John started the tent in 1993, and has been the Grand Sheik since its formation. It was John’s idea to name the Charlie Hall Pub, and he will soon have a book published about Charlie, to be called ‘This Is More Than I Can Stand’.
He has been an Aston Villa season ticket holder for many years. His favourite music includes The Beatles, Thin Lizzy and Kate Bush.
John loves eating out, reading biographies, red wine and Laughing Gravy tent meetings. Also high on his list is eating and drinking in The Stan Laurel Inn, Ulverston, and The Bartons Arms pub in Newtown.
But best of all he loves being with Mandy.
Mandy started coming to tent meetings in 1994, as a nice way to spend an evening with her mom and dad. It was here that she met Grand Sheik, John Ullah (and the rest, as they say, is history!)
Mandy loves cats, and enjoys yoga, walking, eating out, and the odd glass of red wine. Her favourite pastime is meeting up with all the wonderful friends she has made in the Sons of the Desert.
She joined the Committee to help out with the 1998 International Convention. Mandy sells memorabilia at tent meetings, and is the editor of the tent newsletter (The Birmingham Bark) and the Laughing Gravy Annual.
Kevin felt honoured to be invited to join the Committee three years ago. He has been a tent member since 1996. A keen follower of Birmingham City Football Club and Warwickshire County Cricket Club, his other sporting interests are snooker and speedway. Kevin enjoys holidays, countryside drives and walks, good food and the odd glass of tonsil varnish. Above all, good company is a must. Happily married to Christine for 30 years (what did the poor woman do to deserve this!).
Jason lives in Erdington and has been a Laurel and Hardy fan since childhood, when they used to regularly show the films at teatime in the early eighties. His favourite film is ‘Way Out West’.
In 1997 he joined Laughing Gravy, after seeing their stall at the Memorabilia NEC. His first meeting was in the May of that year and he has only missed a couple of meetings since. He joined the Committee in 2004, to sell raffle tickets, show the films and generally help out at meetings.
He is a lifelong Dr Who fan, collects comics, likes music, and walks in the country. He is a member of USS Ranger (Star Trek group) and Moons of Yarin Star Wars Club (defunct).
Pat Finney is a founder member of the tent having attended the first meeting held on the 1st April 1993. She joined the committee to help organise the international convention we were holding in 1998. Her task was that of treasurer - and guess what – she’s stayed in that post ever since. She also runs the raffle for each of our monthly tent meetings.
In her personal life Pat enjoys playing crown green bowls, sings with a large mixed choir and loves to visit gardens as well as work in her own.