SIR - Before Bradford Council had the foresight to enlarge and modernise the Alhambra - work which was completed May 1986 - it was acknowledged that the theatre was inadequate, with tiny dressing-rooms, and a stage so cramped principal touring companies were reluctant to perform. Fred Ward, stage manager prior to rebuilding, told of one incident that happened when Laurel and Hardy arrived at the theatre: "It was so electric that morning, staff didn't seem as busy as usual, they stood around waiting. Then the words 'They're here, they're coming in' were heard and the entire backstage staff dashed to the stage door to stare at the famous figures.

Stan came in but Ollie was unable to negotiate the narrow doors of the theatre until a carpenter was called to remove them."

I saw them perform in 1953. I recently gave my programme to a friend of mine. If I had had the nerve I would have asked them to autograph it! I would never have parted with it then!

I wonder how many people know that it was a Bradford lad, AE Pickard, that gave Stan (Jefferson) his first professional engagement?

David Oyston, Rylands Avenue, Gilstead