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Posts Tagged ‘magic circle’

Last Wednesday was our monthly online pub meet-up via Zoom. The break-out room discussions this time were to be based around London and Magic. We started with a short presentation by London Guide David Harry who also presented a few excellent tricks involving playing cards, paper money and a flaming wallet.

Here follows a tidied up Chat dump of break-out room suggestions. Hence very disjointed but fascinating stuff, some of which you may wish to follow up.

Tower Bridge (David Blaine in a box) and Tabori (?) making it disappear. Also: the Magic Shop and Museum at Clerkenwell. Talking of which, it came as a great and sad surprise to the Ed that Davenports at Charing Cross Station – long the favourite family-run emporium of many magicians – closed its doors at the end of last January. It still exists online, however.

Stained glass was considered to be a sign of alchemy, so we’d like to nominate Glaziers Hall in Southwark. In Gypsy Hill, near Crystal Palace, people used to go to have their fortunes told. Then thirdly, we’d like to nominate the Millennium Stone Circle in Brockley.
International Magic Shop in Clerkenwell.
Magic Circle HQ in Stephenson Way.
David Blaine in his glass box near Tower Bridge (see above).
Houdini at the St James’s Theatre.
‘Dr Pepper’s Ghost’, after the scientist who developed an ingeneous stage illusion which remained popular for a century from the early 1800s.

The Harry Price Library of magical literature at Senate House has 13,000 objects, books and documents relating to magic.

John_Dee_AshmoleanAlso Dr Dee. Dr Dee (right) of Mortlake, the Elizabethan alchemist, polymath, necromancer etc came up a lot. Supposedly Shakespeare’s model for Prospero.
1944, Helen Duncan, the last person found guilty of witchcraft – Churchill called it a monumental waste of time, she allegedly revealed secret of a sunken navy ship. The witchcraft act repealed thereafter.

Chung Ling Soo who failed to catch a bullet at he Wood Green Empire in 1918. We spoke quite a lot about ghosts. Scratching Fanny of Cock Lane. Rahere at St Bartholemew the Great Church and several ghosts at Christ Church Greyfriars. Ghost of Aldwych Tube Station . William Terris at the Aldwych Theatre. Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (a magical character).

Speaking of card tricks, Andrew Scott’s Three Kings is showing again online. I highly recommend it.
We (or rather I) nominated Ken Campbell (of Ken Campbell Roadshow fame) for services to lost theatrical arts such as necromancy. The Roadshow included stuntman/escapologist Sylvester McCoy (played by Sylvester McCoy), whose stunts included putting a fork and nails up his nose, stuffing ferrets down his trousers and setting his head on fire.

Rahere at St Bart’s + Fanny of Cock Lane. Both came up a lot.
Strange mid-20C artist Austin Spare was mentioned. Stephen Coates covered him at a previous London Historians talk.
Lionel Lockyeare, a quack doctor who made his money from pills which had magical sunbeams – monument in Southwark Cathedral
The magicians who appeared at the Palladium – Tommy Cooper, David Nixon, Robin Harrbin.

220px-matthewbuchinger_origThe amazing Matthias Buchinger (left), the remarkable Georgian 29 inch man. Almost totally limbless he enjoyed a full life which included fathering 10 children, calligraphy and magic.

The story of Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester who was tried and found guilty of necromancy in the 1440s and given a very light sentence owing to her status and influence while her co-defendants did less well, including an execution.

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