Just back from Blackpool

Just come to the surface after drowning in magic in the past few days at Blackpool. Lots of highlights, some lowlights but like a mixed grill you might like the sausages but hate the tomatoes! Making notes for this site in the next two days so lots more details and things to see for the future. Dealers exhibition was impossible – over 100 dealers most just laying out their wares in packets and standing behind their stand. The ones who score are those who dem all the time but impossible to be aware of all the new items on show. I will list a few highlights shortly but I got nowhere checking everything out.

Elmwood Magic from the USA had some good items particularly a wallet in which the spectatot could write a name or number, place it in the wallet and hold it on their open hand or place it on the table. Some cute optics involved as the magician could read the number through the wallet but nothing was visible from any other direction, No itys not like the Cornelius wallet which was illuminated from inside. It was good.

 Pat Page back from surgery in hospital doing well with his diary effect, just about the best version since Ted Danson came up with the concept years ago. You choose a card and name your birthday, turn to the date and there is your card printed in colour on your birthdate. It’s very good.

Martin Sanderson had a cute version of the Flying Ring which vanishes and appears tied on the collar around a soft toy puppy dog. It’s called “My litle sausage” but be careful where you use that patter in some audiences.

Geoffrey Durham did great business with his new book(told you so!), bought the new Mel Mellors video from Rus Stevens (not your cup of tea if your not into aceric humour) but I struck gold when I found a copy of the new Caedini book by John Fisher, unavailable normally in Britain as the publishers are not making it available wholesale for dealers but of course a few copies are being smuggled across.

First night in bed I read the first 50 pages. If you’re into magic history it’s great – wonderful in fact and packed with lots of photos, hitherto unknown fcts and detailed to the nth degree. John Fisher has done a great service in penning this outstanding book. It’s not cheap – I pai £95.00 for a copy off a dealer in the exhibition but if you’re really into magic in a serious way it’s a great buy.

Biggest thrill of all was in meeting a lifelong friend who never comes to conventions – Roy Walton. He of the card warp and one of the most respected and featured card workers in the world today. We were teenagers together and close friends until he married one of George Davenports daughters and moved to Glasgow to manage Tam Shepherd’s Magic Shop. He became the Mecca for all card workers in Scotland and his influence has been prodigious and is associated with some of the great card and close-up workers from Scotland today. Peter Duffie, Gordon Bruce, Jerry Sadowitz and many other who owe their early interest and influence in magic to Roy. Now over seventy, hard of hearing but still bristling with ideas and enthusiasm for pasteboard wizardry. Sometime I’ll tell you more about the early days of the great triumvirate of close quarter magic – Jack Avis, Alex Elmsley and Roy Walton when we were all a part of a lille group who wrote a book called “Come a Little Closer” (hence the title to this blog. Phew! More later.

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