turn their visit into a whistle-stop tour.
'We came to Britain on vacation', said Stan, 'but it turned out to be the hardest work we've ever had in our lives'.
Laurel and Hardy made three return trips to Europe between 1947 and 1954.
Their subsequent filmed greeting to The Water Rats in 1955 turned out to be their last public engagement together.