Max Andrews


I am writing this in the train coming home from Blackpool, and naturally now it is quiet, I have time to reflect on the Second One Day Convention held by the Blackpool Magic Circle.

To say chat it was a great success is to put it mildly, for never have I seen such a solid array of magicians without their ladyfolk. The registrations were in the neighbourhood of three hundred and fifty, and if one compares this with the annual I.B.M. Convention, where I suppose at leasr twenty five to thirty three per cent of attendants are ladies, then the number of actual magicians is not incomparable. The first year this function was held, it was voted a grear success, particularly from the fact everything was to time, and this year there was littie more they could do to improve matters. The dealers shows srarted and closed to the minute on the programme, and there was the indefatigable Bert Owen, chasing everyone up over the microphone, so that the doors of the exhibición could be locked and even the dealers eat their meal in peace and security.

There is no doubt that the success of any large magical gathering of this description is dependent on the support of rhe dealers, and indeed in the preliminary advertising, this is always stressed as one of the biggest attractions. How strange it is therefore to find on arrivai at some small-time affairs, that time allocated on the programme to the dealers displays is almost negligible. It almost seems like false pretences, to get the people there and then not give them the value of the much advertised star attraction. The reason for the lack of success in so many of these types of shows is therefore obvious, particularly as the larger dealers will not attend without sufficient jusrif ¡cation.

Obviously the proof of the pudding, etc., is shown by the Blackpool organisers, in exactly the same way as it was in the old days of the highly successful annual Cheltenham Conventions. Naturally the boys do nor like to miss any of the functions, and if they are rushing from pillar to post getting their meals and trying to fit in to an overcrowded list of events, they will arrive home with the feeling that in spite of che fact that they have had a full day, they have been done out of something, as they had no real time to study the large array of goods on display. This is not only our personal opinion but is the reflection of almost all opinions, when each I.B.M. Convention is over. Let us hope that those who really are a big attraction, and who go to such an enormous amount of trouble to try and fit in with the organisers demands regarding displays, etc., will this year get a square deal!

If ever one person came in for extra special tribute, it is the organiser in chief, Bert Owen. From the moment we arrived he appeared on the scene. At every event on the programme he was there, ready to help, advise, and to see that everything went like clockwork A very good show Bert, and congratulations to all the Blackpool Society for a wonderful week-end.

Owing to the several journeys that I have to make this month, (I will be at the Barnsley Magic Circle Sunday Convention next week), these notes must of necessity be kept very brief. Here is to looking forward to warmer weather. —MAX.

P.S.—This issue is chock full of splendid material. Before you read further TURN TO PAGE 339, and read the important notice there. If it applies to you, act now and make sure of "being with us" for Volume 3.


I think I have, on occasions, expressed the impossibility of giving an adequate report of ail that happens on Vampire nights and offered the sound advice that you should attend in person and see for yourselves.

The january meeting was held in the worst possible weather and yet the attendance was, I think, the largest ever. Perhaps my reporting is so bad that you all felt you really should turn up and investigate one of our cheery evenings. At all events there can be no doubt as to the growing popularity of the Vampire Club.

I am going to open these penned proceedings with a few lines in praise of the artiste who opens all our meetings. Our pianist, Tom Savage, must have been stimulated into action by the cold weather as he warmed his fingers by trearing us to a wonderful exhortation of

Another question concerning the somewhat sub-standard appearance of rhe cards used in certain mechanical effects led to the voicing of opinions as to the powers of observation of an average audience.

"Tish" Godfrey told of an amazing liberty he had once taken with the rice bowls and got away wirh it—he would.

No one groused about the weather— strange—I suppose they judged the panel to be, as yet, not sufficiently skilled in the magic art as to be able to magic about with the climate.

After a break for refreshment, Claud Manley announced that we were forced to sit back and enjoy an entertainment by Victor EarEe and his Magic Circle Discoveries.

I need hardly tell you that Victor Earle is not only a first-rate magician but one who

Victor Earle Royston Hodge Jack

Turner Phil Wye Norman Harvey

Victor Earle Royston Hodge Jack some Chopin Etudes. Yes, there is indeed magic in his manipulation of the key board and I am sure the spirit of Chopin whispered: "Well done".

Max gave his usual welcome to ali members and visitors. Amongst many of the latter were Nick Quinn, President of the Highland Magic Circle and Major Clarke of the Canadian Foreign Office.

We were then informed that this was to be a Grouse Night with Max, Lenz and Claude Manley as the target at which all grouses should be fired.

The first grouse was a criticism of the prices of certain props, as compared with the price at which the questioner could make his own. Needless to say, he had overlooked his dealer's overheads-Staff, Taxes, Publicity, etc. that do not enter into the costing of the private manufacture of one article for personal use. Also the questioner placed little or no value on his own time.

Turner Phil Wye Norman Harvey excels as a sparkling compere with his "A little sweet music, please", and "Stop the band". The poor pianist goes into a spin but it gets some good laughs.

It is not my intention to deal with the cabaret item by item. It ran for a considerable time so that a detailed description would take up many valuable pages of "Magic Magazine".

At the last meeting, I think we had a spate of production from our cabaret artistes and, on this occasion, the cutting was much in evidence. I lost count of the number of items that were cut and restored.

Jack Turner was the first to appear and he wandered on as a feigned intruder knowing not why he was there or what he intended to do. He had much fun with a piece of sticky tape and a production box that produced nothing. Good scope for a comedy act here.

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