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Friday, 11 October, 2002, 18:21 GMT 19:21 UK
Comic's plaque does vanishing act
Stan Laurel
Stan Laurel's real name was Arthur Stanley Jefferson
A plaque commemorating the Cumbrian birthplace of comic genius Stan Laurel has been stolen.

The plaque was taken from the front of 3 Argyle Street in Ulverston where he was born in 1890.

Stan Laurel rose to fame as one-half of the most successful comedy double acts ever, alongside partner Oliver Hardy.

Mabel Radcliffe, 84, has lived in the house where Mr Laurel was born, for the last 28 years.

I have got a visitors book with names from all over the world

Mabel Radcliffe

She said: "I can't imagine why anyone would take it - it's no good to anyone else. All it says on it is 'Stan Laurel was born in this house'.

"I can't understand what use it is to someone. It's not as though it is worth a lot of money.

"All I can think is that some young vandals have ripped it off the front of my house for a prank."

Mr Laurel was born in the three-bedroom terrace on 16 June 1890 and first arrived in America in 1910 before making it big in black and white films with his American partner, Oliver Hardy.

Visitors from all over the world have called at the property, including two visits from Stan's daughter, Louis, who lives in America.

Miss Radcliffe added: "The plaque marking that Stan Laurel was born here was put up just before I moved in and visitors started coming a couple of years after that.

"I have got a visitors book with names from all over the world."


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