Welcome to the Fylde Mystics!

promoting the performance of Magic

Meeting Reviews :-

Tuesday 19th November -  STAR LECTURE with Jon Armstrong. - Review by Paul Joyce

Alan Welcomed a good turnout from visitors and regulars alike to our special lecture. Right from the off, we were treated to some fantastic, workable magic. Jon is Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Academy of Magical Arts and told us about his experiences there and the way the Castle operates has changed over the years. Jon is very easy to listen to and has lots of sage advice about performing. He started off by teaching us all rubber band through neck routine which is a 'throw-away' gag type effect but one that can be used to break the ice. I am sure we will all be working on later!

Jon had two people up at his table throughout his lecture so that he was able to firstly perform the tricks in real time and then break them down and explain how he performs the effects and more importantly the reasons for why he does them the way he does. There were lots of side discussions and Jon is clearly passionate about performance magic. Like a lot of lecturers these days, making the connection between the performance and the strength of the effect is often more valuable than learning how to do the effect itself.

Each effect was honed to get the most entertainment out of them but also to squeeze ever last bit of magic from them too. Jon has a firm belief in going back in history and seeing how effects were first developed before they get dissected, before going on to work on them, often bringing them up to date. We were treated to many of Jon's 'signature' effects and in particular his recent release 'Little Plunger' which has gained a huge following amongst performers.

It was such a good lecture time ran on and before we knew it, it was to 11pm and we all had to go home to our beds, but not before we spent a little money on some great value lecture notes and props!

If you get the chance, don't miss out on the lecture. Photos HERE

Tuesday 12th November -  Trick Session.

Alan Welcomed a good turnout to our regular 'work out' session and in particular to new member Ryan Robertson.

Stuart Bowie kicked things off with a great chop cup routine. Steve Eastham leapt up next with a nice routine by Al Smith Cards On Demand from 1959, I don't think he bought it new! Ryan Robertson did a lovely card routine by Jay Sankey followed by Ian Birket who performed Danny Archers Eye Exam, great routine. He was followed by Colin Wilson showing us a great colour change. Tim Knight leapt into the fray next with an ace transposition trick (a la,Dr Daley). Jonathan Joyce was back with us and showed a great Cliff Lount/Ali Bongo Classic, Die through Mirror. Harry Moulding showed us a lovely sponge ball routine he had been working on. Allan Clarke came next with wonderful card routine "Impossible" by Larry Jennings. George Jennings was anxious to share a card cutting trick, a lovely routine by David Solomon. Paul Joyce enlightened us with Paul Gordons OMG routine and Alan Mylecraine finished the first half with Wayne Dobsons 'Second Chance'. The second half got underway with Alan M rushing back on stage with a really funny date prediction by Marc Paul. Paul Joyce showed us a Rob Bromley effect, George followed on with a lovely Dragons Den patter signature effect Ali Cooks 'Dream Catcher'. He was quickly followed by Allan with another 'Impossible' trick this time by Mike Austin, Jonathan couldn't contain his excitement and treated the group to a performance of his 'World Cup' Prediction, lets hope he is right! Next Harry came back on stage to perform a great card prediction based on a Brian Berry routine involving some 3D glasses. Tim was next with a 'Do as I Do' routine where they chose each others card or nearly! Ian was next with his pyjama cord and a ring routine which was very smooth and well rehearsed. Our new member Ryan stepped to the fore next, performing a fantastic mind reading routine from Robert Smith called 'Psypher'. Steve was next, performing from Peter Duffie effortless Card Magic, great effect. Stuart came next with an Acrobatic Knot routine, chosen by the members! He quickly followed this with a clever card prediction usaing a very sneaky method, fantastic effect. Steve jumped back up eager to show another miracle from Peter Duffie's Effortless Card Magic. Ryan was next up with a city prediction called 'Destination Unknown', we weren't sure about Alans choice of city though! Alan was next with Ultimate Brainwave by Card Shark which was very deceiving. Harry finished the night with a bank note routine which had us all in stiches. Based on Scott Penrose's note in pocket watch.

A great night with a great group of magicians. We are all looking forward to seeing Jon Armstrong on the 19th November for an 'Extra Session'. Why not join us?
Photos HERE.

Wednesday 9th October -  Wayne Houchin Lecture - Review by Paul Joyce

We had yet another fantastic night here at The Fylde Mystics with another good turn out, with 35 people turning up with some as far a field as Newcastle Upon Tyne!

Wayne started with a signature piece, 'thread through the eye', which certainly got our attention! He then talked us through a couple of methods of doing it. One way I will certainly be giving a miss but purely because of me being too soft! Then shared a second method for those of us who are a little less daring. Two really effective methods. He then moved onto Houdini's last card trick, taking us through how this effect has been developed down the years and how it first started its life with Wayne and how he uses photographs of Harry Houdini's last deck of cards. This is a very clever routine worth exploring.

He then moved on to his version of Paul Harris "Unshuffled Rebecca", a really well thought out routine with a great method and a super kicker at the end with blackjack. He followed this with his fantastic card prediction on arm "Stigmata" that I am sure everyone who tries it will end up doing on a regular basis. It's certainly an effect that will leave an impression on audiences. He opened the second half with coin into can of sprite, really effective trick. The thinking behind the method is wonderful and shows how much thought goes into his routining and effects. Great torn and restored business card routine that anyone who uses business cards could certainly use to great effect.

Another quality lecture from a fantastic performer who also has a wonderful personality  and happy in sharing and explaining his magic to us all. We have had some wonderful lectures and we can certainly say that Wayne's joined the list of great nights here at The Fylde Mystics. Photos HERE

Tuesday 3rd September -  Mentalism Night

Quite a number of members were enjoying a late holiday so couldn't be with us, but it didn't stop a hardcore sextet from going mental for a night. George Jennings was eager to show us a variation on 'The Numbers Game' from Michael Weber and Jack London. Despite it using all of the audience, it had a nice flow to it and the revelation was very clever. Some discussion took place as to how this might be done with different materials. Allan Clarke started tugging the heartstrings with a Philip Escoffey presentation of 'emotional detection'. A few wrinkles were soon ironed out by the assembled crowd. Leslie Melville, our resident storyteller, brought out some 'Chinese Fortune' symbols and promptly determined which symbol had been chosen. Again a nice variation on the 'missing link' effect by Dan Harlan. Tim Knight presented his take on the B.I.P 2 effect determining a time and place for a random event. Colin Williams invited a spectator to shuffle and re-assemble a deck of cards before correctly identifying a selection made at the start of the process (source unknown). Steve Eastham then invited a couple of members to join him in an 'ever so sleightly' loaded 'game of chance'. Even after a few switches and changes, Steve managed to hang on to his money. This was from an effect by Wayne Dobson called 'No Chance'. In round two, George Jennings devised an excellent presentational premise for his take on the 'Simon Turnover' or 'Prophesy' move. Allan Clarke brought out the inevitable ESP deck for some wanderings by Doug Edwards with a two phase selection and revelation of a chosen symbol. Leslie Melville took great delight in sharing the joys of 'unconscious memory' by identifying not one, but three partner cards selected seemingly at random. Tim Knight took on the challenge of beating the clock by adding up five large numbers faster than a calculator in a variation of the 'Fantastic Figures of Foo'. Steve Eastham closed  a very enjoyable night with Trevor Duffie's 'Minds in Focus' where a card at a chosen number had been pre determined and held in a wallet by the spectator. A good night all round. Pictures can be found HERE.

Tuesday 6th August -  The Trick Clinic

Most meetings will garner advice and comments on any effects performed, but every year we devote a whole meeting to the topic of improving effects. The meeting is designed to have effects de-constructed and discussions centre around improvements, technical or motivational, potential faults and general help on handling or presentation. Allan Clarke opened the session with a 'poker' effect which, while interesting, had several perceived weaknesses due to the high level of assistant input. Several good ideas, phraseology and alternate handlings were discussed. Steve Eastham presented an old favourite which needed easier handling. It was a nice display effect with two phases and a kicker ending.  Harry Moulding was looking for help with another classic, ring and chain. The 'drop' was giving him trouble and several members offered advice on how it could be consistently achieved. Steve Eastham also offered a couple of additional moves to extend the effect. It was thought that a lot of the difficulty was due to the thin chain. Stuart Bowie brought along the classic six card repeat which consumed a lot of cards and needed careful angles to prevent displaying the necessary packets. Stuart had the count off to a tee and a number of handling variations were offered. Tim Knight had a card trick with some side 'betting' which had potential but had a couple of sleights which occurred as the spectator was burning his hands. a number of alternatives were discussed. Colin Wilson started with a new version of Jokers wild' but struggled with the procedure, more next time. George Jennings closed the evening with  plea for help sourcing materials for some ideas that had been lurking around for a while. He then went on to demonstrate his handling of a David Regal card tick using a one way deck and discussions on the 'revelation as a sucker effect' were wide ranging. A good night discussing the finer elements of presentation. Photos can be found HERE.

Tuesday 2nd July - Mini AGM and Trick Session - Meeting Review by Paul Joyce

At the close of our 5th year since re-forming, it's only right to reflect on another great year and set plans for the next. There was a good turnout for our mini AGM with some great suggestions and a few extra ideas for getting out there performing as a society. (Keep checking back for details of our forthcoming show!)

Paul Joyce kicked off the trick session with ‘Mixed Up Prediction’ from Magictrix, Paul asked for some feedback on the cards to which he get lots of good tips, Steve Eastham followed on with Al Smiths “Stop Right There”, a lovely routine with a surprising revelation. Ian Birket couldn’t hide his enthusiasm in jumping up next and giving us ‘Gemini Twins’. Tim Knight next did a super routine where at the reveal he flicked off the number of pips needed to match the chosen card. Leslie Melville was next with a nicely routined ring and rope routine. Allan Clarke leapt up next with his version of Aldo Colombinis “Jumbo”. Harry Moulding was next showing us his latest trick, a great card routine with all cards showing ‘Wrong’ on the back at the end but the chosen card showing ‘Right’! George Jennings was next showing us Dr Daleys last trick and then Alan Mylecraine did a fantastic version of a card trick using Simon Aronsons “Undo Principle”. Steve Eastham started the second half showing us his version of Cliff Lounts “Post Card” – really clever card trick. Ian Birket entertained us with his ‘ring and string’ wedding ring routine performed his recent wedding. Allan Clarke came next with a ‘twisted sister’ kind of effect from J C Wagner, George Jennings performed ‘Loopy Loops’ and was offered a couple of extra pieces to the effect and Alan Mylecraine finished the night with Chad Longs “Scratch”.

As usual there were some great routines and ideas shared, yet another wonderful night at The Fylde Mystics – why don’t you come and see what all the excitement is about?
    Photos HERE

Tuesday 18th June - FISM Card Champion Jan Logemann - Meeting Review by Allan Clarke

Having enjoyed lectures from an unprecedented FOUR FISM champions in the last 18 months the Fylde Mystics were again in the news for hosting the latest World Card Magic Champion, Jan Logemann from Germany. Jan competed in the FISM Championships last year and added the Card Magic trophy to an already impressive array of awards. His style is very different and his relaxed presentation belies the sheer inventiveness and tremendous planning that goes into his work. He is an undisputed card mechanic with plenty of skills on display, or rather not on display if you get my meaning. Impossible climaxes build from very small and almost 'throw away' beginnings to astound the audience or rather 'guests' as he likes to refer to them. There is nothing 'standard' about his effects, certainly in the sense that you will see lots of other magicians performing them. This said, he has taken a number of 'classics' and pushed them in an entirely new direction and in some cases they become barely recognisable. 'Ring vanish to impossible location' or 'Bill switch' do not adequately describe the effects that his audience will see although their genesis does lie here. The first thing the strikes you is the pace of the delivery, slow, almost haphazard but imperceptibly building on a mastery of misdirection to the point that the re-telling of what the audience saw can only be described in ever growing terms of impossibility. The next difference is the lengths he will go to in achieving the desired effects. The lecture described an incredible amount of fine detail in the planning and preparation and he has developed some brilliant devices, some physical, some temporal, to allow the 'dirty work' to be achieved. Lastly is the 'layering' that underpins his presentation, nothing is left to chance, almost! For those that have seen him, you will know what I mean. You have to admire his tenacity in not sacrificing the strength of an effect just to make it easier to perform. He's also very funny, self deprecating with an easy manner when handling the audience. But if anything, this lecture was an object lesson in artistic fervour. Indeed, Jan openly credits his 'Artistic Director' as fundamental to his success and I think it says a lot about the majority of magicians do not see the relevance of seeking the advice of an impartial critic who understands the theatrical aspects of presentation. Some observers might say his approach is 'ballsy' or 'gutsy' but I think they are overlooking the level of effort and risk mitigation employed in producing an absolute stunner of an effect. Yes, the methods can seem to be 'ballsy' but he relies on misdirection and clever verbalisation to guide the audience away from the methods or to reinforce the impossibility and at the end of it, the effort he puts into the planning and the finely scripted presentation are a small price to pay for the unbelievable strength of the effects as they play out. Even in a room full of magicians there were more than a few gasps of surprise. It would be easy to list out the effects we saw on the night but I think it is better to let those who have yet to see him, enjoy the full power of the experience. If you haven't seen him, go and seek him out, you will learn a lot more than 'tricks'. Another feather in the Fylde Mystics cap. Photos HERE.

Tuesday 4th June - DIY Magic

DIY Magic was the theme and no dealer tricks allowed! (although this point had escaped a couple of members...) Alan Mylecraine opened with a nice impromptu coffee cup and sweetener routine with a surprise revelation which caught a few out. George Jennings was out next with a fun prediction routine based on a Thom Peterson effect utilising a plastic fish and some cod (geddit!) character analysis. Allan Clarke gave everyone a history lesson on the Rubiks cube along with a couple of revelations with a thought of number and a magic square type climax. This was based on an old Martin Gardner effect that many will have in their drawers. Harry Moulding had a card selected and revealed to be the only Red backed card in the deck and repeated the effect with a different card which had somehow changed places with the original selection. Tim Knight brought out a home made prop based on the 'headless clown' effect from Supreme. Tim was trying to form a patter routine for it but in the meantime took the liberty of sending up a couple of close-up competitors. Colin Williams reprised his two deck spectator cuts to a named card routine with some hilarious out-takes. Stuart Bowie took to the floor with a funny Rescue Service routine telephoning a 'help' line to find a spectators card. Some nice sight gags and clever interaction with a recorded message. Steve Eastham closed the first half with a matching pair routine based on a Paul Howard effect. Steve Eastham continued with a version of Wayne Dobson's 'Magic Cpell' which had some funny moments in it. Working back, Stuart Bowie took everyone back in time with his version of 'Miltons Aces' crediting Alan Shaxon's 'Las Vegas' lecture notes for the inspiration. Harry Moulding bounced back out with a triumph type effect, interlacing face up and face down cards with some sharp ad-libs along the way. Allan Clarke demonstrated a colourful last chance type effect using an old force from Arthur Carter with the winner missing out on a number of £50 notes but still managing to win a £5 voucher for his next trip to Tesco! George Jennings got a little macabre introducing everyone to his hobby of collecting inscriptions from gravestones. Based on a Eugene Burger effect called 'the last dream' it was a lot funnier than the original. Alan Mylecraine closed a great evening with a duo of principles from Steve Beam and Bill Thompson cleverly combined to give a puzzling 'Named Card at a number' type effect. Photo's HERE.

Tuesday 7th May - Annual Close-up Competition

With seven competitors and a glittering set of cups to be won, a crowded club was transformed into a Dragon's Den of magic for the evening. Opening the event was last years winner Harry Moulding who's effervescent character once again shone out like a beacon pointing the way others would follow. Diminutive Harry showed an eager crowd his dexterity with cards, some of which were invisible, only to appear for real and vanish in the blink of an eye. Compere Alan Mylecraine introduced the first of our celebrity Judges, Dr Roger Woods, the newly installed President of the Northern Magic Circle who paved the way for the next performer, Paul Joyce. Paul's easy manner had the audience in fits of giggles very quickly following a surprise production of a bottle of Brandy. Bolstered by some great audience participation, Paul told a story about rabbits, strange co-incidences with Tarot Cards and a scary interlude with a credit card. Alan M introduced our second Judge, that well known Children's entertainer from Bacup, Paul Guy who welcomed Joe Gilmour to stage in only his second competative outing. Joe had numerous 'favourite' tricks and quickly became a firm favourite with the audience with some clever revelations, mind reading glasses and interconnected effects. Tim Knight was out on stage next with some great coin vanishes, colour reading rods and a funny, if a little disconcerting for the assistants, 'Russian Roulette' interlude which could have ended with a hair wash without some magical intervention. Alan M introduced the last of the three judges, David Moss, past president the Modern Mystic League in Blackburn who completed our triage of expertise. A svelte and trim looking George Jennings pattered the next spot with his usual dry and observational humour treating us to 'Gypsy thread' with a twist, or more accurately, a knot or two, a card premonition and a 'Take away' item that had everyone chuckling. Colin Williams stormed out next with his off the wall presentations and quirky gags. Laughter was quickly followed by amazement as Colin unerringly found spectators cards in numerous impossible ways. Bringing up the rear was Allan Clarke who opened with a coin theme, moved through some ESP effects and a funny card location with a wand disguised as a fork, closing with a multi-card revelation to send the judges out for their deliberations. After some fun with the raffle, NMC President Roger Woods announced the winners as follows:

                    1st Place - Paul Joyce
                2nd Place - Allan Clarke
                3rd place - Harry Moulding

A separate award, sponsored by Steve Eastham, for the 'Best Card Trick of the Night' went to Allan Clarke.

Another great night of Magic. Photos, as always, can be found HERE

Tuesday 9th April - Star Lecture with Gregory Wilson: Meeting Review by Allan Clarke

This was always going to be a great lecture. With over a dozen visitors supplementing our usual suspects, the room was buzzing waiting to see what Greg would bring to our particular party. We weren't disappointed. He seemed to fill the whole two hours with a vast array of effects that involved few or no props at all. It was something of a revelation to see so much done with so little. Not that they didn't have impact. Every effect made their mark with unnerving accuracy, fooling many seasoned semi-pro's and keen amateurs alike. His signature effect left a number of people with something of a 'chip' on their shoulder, (quite literally in some cases) but the entertainment value was beyond measure. Given he had only just recovered from food poisoning, his energy and sense of fun were at bursting point, infecting everyone in the audience. Comedy played a huge part in the presentation and much fun was had during a 'smoking' session, a pen and the inevitable, but still surprising watch steal (twice in fact). He did venture into some very neat card effects and demonstrated he was very adept at controls, spin-outs and forces, many of which caught quite a few people out. The most enjoyable segment for me was down to his rubiks cube solution which was supremely entertaining and quite skillful despite his self deprecating approach to it. He even canvassed opinion on which of two methods of solution played better proving that even an acknowledged master can still learn from his audience. Cutlery abounded towards the end of the lecture although to be honest you could never really tell which utensil would be displayed at the climax. He had some great ideas on the 'pocket toppit' and 'muscle pass' which at first sight looked impossible to achieve but clearly could with some guidance. Some further ideas on improptu magic using readily available props were discussed and as if the evening wasn't already crammed with information, he went through some of his bill switch and utility gimmicks which on their own could have filled a separate session had time been available. All in all, a top class talk from a very clever thinker, performer and all round nice guy. Photos

Tuesday 6th March - STAR LECTURE with MARK LEVERIDGE

Tuesday was another of The Fylde Mystics famous lecture nights and this time, we brought to the Fylde Coast – Mark Leveridge. Most people will know Mark as a dealer, performer and also for Magicseen, and it was evident with the number of visitors that people were keen to see his lecture and they weren’t disappointed. It was tiltled “walkaround” magic, through which Mark took us through the do’s and don’ts, what to look out for, the different kinds of people and situations you will find yourself in, even how he has had his suit specifically made for work.

Some of the effects that were performed and explained were a Colour change deck routine “Colour Confusion” a coin routine “Coin Collectors Purse”, a business card routine “Business Exchange”,  and an ambitious card routine among others. Everyone of the routines Mark performed was a real workers routine, at no point did you think – will this work?, you immediately saw that it was a routine that has been obviously honed and would work out in the field. It’s hard to say what were my own favourites as they were all so good, but I am working on the coin routine, business card transfer and I thought Marks version of the Ambitious Card routine was superb for a volunteer and will be working on that too! He also showed a great holdout which I won’t divulge – see his lecture. At the end Mark did a small dealer dem where he went through some of the items he could offer. All in all, a wonderful lecture and one that when you left, you were armed with lots of practical ideas and effects that you know you will use. If you can, get along to see his lecture. Photos' HERE

Tuesday 5th February - Two Tricks from a borrowed DVD

With numerous players out with injuries or enjoying warm weather in foreign climes or even out earning a crust, it was down to a few stalwarts to hold the fort. With an enthusiasm far greater than the numbers would suggest 'Two Tricks from a borrowed DVD' launched with Allan Clarke performing Harry Anderson's 'Gang of Four' from the DVD 'Corporate Close-up Vol. 2' put out by RSVP magic. It's a great plot, engages quite a few people and is ideal for close-up at tables. Next was Steve Eastham who took some great ideas from Paul Gordon's 'Card Startlers' DVD. 'Peter's Foursome' is another engaging plot with some surprises along the way. George Jennings made a welcome return and looking trim after a few weeks dieting. George had a nice routine using Alan Wong's 'Dream Lock' which raised some discussion. Next from The Corporate Close-up DVD was Iain Morans 'Ideal opener' which combines a few standards into an attention grabbing set. More Paul Gordon followed with Steve's rendition of 'The Royal Marriages'. George was short of volunteers for his final effect but proceeded to get a few laughs and some good ideas as the evening expanded to accommodate detailed explanations and thoughts on improvements.

Tuesday 8th January - STAGE MAGIC

Nine eager members turned up for their magic fix after the festive break. Alan M went through the parish notices keeping members up to date with George Jennings progress and passing on good wishes from Ken Ashburn. Then it was straight on with the nights events. Steve Eastham was first up with a great stage version of Night Out In Paris, a very entertaining unequal ropes and finished with his superb routine of George Blake’s Uncanny hanks. Ian Birkett couldn’t contain his excitement to be next up and did a lovely routine for needle through balloon and a great version of David Regal’s Hotel 52. Allan Clarke leapt to the stage next with a very good “Socks across” routine and then performed his version of “Reconstituted Drinks” as performed by Pete Firman. Allan had seen Pete perform this routine and had gone away and devised a method for performing it. Having seen Allan work on this routine over time it was great to see how well he has carried it out. He finished with a nice card trick “A little interlude” by John Carey. Harry Moulding rushed to the floor next and performed Dotty Dots and his routine for unequal ropes, Jonathan Joyce was next with his “Masters Madness” in his quest to be a golfer! Paul Joyce came next with Cabaret Fred and his Grandma’s teeth routine which he hopes to expand on. Alan Mylecraine dashed to the stage next with Sucker Beaker Vanish, a Luke Jermay routine followed with great potential and finished with cards across.

All the members rushed to collect a DVD for next months trick from a DVD night. Yet another fantastic  night.

Photos HERE

Wednesday 12th December - Close-up show at the Garstang Masonic Hall

Following a successful visit last year, out team were invited back to the Wyrebank Banqueting Suite to give members a Christmas Treat. Allan Clarke, Joe Gilmour, Paul Joyce, Harry Moulding and Brian Berry entertained at tables for over an hour and a half, giving the assembled crowd some Christmas cheer and the Fylde Mystics some welcome funds.

Tuesday 4th December
- Trick Clinic

With a number of members succumbing to illness, being away or performing at other gigs, the meeting was low on numbers but high on enthusiasm. Quite a few tricks were on parade and the select group discussed a number of effects and variations. Steve Eastham had a couple of Wayne Dobson effects to demonstrate with others joining in and making the evening worthwhile.

Tuesday 6th November - Star Lecture with Woody Aragon - Meeting Review by Paul Joyce

Wow! I have held back a little on writing the review to this lecture as it completely blew me away! Just to put it in context, I am 43 years old (just look older) and saw my first magic lecture when I was 15 – Woody’s lecture was the greatest lecture I have EVER seen, both in mind blowing magic and also entertainment. Others had obviously already heard just how good Woody was as it was a record turnout for the Fylde Mystics with people standing at the back. Woody started with a great routine involving an imaginary ring on everybody’s finger which drew huge laughs and got everybody relaxed from the start. And from there he proceeded to blow everybody away with routine after routine, I have never seen so many magicians as mystified as we were at this lecture! Once we had all recovered from the amazement we had seen Woody then broke it down and talked through how he does things and more importantly, why he does it. Some great stack decked routines, sleights when needed and some wonderful subtlety. He ended by performing a poker routine in which some people lost their valuables, at one stage they could even see cards in advance and decide if they wanted them – they still lost! Woody started his explanations by saying he looks for three things in his act:

1.    Being a gentleman magician – kind, the sort of person people would want to spend time with.

2.    Impossible magic

3.    Bring emotion to his act.

He certainly brought those 3 points together perfectly, we have seen some great lectures at The Fylde Mystics but at Woody’s lecture I have witnessed someone raising the bar to new levels.

Get to see his lecture if you can, I’m saving up for his DVD’s!!        PHOTOS HERE

Tuesday 2nd October - Table Hopping:

Organised on the lines of our previous Trick Drive, members competed for no prizes of note in a table hopping session. It was a great chance for everyone to work through some new routines for their close up set. Members taking part were Alan Mylecraine, Paul Joyce, Jonathan Joyce, Harry Moulding, Steve Eastham, Stuart Bowie, Colin Williams, Ian Birket, Adrian Catch, Leslie Melville and David Towers. The quality on show was superb as usual and it was also good to see members trying out new things to put in their close up set. Great night for all and all members are looking forward to Woody Aragon in November. A warm welcome to new junior member David Towers and best wishes for a speedy recovery to George Jennings following his visit to hospital.

Tuesday 4th September - Money Magic:

After a warm welcome to prospective junior member David Towers and to advise members of the new management of the clubhouse, Alan M invited Ron Wilson to open up the money magic session. Ron opened with a nice coin to nest of (home made) box routine with an effective coin transposition. Leslie Melville treated us once again to his signature 'Jap Box' routine which gets better with each viewing. Adrian Catch gave an entertaining rendition of a coins across routine roping in a couple of members to act as children and was followed by George Jennings with the first of two Coin transpo's utilising some clever props. Allan Clarke next hedged his bets with a game of chance, offering a chance to win a number of prizes ranging from a £50 note down to a 2p coin. Alan Mylecraine gave the second demonstration of the coin transpo, cleverly removing a coin from a sealed bag. Tim Knight followed with another Okito Box routine and was replaced on stage by Joe Gilmour who obviously hadn't read the theme for the night when he launched into a turnover card routine. It was a good one though! Stuart Bowie gave an audio visual treat with coins through silk and was followed by Steve Eastham with a Paul Gordon trick using five pound notes as locators. Harry Moulding displayed some mature handling with a coin in bottle routine and the first session was completed with newcomer David Towers showing some card location skills. After the break Ron Wilson showed us a neat coin and match effect which had a 'bar trick' type theme. Leslie Melville, asked David to use his imagination in selecting a coin which turned out to be in his hand all the time. George Jennings demonstrated an intriguing 'scratch card' type effect, changing a £10 not into a £20 with a few scrapes of a coin. Allan Clarke correctly predicted the outcome of a 3 coin selection after which Alan Mylecraine Bet a few £20's on the outcome of a few selected cards. Needless to say, he kept his money! Tim Knight gave a presentation of a signed coin to nest of boxes before making way for Joe Gilmour with a sponge ball and bag routine which held a few laughs. Stuart Bowie ran through an interesting Lottery ticket to Bill switch while Steve Eastham followed with a four of a kind card location. Harry Moulding demonstrated he had been hard at work on a coin matrix which was simple but very effective. To close the evening, David Towers completed his audition with another couple of effects including a 4 Ace production and a coin puzzle.
Photos HERE

Tuesday 7th August - Mini AGM and Trick Session:

Celebrating the start of our 5th great year we were particularly pleased to welcome back two members who we have been missing of late, Ken Ashburn and Ron Wilson. Alan Mylecraine opened the Mini AGM and handed over to Steve Eastham who presented the year end accounts. A brief discussion took place on the forthcoming programme and ideas presented to encourage better use of the library. Paul Joyce has agreed to bring the library contents along to each meeting for members to browse. Having decided the society was in good shape, we went straight into or regular trick session when Steve Eastham opened up with a Dan Parker effect called Riffle Chance. Stuart Bowie followed up with a nice 'Do as I do effect' correctly duplicating Ian's free choice card. George Jennings delivered some interesting advertising sub messages and correctly predicted which word Alan M would choose. Ian Birket showed his skill with sponge balls, much to the amazement of Jonathan who ably assisted. Allan Clarke performed Aldo Colombini's 'Contact Colours', a nice multi kicker card effect. Jonathan Joyce played a safe bet by demonstrating Paul Gordon's Poker deal. Ken Ashburn made a very welcome return to the hot-seat and proceeded to fool everyone with a 'memorised deck' routine. Harry Moulding took to the floor with a well delivered 'poppet bead' routine possibly not realising that the undisputed master of this effect was sat in the room with him! Alan Mylecraine risked a Boo and a Hiss whilst looking for a Clap and a Cheer with the Andy Nyman routine. Another welcome return for Ron Wilson who brought on a 'pet' to help Harry M with a nice card prediction. After a short break, Steve Eastham came back with another Paul Gordon effect, while Stuart Bowie regaled us with some fine ring and rope moves. Paul Joyce got a little dotty but not before he showed us a dice melt through silk. Ken Ashburn delivered another knockout punch before retiring, extending his memorised deck routine by announcing the order of a shuffled deck, simply astounding. George Jennings folded and crimped his way through an entertaining 'Origami' based effect and Ian Birket closed the session by pouring a little oil on water with a Roy Walton style routine. Another great night full of laughs. Photos HERE

Tuesday 10th July - STAR LECTURE from Pit Hartling:

The Fylde Mystics have had some great lectures since reforming and have developed a reputation for quality working magicians – guess what – they did it again! They were very lucky to get the chance of a “closed lecture” to Fylde Mystics members only by Pit Hartling of Germany and it was fantastic. Pit ran through some fabulous tricks mainly taken from his book Card Fictions with any questions being answered and explained by Pit who was a fantastic teacher and really gave his time to all members who were there. There were to many highlights to mention, but reading the colour of the cards through a table being one, finger flicking which is something I really want to work into my set. Triple countdown blew me away, the wealth of material and thinking behind his magic was immense and we were all lucky to have been given such a quality lecture by a superb working professional. On another note, Pit’s English was fantastic and I just wonder how many of us could go to Germany and be so fluent in their language! If you get the chance to see his work – you must go and see him, I’m certainly pleased that I did, thanks Pit. Photos HERE

Tuesday 12th June 2012 - Swap a Trick night:

Tuesday brought our annual “swap a trick” session where members bring along a couple of tricks, have 20 minutes or so to teach them to another member who then goes on and performs them to the group. With a strong turnout of members it proved to be yet another success with members being taken out of their comfort zones and trying out something that they may not normally use with sometimes comical reactions! It really highlights the rehearsal that is needed even with a simple effect when you see it performed by someone who had only learnt it 20 minutes before and it reminded us all that all the practice we put in at home on our effects is worth it as it really does show. If your club have never had one of these nights I really recommend them! Photos HERE

Tuesday 3rd May 2012 - Annual Close-up Competition

A large crowd gathered for the annual Close Up Competition, an event that always seems to attract the people in. This year we were proud to be able to welcome The Northern Magic Circle President and his good lady Steve Bellerby & Louise. Once again it was organised by Steve Eastham who also compered the event to his usual high standard. The man with the hardest job of going first was Tim Knight who soon had the audience under his spell performing some great magic and introducing us to his witches cat! Great cards across routine, and even made a crystal ball out of water! An excellent start to the night. Next on the list was past winner Alan Mylecraine who showed us part of his table hopping routine, well honed routines followed which had the audience in stitches and a great foil in Doctor Harry Pindred. Next up was one of our juniors Harry Moulding who charmed the audience with his magic and entertainment, he did a very good version of the torn & restored card, unequal ropes and finished with a great take on a Dynamo routine. Following on from Harry was last year’s winner Paul Joyce who had fun with a volunteer with a poker effect, his version of Mark Leveridge’s Credit card scare and a chosen card and rat trap! He even treated his assistant to a shot of whisky! Next up was another junior and our youngest member Jonathan Joyce who started by saying you have seen the “old Joyce, now watch the improved version”! He made time stop for NMC president Stevie Bellerby, predicted somebody’s chosen card and finished strongly with a breathtaking production of the four aces, culminating in a colour changing deck. Next up was Allan Clarke who delved into everybody’s minds with some neat predictions and then turned into 'Gypsy' Clarke as he performed a fantastic card prediction using an inherited crystal ball. The final spot went to Colin Williams who had the audience in tears with some superb comedy and a great card routine – Colin really has a natural timing. All in all it was a wonderful night of entertainment and all can be proud of how they represented The Fylde Mystics. Special mention must be made of Harry Moulding & Jonathan Joyce who both performed to an adult standard and it is heartening to see the future of magic in these two. The judges, Tom Brown, Richard Blackie and Stevie B then retired to vote and the final result was:

1.    Harry Moulding
2.    Alan Mylecraine
3.    Paul Joyce
Best Card Trick: Colin Williams
Tyro Trophies: Jonathan Joyce & Harry Moulding

Full Photo round up HERE    NOTE** Following Harry's outstanding win, he featured in the Blackpool Evening Gazette, click HERE for a look.

Tuesday 3rd April 2012 - Members Workshop

We may have been few in number due to the Easter holidays but that didn't reduce the amount of entertainment on offer. Members were invited to bring along a new effect for trial, with a view to gathering comments and help on performance aspects. Everyone took to this in the spirit it was intended. Allan Clarke was first out with a rendition of Josh Jay's 'Big Deal'. This is a gambling based effect which whilst stunning in it's two stage climax had failed to get the appropriate responses. After the performance and an overview of its workings, members offered a number of good pieces of advice to better 'sell' the effect. Tim Knight was out next with an idea for a series of shows he has coming up. This involved a number of 10 minute 'acts' all of which could be done out of a small box. Tim ran through a few ideas, pulling props and gags galore out of a small box and gathering ideas as he went along. Leslie Melville came out with a nice invisible coin trick he had been working on but hadn't yet had the opportunity to try on the public. It played well and even though it was based on an old principle would no doubt have a strong impact on a lay audience. George Jennings brought along some Tamariz colour changing pen knives complaining that he had yet to master the moves involved. This was soon dispelled as the moves were 'perfect' and only George thought it wasn't up to scratch. This display was followed by a discussion on a suitable premise for the routine which gave George some ideas to work with while Harry had a go with the knives to learn the handling. Alan Mylecraine took to the stage with a new routine with a number of phases. Alan was looking for performance tips and some ideas about this 'Ambitious' Card to Wallet routine. It was a good routine which should find it's way into his act very soon. Harry Moulding had brought along an effect he had purchased recently, 'Houdini's Beads'. Based on the 'Magic Washing line' principle, Harry needed some handling tips and an idea of how to get the climax to work well. After a couple of tries, it did come together to allow Harry to take the props home and work on it further. Allan Clarke had another effect that needed some suitable premise for presentation. This 'Mind Reading' type effect (complete with Crystal Ball!)was discussed and some presentational ideas suggested. Allan went away with some very sensible suggestions and potential story-lines.  Lastly Tim Knight came out with an old Supreme Prop called 'Funny Photos', first of all trying to devise how the effect should run, then to discuss how he might make best use of it. Another very interesting evening with lots of ideas and suggestions to help the performance of Magic. Photos can be found HERE.

Tuesday 6th March 2012 - In house Auction and Trick Session

Tuesdays meeting started with our in-house auction, plenty of deals were had and much merriment & laughter ensued with people’s sales patter and everbody else’s deep pockets!
After the sales pitch finished, the trick session started with Steve Eastham keen to be first out of the blocks – he got things underway with a great version of Al Smiths “Further on”, Ian Birkett was quick to respond with a super “blizzard” card routine.  Harry Moulding came up next and did his routine for “Crazymans Handcuffs”, he had obviously spent time learning the routine and it showed – well done Harry. Joe Gilmour leaped into the arena next and showed us his routine for Mark Leveridge’s “Jumbo Cards Across” that he bought at a recent auction. Joe’s routine really breathed life into the effect and his chamfered card holders were a delight to see!! Paul Joyce explaining how he found the impromptu version of “Out of This World” that he performed in a Roy Johnson book he bought at auction. Jonathan Joyce followed and as usual out performed his Dad with a lovely Rabbit card trick from Brian Berry. Tim Knight came on and had worked out a lovely routine for “Twisted Sisters” and had taken it from a close up trick and turned it into a cabaret or stage effect.  Fantastic thinking. George Jennings then sprinted to the front and performed his version of a haunted matchbox routine, there can’t be many magicians who are as original in their effects as George, you will always get a novel approach from him. Alan Mylecraine brought up the rear with his version of Brian Caswell’s ”The Fifth Card”, as always an excellent performance.

Time for a break and recharge of the glasses and then on with the second half, Steve Eastham again got us underway with Nick Trosts “Nine Card” version 1, Ian Birkett was next up with a lovely dice routine, Harry Moulding hot on his heels with a rising card routine. Joe Gilmour was next up performing his version of Wayne Dobson’s “Second Chance”, Paul Joyce followed on with Brian Caswells “Triology”, Jonathan Joyce was next with his “do as I do routine”, Tim Knight came next with “Attaboy” and GeorgeJennings was last up with a lovely routine for getting your business cards into play. Time had run out, and another great night at  The Fylde Mystics was over.

Tuesday 7th February 2012 - Pocket Trick Drive

This month’s meeting was our first “Michael Alford’s Pocket Trick Drive” organised by Stuart Bowie. You don’t know what one is? Neither did we till the meeting, but what a great meeting it turned out to be. Stuart explained how the night would work and how without the late Michael Alfords work on the system it would never work. Hence it is rightly named after Michael Alford.
Basically, we all sat at tables of three people, performed a trick each, awarded each other points and then moved on to the next table. The effects that were performed at my tables were: Paul Joyce doing a version of Eddie Burkes “Weird & Occult”, Jonathan Joyce doing a confident version of “Mother of all Card Tricks”, Steve Eastham with Wayne Dobson’s “Starling”, Allan Clarke did Joshua Jay’s “Big Deal”, George Jennings with Michael Close’s  “Tamariz Rabbits”, Colin Williams with a very clever card trick of his own, Joe Gilmour with Mark Mason’s “Stuck Up Monte”, Tim Knight did his version of “This, that & the other”, while Alan Mylecraine did his improved version of Bill Thompsons “Wink Diary”. After that, it was time for the break before cracking on with the second half: Paul Joyce with a version of Paul Gordon’s “Poker Trick”, Jonathan Joyce with “Do as I do”, Steve Eastham did Peter Duffie’s “Found Out”, Allan Clarke started finger flinging, George Jennings did a John Guastaferro’s “Truth In Advertising” card trick, Joe Gilmour did his version of “This, That & the other”, Colin Williams doing one handed card productions whilst the deck is behind his back, Tim Knight with a version of “Cards Across”, where he misdirected me perfectly and Alan Mylecraine with Brian Caswell’s “Triology”.

They were the effects that I saw performed, but, that asides there were plenty of conversations abound, with people discussing their effects and reasons for doing them and general good natured banter. Thanks to Stuart Bowie for introducing us to the idea, I just hope he realises he has made himself an annual job now! The winner with the most points for the first half was Joe Gilmour, with the winner for the second half being George Jennings and the person with the most points overall was Steve Eastham. Roll on the next “Michael Alford Pocket Trick Drive”
Photos HERE

Tuesday 3rd January 2012 - Trick Clinic

On the first meeting of the new year, what we lacked in numbers, we made up for in enthusiasm and quality. Allan Clarke deputised for Alan Mylecraine who was attending to some important fatherhood duties and had sent apologies. We all wished Alan Mylecraine and Joanne well on the arrival of their son Thomas.

The meeting was designed as a forum for exploring new effects, getting help with existing effects or simply advice on presentation.  Allan Clarke opened the session with a throwaway 'Uri Gellar' type effect using a flexible straw which seemed to catch the attention, before seeking presentation advice on a memory effect. Allan had created a 'Celebrity Phonebook' and for any given celeb, could recite the phone number and location of the given star. This prompted some debate as to the presentation due to the use of a Pad, and suggestions were offered to eliminate any clues as to the method. Allan followed this up with another effect using the same principle by correctly divining serial numbers from a selected banknote. George Jennings stepped out next looking for inspiration for the use of a prop he had purchased at a considerable discount some years ago. The prop was called 'Overboard' from Paul Stone. The prop created some interesting ideas for it's use although it was felt to be more of a puzzle than a magical effect, some useful suggestions did come out though and no doubt George will be back later with another dry humoured routine. Colin Williams rested while Joe Gilmour, on his welcome return, brought out a Paul Gordon effect called Red Herring, which he was struggling to get his head around. After a some quick inspection of the props, Allan did all the moves while Joe read out the directions. After a little bit of re-work it did come together. The idea was good but the routine descriptions weren't the clearest, but with a bit of trial and error, he got there in the end. Stuart Bowie saw the doctor next, with what appeared to be a very nice collectors item called 'Two Clever Tubes'. The main idea was a silk transpo but it wasn't without some handling issues. Stuart ran through how he thought the drum head tubes might work and gained some useful advice on how to hide the load. None the less it was a very nice prop with some great potential. Ian Birket had brought a couple of different versions of 'Sucker Silks' to learn. Steve always had this item in his repertoire and gave Ian some tips on handling. The first version was the standard Davenports issue but Ian did not have the correct silks to do this version. He instead used a Duane Laflin 'Palmo' to try the routine which came out very well in the end. Steve Eastham 'fried' Joe's head with 'Knock 'Em Dead from Peter Nardi. This is a wonderful 'multiple out' effect in which a spectators free choice is correctly predicted. After a short break and some news about Ken Ashburn who continues to suffer with his health, Allan Clarke ran through his version of Supreme's 'Tricky Drinks' effect, brought up to date with a choice of drinks rather than a force. This seemed to play well and some suggestions as to a workable premise were discussed. George Jennings came out again with a test of psychological forcing. George's premise was that with a little forethought a spectators free choice of a female film star could be predicted about one in six times. If used correctly, this could on occasion prove to be a real stunner. Stuart Bowie brought out a classic for discussion. The Gypsy Thread has been a mainstay for a number of years, but he wondered if a different presentation could be devised. A couple of ideas came out, but the 'traditional' 'thread of life' seemed so strong that it was unlikely to be bettered. Steve Eastham closed a very stimulating session with  A Million Dollar Prediction from our own Ken Ashburn. Based on the Gemini principle, this is a strong effect with a great kicker finish. Photos can be found HERE.

Tuesday 6th December - Book Tests and Predictions.

Another great night at The Fylde Mystics, Alan Mylecraine couldn’t make it tonight so Paul Joyce started off by suggesting that since it was “prediction” night maybe it should start with everybody suggesting the arrival date of the new Mylecraine addition! Paul then kicked things off by predicting Allan Clarke’s thought of number by showing it written down in a sealed envelope….. maybe needs to improve his handwriting though! Harry Moulding followed on with his nice routine for Twisted Sisters. Jonathan Joyce came up next with his version of Mother of all Predictions. Colin Williams quickly followed with a very good version of Shuffleboard/Simon Aronson effect, always a great trick. George Jennings came next with his version of “Sweet & Sour” as always with George it was very well routined. Allan Clarke came next with the first book test of the night, great routine and Allan as always had obviously spent a lot of time researching different versions. Tim Knight came along next with another book test – excellent routine but don’t ask him to spell Albatross! Stuart Bowie was on next with his version of John Bannon’s Detour De-force – great routine and really sold it well. Steve Eastham completed the first half with Stephen Tucker’s variation on the B-wave trick – lovely routine.

After the break, Harry Moulding got the second half underway with a spelling card trick, coped well and didn’t panic when things weren’t right – well done Harry. Jonathan Joyce came next with his version of Mind Reading Bear – good routine and managed to read Allan Clarke’s mind too! George Jennings was next with a book test routine, a lot of work had taken place here to get this routine up and running, great routine and I’m sure everyone will be stealing his “you won’t put the book down” line! Allan Clarke followed on with a three way prediction with a card routine using the Gilbraith principle who was quickly followed by Tim Knight with his version of Mental Epic. Paul Joyce came next with his version of Twisted Sisters and then also did a book test. Stuart Bowie followed on with Thom Petersons 'ESP your pants' – a good routine and loved his story about a previous showing of it. Steve Eastham finished the night with a strong version of Pat Page’s Diary Trick, in my opinion, one of the strongest versions about. Photos as always can be found HERE.

The Fylde Mystics will be meeting up for their Xmas dinner on 13th December where I’m sure there will be plenty of Xmas cheer!

Tuesday 1st November - Star Lecture with Matthew Wright

Matt Wright Came second in the FISM Parlour category, winning himself a place at the World Championships of magic July 2012 in Blackpool where he will be representing the UK. He won the IBM Close-up category at the Southport Convention in September and last night scored a hat-trick by winning the hearts and minds of all those who battled through motorway madness to be at the Fylde Mystics. Matt is a 'Lancashire Lad' and is well known to many both in the UK and abroad. Matt opened a Magic Bar called the 'House of Illusion' in Malta, performing twice a night for over three years and is currently looking forward to a winter in Benidorm. Matt's new lecture, 'The Unusual Suspect' is still in development but we were fortunate to get an exclusive preview but none the less, it proved to be a fantastic evenings entertainment with some real world tips and hints for the aspiring performer. The first thing you notice, is his very much larger than life performing character, which he himself said was something of an autistic 'Dr Who'. At the Fylde Mystics we are developing a reputation for only having lectures from “real workers”, people who perform out there in the trenches in whatever field of magic they have chosen. At the November meeting, it was the same again as we were all thoroughly entertained and more importantly taught the secrets of the award winning Matthew Wright. His first couple of effects were 'Attack of the Card', a kind of ambitious card routine and a brilliant 'Coins across' routine. The beauty of Matthews thinking really shone through in both the explanations here, as well as the obvious skill level it’s the thinking behind why he does things the way he does to make them work. For example, he is always concerned that with an ambitious card routine you can come away looking like a “smart alec”, but with his routine all that heat is taken away and it has resulted in a very entertaining effect. As for the coins across, what a wonderful routine and if you haven’t seen it yourself, the slow motion bit at the end is breathtaking. He gave us a hands on session teaching us how to know which card somebody chose and outs to cover it as well, we were all very quickly picking up the technique due to his teaching. He totally baffled me with a card routine and some mint strips. Fantastic routining and one of the few occasions where as a magician you still get the Wow factor.

For the second half, Matthew was keen to say he didn’t agree with dealer talk in how you can do a trick 5 minutes after taking it out of the packet. He then [roceeded to show us three different versions of the same effect to demonstrate how things can be routined to provide a different 'feel'. The effect was his now famous Poker Face routine and also for those who have seen in his Pendle Witches routine. All in all it was an excellent night, you can see why Matthew has won so many awards, you can also see how much time and effort he puts in and more importantly the amount of hours he has spent honing his craft in front of real people. We had quite a few visitors on the night who had fought their way through traffic jams who were all pleased they made the effort.  We all learned a lot and came away inspired to aim for more. Whilst I am sure we will all take plenty away from his lecture it was wonderful to see our two youngest members being enthralled by what is possible with talent, hardwork and most importantly personality.

If you get the chance to see Matthew’s lecture I strongly suggest you see it – fantastic.    Photos HERE

Tuesday 4th October - 'Desert Island Tricks'

October’s meeting started well with The Fylde Mystics welcoming not one, but TWO new members in Colin Williams & Adrian Catch. The night was themed as 'Desert Island Tricks', and the first Robinson Crusoe was Alan Mylecraine who started the night off with his excellent routine in which he had a volunteer pick a card but in finding the card he was a spade short but Alan produced the missing spade! Alan suggested the spade could be used to dig holes in the sand. Tim Knight followed with a bit of balloon modelling to make himself some female company and continued with a funny prediction effect. Young Harry Moulding was next up with a nice version of a coin matrix, well done Harry. Allan Clarke was next up, Allan suggested he would take a book to learn from, in this case Paul Clive’s book, 'Card Tricks without Skill' which despite it's title actually had some great tricks in it. To demonstrate, he performed a key card placement routine that was very effective. Paul Joyce took a Fez with him that also doubled as an egg bag – that way he would have plenty of eggs! George Jennings took along the Roy Johnson Experience book and performed 'The Bargain', based on an Al Baker routine and as always with George, it was very entertaining. Leslie Melville followed on with a card routine taught by Pat Page and was followed by son Adrian Catch who did a great routine with the mind reading bear that had some great touches & lines in it. After the interval Alan Mylecraine got us moving again with Simon Aronson’s 'Prior Commitment', Tim Knight followed on with a snow cone and had Paul Joyce very worried with a Russian roulette with three cups, one full of water! Colin Williams was next with a nice card in aces routine, Harry Moulding followed on his version of the cards and rubber band trick as taught by Baggy to the juniors. Allan Clarke was next with Peter Duffie's 'Disorientated Sevens'. Jonathan Joyce took the meeting in a different direction and talked about what book he would take to the island. Paul Joyce lost the plot talking about books and tried to recite the Deck Of Cards till he was dragged away! George Jennings performed 'The Duplicate Button' from Roy Johnson’s 'Second Time Around'. Leslie Melville rounded the night off with Fogels 'Triple Prediction'.

As always it was a fantastic night, seeing great magic and also picking up information on some great books to read.  Don’t forget, our next meeting is an open evening with a lecture by Matt Wright…. Come and see what the Mystics are all about. Photos HERE

Tuesday 6th September - 'Why Magic' with an all star cast (of members)

It is often said 'Great things are afoot', but in our case they were 297 x 210 mm. For the metrically challenged, this is the size of an A4 book and it was in this small(ish) package that the story of the re-formed Fylde Mystics unfolded in full colour glory. Dedicated to Mel Wilson who passed away in 2010, this potted history of the first three years of the Fylde Mystics charts the progress made and contains not only members biographies and contact details but includes effects from many of the great lecturers we have seen over this time. It's a great read and Alan Mylecraine was pleased to be able to hand out copies to all those members who came to the meeting. Others will get copies in due course. Thanks should go to all our contributors for making the book such an interesting read. Down to the meeting and after a brief introduction from Alan, we welcomed two prosepctive new members in the form of Adrian Catch, Leslie's son, and Colin Williams who was pointed in our direction by Ken Ashburn. Steve Eastham opened the proceedings by  regaling us with stories of his early exploits in magic, picking up the bug from his father who had enrolled him into the Boys Magic Club of Prestatyn, as it transpired, just like a number of other members. Steve went on to perform a card trick based on numerology eventually finding two 'four of a kind' and a flush. George Jennings had already spent time at an earlier meetings, finding his way into magic via the ubiquitous magic set encouraged by a neighbour of Tommy Cooper no less. George told many stories of his exploits in finding some of magic's better hidden shops and dealers before performing the classic three paper balls to pocket routine. Tim Knight was relatively new to magic having arrived there from his days as a DJ, childrens entertainer and baloon modeller having been shown some tricks by a friend in the curiously titled 'Roller Coaster Club'. Tim went on to show an effect using a calculator and more challengingly, three assorted iPhones form the audience. All I can say is that if it had worked, it would have been a great trick! The effect relies on spectators knowing how to use a calculator, so it was a bit fraught with danger. From here, Allan Clarke told everyone how he got into magic through having to help Jack, his son, who was being tutored by Steve Eastham. Allan went on to show the first trick he performed 'publicly' at the same time demonstrating why he stopped doing it, when it went wrong! Allan redeemed himself by running through an old Roy Walton 'oil & water' effect adapted from the well known 'Birds & Bees' routine. Guest Colin Williams took to the floor next and blew everyone away with a great 'Triumph' type effect. If he has more like that, we all hope he joins soon! Leslie Melville has clearly been in magic a long time and had a fund of stories outlining a great career. Having spent time as a redcoat, entertainment manager of the Metropole Hotel, developed a 'Mind Reading chicken' act he has more recently fulfilled an ambition of 'demming' on a market stall suporting his son Adrian. Leslies set piece was a wonderfully scripted story around the 'panama' rope trick. To close an interesting and sometimes very nostalgic session, Alan Mylecraine told of his deliight at receiving a Paul Daniels Magic Set one christmas and subsequently finding himself on stage in his slippers assisting Paul Daniels in a season show in Blackpool. He also showed us a newspaper clipping of his winning a competition and spending time backstage with the stars of the Gala Show at a Blackpool Convention. Alan finished his story with a Garrett Thomas effect arriving at Steve's selected card, despite a number of free choice eliminations. With a few minutes left, Steve Eastham showed a clever linking card effect while George Jennings closed the evening with his rendition of 'The Wide boy' based on 'Sam the Bellhop' and 'The Spiv'. A great evenings entertainment, photos HERE as always.

Tuesday 2nd August - Shaun McCree

Shaun is a magician whose work I have admired for many years after seeing him at a trade event for a Renault launch day. Being able to see him perform at that time for real people and watching the reaction he was getting set him apart from the rest. My wife who could take or leave magic was impressed – that was proof enough as to his ability.
Having seen Shaun lecture before I was expecting good things and was not disappointed.  He performed his close up routine for us and from there he talked us through the mechanics of the routines and what has brought him to do things the way he does. I have seen Shaun perform many times and also lecture and he just gets better and better, you can always tell when you are seeing a real worker in action and in my mind he is one of the best. Every routine is commercial and with the experiences he shares with you, it can only help with your own magic.

There was too much good stuff to pick “best bits” as it was all fantastic, but if you get the chance to see him look out for his steal in a coins across routine, superb steal and even when you know how he does it, it still fools you! I really must try to perfect it!
We all learnt plenty from the lecture and it was great to see the reaction from our two youngest members – Jonathan & Harry, they were flabbergasted at the skill and entertainment shown by Shaun. If they are going to learn from anyone they can’t go wrong with Shaun.
After the lecture Shaun did brisk trade with his lecture notes, routines & DVD’s, proving how well the night went. This was a superb lecture and if you get the chance to go and see him I strongly recommend that you do. Paul Joyce. Photo's HERE


Tuesday 5th July - Mini AGM & Cabaret Evening

Alan Mylecraine opened the evening by welcoming new member Leslie Melville and with some great news that member Ken Ashburn was much better after his recent spell in hospital. More good news followed as Alan announced his transition into fatherhood later this year. Everone present wished him well. Steve Eastham passed around copies of the accounts which showed the club was on a sound financial footing. Alan and the meeting thanked Steve for his sterling work. Alan then outlined the forthcoming programme of events and plans for our 4th great year, starting next month with Shaun McCree. Alan also passed on our best wishes for member Ben Proos who will be competing in the Young Magician of the Year competiton. After a short discussion we got back to doing what we enjoy best as Steve Eastham put the balance sheet away and fooled Jonathan with a prediction where 'the eye's have it'. Ian Birket was in game form with a great envelope routine where he managed to keep hold of his £20 bet. Leslie Melville took to the floor with his legendary Jap Box routine and had everone laughing along as he pulled fivers out of an empty box. Tim Knight intorduced some 'toilet' humour as he had Allan wearing a toilet seat as part of his thought transmitter prediciton. George Jennings had brought some invisible friends and correctly predicted which friend Tim would choose. Allan Clarke had a stage set of playing cards and managed to foretell which card Ian B would choose. Harry Moulding tackled the professors nightmare routine with his own football flavour while Jonathan Joyce Pateo'd his way through a nice 'Golf' themed effect. Paul Joyce Had 'Red Fred' freely chosen from a jumbo deck while Alan Mylecraine kept Paul on stage while he followed with a funny guillotine routine. In the second round, Alan Mylecraine kept the humour flowing with his vanishing beaker routine. Paul Joyce followed with a game involving half the audience where he correctly predicted the outcome of a seies of party games. Jonathan Joyce and Harry Moulding both gave renditions of the domino spot effect each with differing patter lines. Allan Clarke then ran a great competiton where Harry won a candlelit dinner for two albeit not what he had anticpated. George Jennings, not to be outdone, left only one spectator in the audience with a great Doug Diamant card mixing prediction. Tim Knight, also not being outdone had Alan M nervously facing not one but three guillotines of his choice. Leslie Melville played fast and loose with a piece of red cord, fooling Ian B out of a lot of credibility. Steve Eastham brought Harry back out to help with a silk off band routine while Ian Birket closed the evenings proceedings with a very clever 'though of' cards across routine. A great finish to three great years, succesfully demonstrating that performance magic is still alive and well at the Mystics. Photos HERE.

Tuesday 14th June - Packet / Trick Session

Another great night began albeit a week late, with news of an upcoming gig at the British Legion Club and some discussion on the content of the new programme for 2011/2012. Alan Mylecraine also welcomed guest Leslie Melville of storyteller fame who enjoyed himself so much on his last visit, he asked to come along again. Alan reminded everyone to send a short biography to Allan Clarke who is compiling a new members booklet for the start of our 4th great season. With these parish notices out of the way, Paul Joyce, freshly tanned and excited to be back treated everyone to a great book test originally devised by Al do Colombini. Paul was followed by son Jonathan Joyce who demonstrated his mastery of a flipped out card from a banded deck, shown to him by member 'Baggy' Bagot. Harry Moulding showed us a convincing 'Lie Speller' routine variation based on Steinmeyers Nine Card problem. Alan Mylecraine was back to the floor with a card effect where the named card was the only 'printed' card in an otherwise blank deck. George Jennings tickled everyone's funny bone with his take on Nemo 1500, extolling the virtues of mind control. Tim Knight came out to show everyone his new watch, which he then proceeded to show that the watch was set to a freely selected time. Jack Clarke made a welcome return after exam leave to demonstrate his card seeking paper-clip which after being thrown into the deck, correctly located a freely selected card. Allan Clarke then wove a story about a strange prediction where three freely selected numbers were used to determine a year in history. The prediction outlined famous events from that same year. Guest Leslie Melville, not wanting to be left out, gave a very funny rendition of his 'Dingle Dangle' sticks. Ian Birkit showed everyone he had mastered  a very adept coins across routine, while Steve Eastham showed a clever card to box effect from Paul Gordon. Stuart Bowie gave a nicely routined card to wallet effect involving a £20 note and an IOU. After a short break, Round two began in reverse order with Stuart Bowie demonstrating his escaping card. Steve Eastham gave another Paul Gordon variation called 'Doorstop Aces' while Ian Birkit ran through a nice colour separation routine. Leslie Melville once again rhymed his way through a Slydini linking pin routine followed by Allan Clarke who demonstrated Jay Sankeys 'Dollars and Sense'. Jack Clarke brought out an intriguing perspex sandwich which he used to correctly determine a freely chosen ESP card. Tim Knight donned a blindfold for a great card location routine from Paul Gordon. George Jennings had everyone giggling with a patter line for a Spirit Slate effect while Alan Mylecraine went to town on a stage version of a rising card effect. Harry Moulding was once again showing his skill with a set up on the fly spelling routine using a key card, he was followed by Jonathan Joyce used a little stearate for a slide out card location. To close the performances, Paul Joyce had a few scary moments with Tim using a large mousetrap to find a selected card based on an effect from Mark Shortland. Another great Night with loads of laughs. Photos HERE.

Tuesday 3rd May - 'Swap a Trick' Night

uesday was as entertaining as a club meeting gets. 'Swap a trick' was so funny last year that we decided to give it another go. Members paired up with each other and swapped tricks. Each member had to teach their partner how to perform one of their tricks. That was the easy bit! After a brief discussion on the donation of effects from Murphy's Magic, Alan Mylecraine opened the meeting explaining how the 'swap a trick' would work. Each member found a partner who would show them trick then the partner would reciprocate, showing one of their tricks. After a suitable practice period, all the effects would be performed. Alan Mylecraine took the two juniors, Jonathan and Harry and with the help of Steve Eastham, showed them the 'Dotty Dots' routine encouraging them to come up with their own patter. Everyone else paired up and started to learn a new effect. The moment of truth arrived and first out was Paul Joyce who had been tutored by George Jennings on the ring & rope routine from his close-up act. Paul started out well but soon faltered trying to remember the somewhat complicated routine, half way through, with everybody in stitches, Paul decided to call it a day. Next out was Harry Moulding with the first rendition of Dotty Dots. Harry's character made the most of an entertaining trick. Allan Clarke had been shown a variation of the six card repeat by Tim Knight. This version used £5 notes which gave an interesting twist on an old standard. Tim Knight had been shown an effect using the Olram subltety where a selected card was the only odd one chosen from the packet. The kicker was a prediction contained in an envelope which confirmed the choice. Stuart Bowie had been partnered with Joe Gilmour who had shown him a book test routine based on a stacked deck and very well presented it was too. Joe Gilmour then demonstrated a 2 card prediction correctly pairing up cards chosen by the specatator. George Jennings had us chuckling through a clever 'Bill Switch' routine from Paul making most of the fact that he was using bills with Paul Joyce's name on them! Jonathan Joyce closed a hugely enjoyable set with his own version of the Dots routine showing how quickly these youngsters pick up and deliver new effects. Another fun night with a lot of laughs. Photos HERE as usual.

Tuesday 5th April - Annual Close-up Competition

Tuesday saw the Fylde Mystics hosting their annual Close-Up Competition with a capacity crowd. It was a strong field with 7 competitors taking part. First up was relative new comer to the society Tim Knight, Tim opened with a Card named Fred routine where the selected card matched the prediction in the envelope which a spectator was holding, followed nicely with Lennart Greens version of Gemini Twins, the BLP20 prediction book and finishing on a nice business card and flash paper routine. George Jennings followed with his usual wit and humour where he stood in front of the audience and clarified his name was George Jennings and he was a magician, very funny. George proceeded to present a very accomplished ring and rope routine which moved nicely into a well presented cut and restored rope effect, and finished on a two deck card prediction which matched perfectly with the spectators selection, a very funny routine. Third up saw one of our junior members Harry Moulding (Harini Mouldini on the night), Harry opened with a confidence much befitting someone much older than his 10 years. He presented a nice card revelation which culminated in cutting to the four aces, followed by a one a head type principle where named cards match those previously discarded and finished on a nice presentation of Paul Gordon’s Poker Deal. Stuart ‘Baggy’ Bagot took to the floor next to present a number of card routines, all culminating in Stuarts fantastic presentation of a story deck featuring Mo and Joe, this really must be seen to be appreciated. Our other junior member Jonathan Joyce followed Stuart with a nice confident presentation of the sponge rabbits, followed by a nice blank card routine where the cards actually printed to speck the word MAGIC. Jonathan presented a nice out-to-lunch effect which continued the rabbit theme throughout his act and finished with Paul Gordons Poker Deal, yet again another confident performance from one of our juniors. The penultimate act was Allan Clarke. Allan presented a nice Chinese purse routine where a coin linked onto a rope, this was followed by a nice ESP effect where the selection matched that cut through by a spectator. A nice lottery prediction then followed with two decks of cards and then into a diary prediction trick. Allan finished on a ESP prediction with a theory similar to that seen in Cataclysm. The final act of the night was Paul Joyce. Paul opened with a nice presentation of Pat Page Paper to Money then proceeded to present a fantastic and original name change routine where the spectators name written on paper changed places with a paper with Paul’s name on. Paul then presented a one-a-ahead principle with the use of a prediction pad which was yet again well presented. Paul culminated with Jay Sankeys In A Flash followed by a nice drink production. The whole evening was expertly compered by Steve Eastham. The final results were as follows:         PHOTOS HERE

1st Place             Paul Joyce
2nd Place            Harry Moulding
3rd Place            Allan Clarke
Best Card Trick   Allan Clarke
Tyro Trophy        Jonathan Joyce & Harry Moulding

We were delighted that Donald Monk, President of our friends at the Modern Mystic League, was on hand to present the Trophies. What a nice man! Thanks also to our judges, David Moss, also of the Modern Mystic League, Stuart Bowie from the Carlisle Society and Craig Docherty, our lay judge for their valuable contribution.

Tuesday 1st March - A Night Without Cards!

Taking most members out of their comfort zone, the night proved to be funny as well as instructive. Alan opened by confirming the Close-up show planned for Monday 11th April at the Wellington Park Hotel, Leyland. Volunteers one pace forward! Steve Eastham then asked who would be competing at the Close-up competition in April. A maximum of eight would be allowed. This was to be an open meeting so family and friends should be encouraged to join us on the night. Joe Gilmour then started the night with a book test routine using a calculator which as it turned out would be a recurring prop used all through the night. Steve Eastham started with a jsut chance rope effect leading onto the Panama Rope Trick, scissors appeared more than once on the night too! Jack Clarke had everyone guessing with a prediction called How Odd from Cliff Lount. Ian Birket then ran through a very nice ring and string routine which he had clearly given some thought to. Tim Knight when through the first of two 'Figures of Foo' effects quickly arriving at an answer before the one with the calculator had pressed all the buttons. Baggy, who freestyled having left his case at home, proceeded with an origami style multi-phase routine. George Jennings started with a twist on the Professors Nightmare which with some of Georges trademark self effacement went into a ring and rope segment. New member Stuart Bowie turned see through with a very nice coins through handkerchief routine. Young Harry Moulding (Mouldini) turned into a hypnotic showman with the first of a couple of 'Magic Square' themed routines. Joanthan Joyce then acted up with a mulitplying sponge rabbit effect while Allan Clarke followed with a second 'Figures of Foo' effect albeit with a 'mental' approach. Alan Mylecraine then raced off through John Archer's version of the Magic Square - there's always more with Alan! Paul Joyce closed the first half with a colour changing rope routine assisted by Harry. The second round saw Joe perform a nice sharpie routine from Wayne Dobson. Steve ran through 'Block Off' ribbon which utilised a nice prop originating fromMurray. Ian Birket had been busy as he followed with the Syldini Pins. Tim cajoled Baggy into a 'Russian Roullete' game using eggs - and lived to tell the tale! This was followed by Baggy and a clever disppearing cigarette effect. George raised a few more laughs with '101 things to do with two rubber bands'. While Jonathan proceded to bake a cake with the aid of a few gags and Alan M. Allan Clarke then performed his own version of 'Tricky Drinks' while Alan M had an appointment with a coin 'Matrix'. Another great night with a load of laughs. Photos HERE

Monday 21st February - An Audience with Paul Gordon

Despite having spent 3 days on his stand at the Blackpool Convention, Paul was on top form for his lecture. Back at the Community Centre in Cleveleys, it was nice to catch up with Ron Wilson who hasn't been with us for a bit. With a good number of guests and members eager to see some of the Paul Gordon 'magic', we were taken on a roller coaster ride of effects at lightning speed. Paul was keen that we see as much as possible in the time we had and he certainly delivered a huge amount of real world effects, all clearly honed through years of hard work. The thing that struck me the most was how much laughing we all did. He's a funny guy and had us in stitches with some tales of his performing experiences. Pulling everyone closer to the table we were treated to a number of Pauls 'signature' effects but with so many spread across numerous editions of his huge range of books it was difficult to keep track. This was soon remedied though, with the purchase of his 'blockbuster' and 'card startlers' DVD's (at a bargain price too!). We only have a couple of lectures each year but this was a great night with a great guy. If there's another 'card capers' day soon, it wil be difficult to find reasons not to go! Photos HERE.

Tuesday 8th Febuary 2011 - Tales of the half expected

Another meeting, another new recruit! February's meeting saw a dapper Stuart Bowie descend from the depths of Carlisle to audition for the part of a new member, and what an audition it was! Opening with a classic Cut & Restored rope with a very entertaining premise and a couple of twists on the usual theme, through a nice diversion with a burnt and restored match, closing with a fine rendition of crazy man's handcuffs. A very pleasing set and a warm welcome to a new member. Alan Mylecraine reminded everyone about the forthcoming Paul Gordon Lecture which will now take place at the Frank Townend Community Centre, also about the close-up show we will be performing at the Wellington Park Hotel in Leyland on the 11th April. In the first of what may become many such interludes, we had a 'pitch and sell' session where assorted effects, props and other magical paraphinalia were described and thrust into a lucky punters hands. An assortment of effects flew by aimed at parting the unsuspecting from thier money. Next, we moved onto the evening proper as Steve Eastham related a very funny story about his engagment to work on the Orient Express, where the only stipulation was that he was to 'do that trick where the card appears on the outside of a window'. Needless to say this was dropped due to a small technicality! Steve went on to relate a tale of the confiscation of props by Customs when Kevin James came to the Blackpool Convention. It could only happen to Steve! Alan Mylecraine then talked us through a tale of his exploits while crewing on stage for an inebriated Knife thrower. Ben Proos didn't have any reminiscences to share but instead demonstrated a nice handling with a four Kings and four Ace production routine. Next up was junior member Harry Moulding who presented a very nice four Ace assembly. To his credit, he reset and started over when a slip with the cards put him out. Well done Harry. Jonathan Joyce was on next with a danger segment and an appearing and disappearing blister. Good job his dad had the first aid kit! Paul Joyce chatted about his time as a youngster, having cycled 7 or 8 miles to catch Paul Daniels, who took time out on the car park to advise to Paul on the books he should read if he wanted to improve. Tim Knight then kept Paul on his feet to help with a dating service effect which gave us all a laugh. Allan Clarke then talked about the Sessions Convention and about being introduced to David Berglas as well as witnessing the 'Berglas Effect' live on stage. He went on to perform a Colombini prediction effect called 'perpetual calendar'. Next up was Jack Clarke who then tried another touch of mentalism with a 'Word Association' game, correctly predicting an item picked by Alan M. Baggy told everyone about meeting Penn & Teller after being invited on stage during thier Las Vegas show. He went on to demostrate a 'cutting the Queens' efect he picked up while he was there. George Jennings continued with a story about his contact with Ali Bongo over his 'Magic Welding' effect as well as relating a tale about performer who insult their audiences sometimes with unexpected consequences. Stuart Bowie closed the evening with a story of how he passed up the opportunity to book a young up and coming mentalist after deciding he wasn't up to it. Shame it was Derren Brown.... Another great night of magic. Photos HERE as usual.

Tuesday 11th January 2011 - Mini Lecture Night

The first meeting of the new year was both interesting and varied. Alan Mylecraine opened up by introducing a new junior member, Harry Moulding. Harry who is only 10, proceeded to perform an audition by going straight into a couple of well rehearsed effects, starting with the Professors Nightmare. Harry put his own spin on this popular effect by turning the premise into one of a footballer theme explaining how three different footballers tried to improve their game. It was proficiently handled and well presented. Harry then went on to show everyone a nice ‘House of Cards’ effect based on the apparent mixing of cards and a surprise outcome. This was an adaptation of an effect found in Royal Road to Card Magic. Alan welcomed Harry to the society.

The evening was to be given over to ‘mini lectures’ from three members. First up was Allan Clarke who guided a receptive audience through the wonderful world of the Si Stebbins card system. After some brief historical notes Allan then demonstrated a routine he had developed to take advantage of some of the principles at play in the system. Having ‘memorised’ the deck, two spectators were invited to test the technique by randomly selecting cards to test if Allan could correctly locate the position of the cards in the deck. Unseen cards were then determined by checking a small number of cards from the deck. In the third phase two cards randomly cut to in the deck were shown to be markers for the location of the required card. Finally, after some thorough mixing, cards were divided into piles and having called upon Gaia to bring order out of chaos, a random pile was shown to have each card Ace through King in the packet. Allan went on to explain the principles of the Stebbins system and how they could be used in various effects. To conclude, he then compared a number of well known stacks outlining the differences and advantages for each.

Next up to lecture was Paul Joyce who gave us a bookworms eye view of the way in which his interest in Magic developed. This started with the ubiquitous Paul Daniels book of magic through Ali Bongo and Jack Delvin publications and on to a variety of books by performers who had influenced his magical career. Along the way we heard how Paul progressed into Children’s magic and a couple of publications related to the topic. We also heard from Corinda (13 steps), Eugene Berger, with ‘Spirit Theatre’ a particular favourite of Paul, Michael Ammar, Tommy Wonder and his ‘Books of Wonder’ and Jim Sisti. At each stage Paul explained how the books had changed his thinking on how his magic should be presented, illustrated by stories of how some of the books were obtained. It was an interesting view of the way that Paul had used the books to improve his magic illustrated by some great books and stories of some great magical characters.

After a short break George Jennings took to the floor to explain his own unique style of presentation and how he creates his routines. Georges often dry sense of humour always flows through his routines and in his view, the presentation of any effect should be unique to the performer. George quoted a number of sources and in particular one from the legendary Ken Brooke who produced a manuscript called ‘It’s got to be more than the magic’ which placed strong emphasis on the presentation and premise for performing. George explained how he is always on the look out for a good premise and often has a comedy angle for a routine, even though he may not have an effect to go with it. Citing ‘Grumpy Old Men’ as a source of inspiration he went on to encourage the members to look at ‘Crazy Man’s Handcuffs’ and devise a premise for its presentation. It was a thought provoking lecture, amply illustrated with funny examples and some great ideas for finding something he could make his own. Photos HERE

Tuesday 7th December - Impromptu Magic

Illness and the weather tried to disrupt play with a number of members either down with 'Man Flu' or snowed in! None the less a good night was enjoyed by the magnificent seven with an almost totally impromptu (OK, perhaps a little set-up!) night of magic. Alan Mylecraine thanks all those who helped out at the Tinkerbelle Ball supporting Brian House to the tune of £3500! Alan also asked if members would mind moving the January and February meetings to the second Tuesday in order that certain members could get full use of of their season tickets....

Alan started the trick session with a collection of sugar bags and a paper coffee cup building on an old idea that allowed him to predict the outcome of a shaken and stirred choice. Paul Joyce tried to sneak in his Pom-Pom prayer sticks alleging that he always carried them around up his jumper, but then went on with a funny burning card routine. Jonathan Joyce produced money from thin air, or at least an empty playing card, before Tim Knight, our newest member, ducked and dealt his way through a list of movie stars to arrive at a prediction. Allan Clarke Borrowed a deck and let the spectator be the magician correctly identifying a freely chosen card. Jack Clarke followed with an impromtu coin matrix with all the coins gathering under the last card. George Jennings borrowed some business cards and gathered signatures before tearing them in half and re-assembling them Larry Becker style. After a short break, we had a number of effects, from Card under, on and in glass from Alan, a set up on the fly four of a kind from the other Allan, a spun out selection from Jack, four robbers from Jonathan, cards across from George, a dodgy bet from Tim and a Bill fold routine culminating in a real note from cheque book from Paul. To conclude the evening, George regaled us with stories from the IBM convention in Eastbourne which was so enjoyable we felt there was merit in having an evening dedicated to such stories. Another good night with quite a few laughs. Photos HERE.

Tuesday 2nd November - Quiz Night.

Brian Taylors Quiz Night has always been a tricky but light hearted affair but there were some eager competitiors in the audience all eyeing up the 'Star' prizes on offer. Brian had compiled an all new devilishly tricky multiple section quiz, sure to test the most knowledgable members. Sixty questions in all were projected in a tense ninety minutes of brow furrowing and head scratching. The first section was spot the artist. Ten famous faces staring out at the audience causing no end of consternation. Famous they may have been but putting a name to those faces proved a lot more difficult than it would seem. Next up was the Magical Dealers Section. More well known faces or logos where contestants had to name the dealer, his wife, the cat and the street where they lived. Not really but it sometimes seemed like that! The third section was on props and effects where we had to variously name the originator, the name of the prop or some diverse piece of history about it. The final section was on Illusionists. Out of context images sought to throw the unwary viewer and there seemed to be an awful lot of members who recognised the artists but the name was just beyond the tip of our tongues. The results round up was a welcome relief nodding or kicking ourselves for not seeing the blindingly obvious. After a few minutes totting up the scores, Brian announced the winner as Alan Mylecraine. Running a close second came George Jennings and a special booby prize was awarded to Ian Birkett for trailing the pack with a valiant but ultimately losing streak.

After a short break Alan introduced prospective new members Ben Proos and Tim Knight. Performing is part of our mission statement so Brian took to the floor with a clever number prediction using a planetary theme. Paul Joyce was up next with a funny 'do as I do' routine from Wayne Dobson. Alan Mylecraine brought Ian Birkett up to deal his way to a missing selection before finding it in a box. Jack Clarke showcased another Wayne Dobson routine called Magic Spell while Allan Clarke toook some random cards and correctly forcast the unseen selection. Ben Proos gave a skillful audition, first multiplying a selected card before transforming them into the four Kings. He then gave demonstration of a Jack 'Sandwich' routine before closing with a very adept, card to box effect. A promising performance from this keen 15 year old. Hot on Ben's heels came Steve Eastham running through some nice variations of 'Court Card surprise'. George Jennings brought out his trademark paper bag containing his very funny Pet based act successfuly predicting the freely chosen pet with some dry observations along the way. To close, Ian Birkett showed everybody a very convincing wand through Bill effect bringing a great evening to a close. Photos HERE.

Tuesday 5th October - Tricks from a Book.

The theme for the latest Fylde Mystics meeting was Tricks from Books and it proved to be a popular evening of entertainment. Steve Eastham got the night going with his performance of Coach House Creation from Paul Gordons The Unplanned Card Book. Ian Birkett was up next who performed Fractal jacks from John Bannons MegaWave. There appeared to be a theme flowing as Paul Joyce proceeded to perform Beyond The Pale/ Outer which is from the excellent John Bannon book, Smoke and Mirrors. Jonathan Joyce presented his spooky version of the haunted straw and Jack Clarke performed a variation of a matching card effect from Harry Lorraine’s favourite tricks. Caius DeGuyerin was back with us and performed a nice effect which featured the restoration of a torn card. Ken Ashburn never fails to amaze and performed Chicago Opener which was well received. George Jennings followed with a nice version of Gemini Twins featuring Paul and Alan as a married couple as featured in Experience the magic of Jon Allen by John Lovick. It was nice to welcome Fylde Mystics supporter Brian Berry who performed Spreadwave which was thoroughly enjoyable and Alan Mylecraine brought the first round to a close with the performance of the Ladder Prediction from Steve Beams Semi-Automatic Card Tricks.

The second round saw everyone performing another effect, with particular highlights going to Pauls Sole Survivor by Eugene Burger, Jonathans version of Do As I Do, Jacks Dice prediction effect from Martin Gardner. Ian with a very nice Mark Wilson/Pat Page Paddle, Steve performed The Four Ace Puzzler also from The Unplanned Card Book, George performed a nice Pirates Routine which was from "Start to finish Mainly For Kids by Arthur Russell and Ken with Kick Back Straight by Ryan Swigert. Pictures HERE

Tuesday 3rd September - The Trick Sessions.

Alan Mylecraine opened the meeting by welcoming back Ken Ashburn after his recent illness. He also wished Joe Gilmour well after his operation. Alan informed everyone about an addition to the programme for next February when we will be hosting a lecture from Paul Gordon. Eager to get into the evenings Trick session, Alan opened with a deck production from a display card set and proceded through a nice prediction routine. Ken Ashburn took the table and ran through a stunning Card At Any Number routine which he quite rightly labelled the 'Ultimate'. Paul Joyce then brought a case of junk acquired form a local jumble sale on stage before relating a challenge to make some magic from it. He duly did this with a Genie in a bottle' effect using a rope and a brass vase from the case. George Jennings brought his usual dry humour to an 'invisible ribbon' effect before Jack Clarke romped throught a clever prediction effect called 'Million Dollar Cards'. It was worth noting that this effect had been originated by none other than Ken Ashburn who gracefully accepted the acknowledgement. Allan Clarke followed this with a 'just chance' routine from Jay Sankey. Ian Birket continued the theme with a nice version of 'Twisting the Aces'. Joe Gilmour introduced another batch of humour with his take on 'Red Hot Momma' which had Alan Mylcraine blowing 'kisses' long after he needed to! Steve Eastham closed the first round with a routine from Giobbi culminating in the production of the four Aces and closing with a card count prediction.

Prior to the break, Jack Clarke gave a special presentation of Supremes 'Dagger Chest' however all he produced was a special Birthday cake for Steve Eastham and the only knife used was to cut the cake, which gave everyone a useful sugar boost!

Round two saw Alan M present a version of a Thom Peterson routine. Ken then brought out his second stunner, this time Mark Elsdon's 'Devastation' which had a lot of people fooled due to the handling. Paul took up writing for a 'Out to Lunch' variation with a pen of many colours. George used his droll persona to good effect with a nice Cecil Tebbit effect arriving at a prediction with a kicker ending. Jack demonstrated some spirit intervention when a selected card spookily announced itself by twisting out of a shuffled deck. Allan then performed a two deck effect from Dan Paulus called 'Pure Skill' by showing a selected card had been switched between decks. Ian followed with another variation of 'Twisting' using Queens and some Olram subleties. Joe had eveyone in giggles with his Jumbo Six card repeat while Steve completed the round with a homage to Al Smith by performing 'Perdup' a nice matching card display effect. Still anxious to make the most of the evening, the session continued with Alan M having a laugh with some Gaff Ha-Ha-Ha cards. Ken scored a hat trick of effects with another 'Ultimate', this time a Brainwave deck from Bob Solari which had a very clever premise. Paul had some funny business with some business cards while Allan used some jumbo half cards for a Colombini routine matching up the pairs of 'halves'. Ian had a very intriguing pair of animated matchboxes which caused something of a shock when they were handed out at the end. Joe completed his trio with a sharpie routine from Wayne Dobson after which Steve closed the bumper session with a matching card routine using a rainbow deck. This was a fun packed night littered with great effects. Photos as usual HERE.

Tuesday 3rd August - An evening with Al Smith.

Alan Mylecraine notified everyone regarding Mel Wilsons very sad passing and thanked all those who were able to attend the funeral and send messages of condolence to Irene and his family. Alan went on to wish all the members a happy anniversary as we started our third year as the Fylde Mystics. After a couple of parish notices, Alan asked Steve Eastham to introduce our speaker. Steve has known Al for many years and regaled us with some stories about Al and his take on Life, the Universe and Cards. (One and the same according to Al). Well, we may have been low in numbers, but we were high on enthusiasm when Card Legend Al Smith journeyed from the Ridings of Yorkshire to have us sample the delights of a very special kind of card magic. Many of us who have been fans of Al for some time, were delighted to find he was every bit as funny in person as he appears to be in his writings. He inists he is not an avid performer but his insight into the workings and presentation of card effects is indeed legendary. The lecture was euphemistically entitled S.O.S which had various connotations depending on your point of view. Al was very keen to ensure that everyone understood all the subltleties of the card techniques but what made it all the more interesting was the fact that the whole evening was littered with stories, opinions and insights into what is clearly a very clever mind. If may sound strange but Al spent most of the evening presenting just one effect. However, his diversions, tangents and wanderings both verbal and visual were all intended to explain the minutae of the effect and in doing so made clear the premise and the need to appreciate magic from the spectators standpoint. SOS was an object lesson in thinking about the presentation of an effect. What appeared to be minor handling points or the use of certain phrasing were all the gold nuggets of a lifetime spent honing card skills. Along the way we were treated to the delights of the Abacut, a Fylde Mystics spelling bee with a surprise ending and a masterful vanishing ace effect that finished as clean as it started. As if the evening hadn't been entertaining enough, Al then very kindly gave everyone present a compete set of SOS lecture notes with a special Fylde Mystic supplement. A great end to a great night. Photos HERE as always.

Tuesday 6th July - Mentalism evening

Alan Mylecraine opened by informing everyone that Mel Wilson has been taken into hospital. A card was circulated for members to send thier good wishes. This was also extended to Joe Gilmour who had a second knee operation on Monday. Our good wishes go out to both of them and thier families. Alan went on to thank all those members who helped put on a great show at the British Legion Club in St Annes (review below). It was a good night enjoyed by all.

As we had come to the end of our second year as a society, Steve Eastham highlighted our finances and produced a balance sheet for the year. This was found to be in order and passed with thanks to Steve for his diligence in keeping the society solvent. There followed a lengthy discussion regarding subscriptions and ideas for future events. The meeting then got underway proper with Jonathan Joyce who mentally divined a coloured chip from the 'box of mystery' and went on to successfuly predict four freely chosen cards. Paul Joyce was up next with some poetic licence in divining a word chosen from a book of poems. Alan Mylecraine brought out the next book test artistically drawing his mental interpretation of a randomly chosen phrase. Next up was Brian Taylor with an very nice Astor prop where three freely chosen cards were correctly predicted. Jack Clarke used his powers of telepathy to reveal four cards chosen from a card matrix. George Jennings chose the unkindest cut by having a spectator chop through a list of everyday objects only to find that he had predicted the outcome. Allan Clarke demonstrated some real mental agility by correctly determining which spectator held a random selection of cards despite only having a short glimpse of the packs. Stuart Bagot then predicted that despite multiple cuts of a new order deck, the the dealt piles would each be 4 of a kind. To complete the first half, Steve Eastham succesfully determined the location of three unseen banknotes chosen at random by a spectator. After a refreshment break, Paul Joyce hopped through a series of gag cards only to identify a freely thought of card. Alan Mylecraine took out his pad once more with a trio of predictions which seemed to fail although proved to be correct when reviewed. Brian Taylor brought out another Astor prop based on ESP cards but with a clever twist on the usual effect. Jack Clarke once more set out a number of cards in a stand correctly forseeing the freely chosen card. George Jennings used another member of the audience to relay the value and suit of a freely chosen card arrived at from a five way cut of a pack. Despite appearing to get this wrong, it proved to be deadly accurate. Allan Clarke had a spectator secretly choose thier favourite film only to go on and correctly identify it. Stuart Bagot once again got out his cards and with a bit of 'fishing', successfully arrived at the cut to card. Steve Eastham closed the evening with a Peter Duffie Diary trick involving some crossword clues to arrive at a predicted card. A lot of laughs and some great magic closed our second successful year. Photos HERE.

Friday 2nd July - Magic with the Mystics.

An expectant crowd had gathered as we set up for our show at the Royal British Legion Club in St Annes. Members Steve Eastham, Alan Mylecraine, Allan Clarke, Jack Clarke, Mel Wilson, Paul Joyce, George Jennings and guest Brian Berry opened the first half entertainment performing Close-up at tables. Being a club setup meant that performing conditions were not ideal but the audience were generally receptive as a number of stock effects were rolled out by the team. As we settled into the first session, members swapped tables and jokes for a good hour or so before the buffet opened and we broke for refreshments. The second half of the show was to be our cabaret spot. Compere Steve Eastham introduced the first act in the form of Paul Joyce who playfully engaged the crowd with spotted handkerchiefs, a named card effect and a divined card using his grandmothers teeth!. Another compere item from Steve preceded Mel Wilson's first foray onto the stage. Mel sauntered through a multi segment cut & restored rope routine before closing with a clean torn & restored newspaper item. George Jennings took to the floor next with some droll observations and a prediction concerning MP's expenses this was followed with a 'high risk' divination of the contents of an unlabelled can of food. Allan Clarke went mental. Opening with 'X' marks the spot where a freely chosen card is the only one with a cross on the back. This moved onto a Deja Vu effect correctly predicting a chosen card. Allan Closed his set with a take on the lottery prediction. Following a £10 note on a rope effect, Steve introduced Jack Clarke who opened with a Dribeck Die following with a cut & restored rope routine. From here we were treated to a Sidewalk Shuffle and Jack closed a well rehearsed set with the classic Chinese Linking Rings. To close the show, Alan Mylecraine burst onto the stage with some rapid fire one-liners and a host of sight gags. A 'stiff rope' item had the audience in stitches and the comedy continued with a 'domino' eye test. Alan closed his set with a card prediction and the appearance of the 'missing spade'. It was a great night well received by the audience and something we intend to promote further.

Sunday 13th June - Modern Mystic League visit

This extra meeting was set up to allow the Fylde Mystics to provide an afternoon's entertainment at the Modern Mystic League. Last year the MML team came over and gave us a great evenings entertainment and it was our turn to reciprocate. Brian Lead the MMl Concert Secretary gave this review:
"By tradition, June sees Chairman’s Day at the MML., and this year was the 10th such event presided over by Roger Woods assisted by his good lady Joan on refreshments  We welcomed our seaside neighbours, the Fylde Mystics, paying a reciprocal visit. Allan Clarke opened with a touch of mentalism, incorporating mathematical and ‘deja vu’ effects. Compere Steve Eastham then introduced Paul Joyce for the close-up part of his performance, which included a topical World Cup theme, a detective sequence in which a murder was solved and the appearance (or non-appearance) of Sean the invisible leprechaun. Alan Mylecraine followed with a lovely line in throw-away gags accompanying a card prediction, severed finger and Chinese coins. Joe Gilmour rounded off part one with a diary effect, a chase the ace/find the lady routine and a prediction scroll in an ancient box with some nice original touches. The gang took to the stage in the second half of the afternoon, with Joe presenting a hilarious ‘rat trap’ effect before George Jennings entertained us with his droll observational humour while predicting a tin of pineapples. Paul and Alan also made a return to the boards, the latter with a beaker vanish accompanied by more sight gags. A jolly time was had by all, and the capacity crowd of family and friends had got their money’s worth – or they would have done if they had paid!"

It was a fun afternoon and League members and visitors seemed to appreciate our show. We look forward to providing similar entertainment in the future. Photos HERE

Tuesday 2nd June 2010 - Trick Clinic Plus

This month saw the Fylde Mystics hosting a ‘trick clinic’, although it turned into so much more. Steve Eastham spent the first hour demonstrating a whole host of varying card sleights to the assembled members who each practiced them as we went from member to member. Steve then proceeded to teach a number of effects which could be achieved with the recently acquired card sleights. Each member left with at least three new card sleights and two new effects as a result of this invaluable workshop.  Joe Gilmour then brought what could only be described as medieval torture equipment; well it was actually a form of Russian Roulette which he had made with the use of rat traps!!!  It was a very impressive prop and we all offered tips and advice on how would be best to present it. George Jennings had a number of queries with regards handling spectators and we all gave our thoughts and opinions on how best to handle certain situations. The meeting finished with Steve performing the infamous Multiplying Bottles by which time the evening had flown by with thte conclusion that it had been another thoroughly enjoyable night of magic.  Paul Joyce who is performing in the Children’s Show at the Northern Magic Circle Convention performed a short item in order that members could give feedback on the effect. Paul was undecided about its use but several good ideas were discussed and Paul was encouraged to include it. Alan Mylecraine then introduced Brian Sefton, well known to many of us in the society and as well as being one of the UK’s foremost manipulators he is also a quiet, self deprecating and unassuming man. That said, what developed next was absolutely astounding. Brian performed his award winning manipulation act which has clearly been honed to perfection over many years. Perfection it was too, with flawless productions of silks, effortless card fans, a very clever thimble routine, a mesmerising billiard ball manipulation and a variety of appearing, vanishing and transforming canes.

Tuesday 3rd May 2010 - Cards, Cuts, Shuffles and Moves with Brian Glover

Alan Mylecraine opened the meeting by welcoming back Ken Ashburn after a period of illness thanking Brian Berry for helping him to get to the meeting. Ken had located an old certificate given to him as president of the original Society and it had been framed. Alan took time to thank all those involved in the very successful Charity show at the BPL bar on Blackpool Airport which raised over £280 for the North West Air Ambulance (see HERE for letter of thanks). Alan also explained that we had once again been asked to provide some magical entertainment at the prestigious Tinkerbelle Ball in aid of Derian House later in the year. Volunteers should pass their names to Alan for inclusion in the line-up for this as well as the show at the Royal British Legion Club in St Annes. Alan then introduced Brian Glover.Brian is a very well respected ‘card man’ who has published material in several top journals.Having ‘guested’ at four F’s, Brian is highly regarded and recognised to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of magic, especially card work and has built up an impressive array of colleagues in the card world. Brian opened by explaining his somewhat unique approach to card work. It should be gaff free, largely impromptu and direct. He spent the whole lecture demonstrating and explaining many card effects with a minimum of props. His opening effect, based on a reworking of ‘Aces for Connoisseurs’, utilised four Queens rather than four Aces. This effect typified Brian’s approach in that he had added some handling which served to make the effect sleights less obvious while building a much stronger climax. Brian went on to explain in detail the ‘moves’ necessary to make the effect work as well as it does making sure everyone understood the premise and the handling. The evening was spent discussing a vast array of cuts, lifts, culls, shuffles and every manner of card sleight conceived. Brian took time to explain many of the subtleties of the various moves and illustrated them with some great effects. His talk was littered with numerous references on the origins of many of the effects and their creators so we got a potted history lesson as well as invaluable insight into the execution of sleights. Brian is a great ‘thinker’ and this was more than evident in the reworking of many of the effects we were shown. His variations were developed largely to overcome some inconsistency in the handling or premise or to find a conclusion to an otherwise ‘dead’ effect. Along the way we were treated to a puzzling 'Oil & Water' routine, Peter Kanes 'Jazz Aces', a reworking of Paul Harris's 'Reset', an 'Ambitious' opening and a great 'Triumph' handling, a great little 'elevator' routine and a Hofzinser based divination. Brian finished with an 'Amazing' trick which had everybody in stitches. It was a great night with much to be gleaned even for those poor souls who don’t understand the innate beauty of card effects. If you get a chance, his talk is highly recommended. Photos HERE.

Thursday 29th April 2010 - Charity Show at Blackpools BPL Bar.

In a packed Clubhouse overlooking the apron at Blackpool Airport, members of the Fylde Mystics gathered to stage a charity show in aid of North West Air Ambulance. With a packed bill, Steve Eastham, who compered the show, opened the evening by showing the audience how to perform a colour changing silk effect. He went on to introduce Paul Joyce who guided spectators to a meeting with his friendly leprecaun, Seamus, who turned selected cards over to command. Matching cards became the order of the day before a scary credit card routine frightened the card into a sealed wallet. Steve pulled a few more ropes to find himself the winner of a £10 note tied onto the last one. Steve then introduced on stage Brian Taylor. Brian challenged a spectator to find a match to a special card in a sealed envelope which they did with ease. From here he had flying club member MIke sign a banknote which turned out to be a fake. Undeterred, Brian engaged a young lady to read his mind and discover matching sets of Egyptian symbols in the hope of getting Mike his £20 note back. The signed note was eventually found in a stapled envelope inside Brians wallet. Next up was nine year old Jonathan Joyce who moved coins through a sealed brass tube much to the consternation of Robert, the owner of the club. Jonathan then proceeded with a World Cup knockout to show that his England prediction would come true. Jonathan closed his set by correctly divining a freely chosen coloured chip inside a closed bag. To close the first half of the show and make way for a brilliant buffet, Allan Clarke had the audience thinking with a number of mental items including a prediction from random 3 digit numbers and a reality check using coloured marker pens. Allan closed by discovering no less than ten cards freely chosen by spectators from a shuffled deck. While people tucked into the buffet, raffle tickets were sold with over 20 great prizes to be won. Opening the second half was Baggy (Stuart Bagot) who puzzled the audience with a coins across routine before enlisting a spectator to help with a number of card effects. Baggy closed his set with his signature 'Mo and Jo' card routine. Alan Mylecraine burst onto the floor next with a four stage card prediction and a finger chopper routine with stacks of gags along the way. Alan's coin matrix had the punters gasping in astonishment before he went back to the comedy, closing with his signed card 'Star Wars' routine. Last up with a short cabaret spot was 15 year old Jack Clarke who had a dice with a case that fitted inside itself, only to change to a different dice altogether. Jack then enlisted Roberts help with a funny cut and restored rope effect. Jack played follow the Ace with a well executed sidewalk shuffle routine before closing with the famous Chinese Linking Rings. Steve Eastham closed the show by thanking everone involved with making the evening such a great success. Steve then drew the raffle and it seemed that pracically everyone got a prize. Last was an auction for a flying lesson, generously donated by Robert. This raised another £100 which was added to the general collection and the proceeds from the raffle. A good night for a good cause. Pictures can be found HERE.

Tuesday 6th April 2010 - Annual Close-up Competition

Hosted by Steve Eastham, we had no less than eight competitors for our 2nd annual event. Quite an audience had gathered to witness what turned out to be a very tight battle of magicians. Three magical judges had been engaged to preside over the evening and deliberate on the winning performance. Norman Langfield a former member of the Fylde Mystics, Paul Guy Past President of  the Modern Mystic League in Blackburn and Brian Sefton, one of the UK's foremost manipulators. Steve gave a run down on how the evening would work before handing over to first competitor Paul Joyce. Paul was a worthy winner last year but still managed to pull another great routine out of the bag comprising some dreamy revelations and corny jokes. Next on was Brian Taylor with a great set including an entertaining mental segment using an Alan Warner prop and a signed bill to wallet. Third on was Joe Gilmour, who despite nursing a bad knee, managed to perform a couple of acrobatic tricks, if only with a deck of cards. Joe leapt through a 'do as I do' routine and a nice three way prediciton with some die-cast symbols. Stuart Bagot, (Baggy) filled the stage in his first ever competition, a big character with a big smile quickly won the audience over with some nice coin moves and a great take on 'Sam the Bellhop'. Our youngest member Jonathan Joyce, at only 9 years old, strode out next with a creditable routine with an impossible coin transfer, a world cup knockout competition with cards and a nice four ace closer. Following on came Allan Clarke with a mixed mentalism act including a number prediction and a card divination which at one point involved most of the audience. George Jennings strolled centre stage next with his trademark droll presentation. His observational humour mixed with some classics of magic including a 'dancing hankie' and a great card to wallet effect, all delivered with perfect timing had the audience enthralled. Last up was Alan Mylecraine who ran riot with spectators leading them up the garden path with his frenetic 'Star Wars' named card to impossible location. Along the way we had a four way prediction using cards and a clever Coin matrix with an unexpected ending. Alans act was littered with sight gags and had the audience in stitches with his antics. As the room took a breather and the raffle drawn, all our judges retired to deliberate on what was no doubt a very difficult elimination process. Marking was given for entertainment, magical content and presentation and with such a wide range of styles, it was going to be no easy task. After a short break Steve Eastham asked the chairman of the judges, Norman Langfield to step up and present the awards. After due deliberation the judges gave the following results:

            1st Place - Alan Mylecraine
2nd Place - Allan Clarke

3rd Place - Paul Joyce

Award for the best card trick went to - George Jennings

There was also a special award, the 'Tyro Cup' for the most promising Junior. This went to Jonathan Joyce.

Another great night at the Mystics with a strong field and some really funny moments. Photo's HERE

Tuesday 2nd March 2010 - Brian Sefton - 'unplugged'.

It was another great night at the Mystics. Alan Mylecraine told members about the forthcoming charity show at the BPL bar in Blackpool airport. We will be working tables and providing a short cabaret for members with proceeds going to the North West Air Ambulance. Next month we will be holding our annual Close-up competition and posters had been produced advertising the event so that a good sized lay audience might be with us. Steve Eastham reported that one of our most respected members. Ken Ashburn was in poor health and everyone signed a card to wish him a speedy recovery. >Brian then carefully reset his act while explaining in great detail, how the effects worked and how they were loaded for performance. The attention to detail was phenomenal, no doubt as a result of countless performances, each aspect of the load, steal and routine, perfectly balanced with the music. Brian explained the logical thinking which has gone into the careful planning and strategic placing of each load. It is evident why it takes so long for a manipulation act to be born. He also discussed the music side, which was given as much thought as the effects themselves. It was interesting to hear that a number of his props are no longer manufactured so he faces a constant search for any that may pop up at auction. Brian then went through the performance again so that we could follow it and even when you knew what was going to happen next it was just as astounding. He explained that it took him three years of dedicated practice, altering the load location by a few millimetres a time until it all just flowed. The second half of the lecture saw Brian explaining his thinking behind a number of effects, this included one of the best ‘Vernon’ ball and cone routine with many added subtleties I have ever witnessed. There were explanations on how to make various load holders and demonstrations of how these varied from those purchased from dealers etc. The evening finished with Brian’s presentation of the zombie ball, which is a piece of pure magic in itself. There were a number of displays which served to obscure the mechanics, once more defeating the trained eyes of the audience. It was agreed that the lecture was amongst the best we have seen at the Mystics and while many of us would find the work needed to produce such a fine display of manipulation rather daunting, we were unanimous in our appreciation of a true master of this particular art. Highly recommended, if you get the opportunity to see Brian lecture, it is one not to be missed. Photos HERE.

Tuesday 2nd February 2010 - The Trick Sessions

The trick sessions are always well attended but February's meeting was enhanced by an impromptu audition from Caius DeGuyerin a young magician with a lot of talent. Caius delivered a very fast paced session demonstrating a high level of skill with both cards and coins. He opened with MacDonalds Aces, some nifty coin work including a version of 'Three Fly' and the muscle pass, finishing off with 'Omni Deck'. Given the level of enthusiasm, we were more than happy to welcome him to our ranks. Alan Mylecraine had been busy trying to re-establish links with the Magicians of Man. Contacts have been made with the Society who, it turns out still compete for one of our Trophies. We look forward to renewing long lost links with our magical friends across the Irish Sea. after a couple of parish notices the sessions got under way. Steve Eastham was first up with David Jones' 'Tossed out deck'. Joe Gilmour reluctantly followed with a nice card location and was followed by Mel Wilson with a slick T&R newspaper routine. Stuart Bagot (Baggy) was up next with  a nice sucker card trick involving a photo. Allan Clarke almost pulled off a neat prediciton trick with a Rainbow Deck from Colombini. Jack Clarke gave a demonstration of  some nice sleight of hand with a 'marked card' patter and was followed again by Caius with a clever matching pairs effect. George Jennings stole the night with his droll delivery of a 'mystery can' prediction. Unfortunately due to problems with a ring pull, we'll never know if he was right. Brian Taylor brought out another clever Alan Warner prop called 'Mini Mental' which went down well, Jared Stoker following with a nice envelope trick. Young Jonathan Joyce pattered along with a sucker die box to good effect, and dad Paul Joyce showed us a nice spiders web production. Alan M completed the first round with  a convoluted card in an egg in another egg in a Star Wars toy in a Teddy routine which had us all out of breath. The second round was just as frenetic with effects ranging from vanishing cards, rising cards, card at any number to super culling, a Giobbi classic, a silk puzzler, a book test and a cards across routine. Another great night with lots of laughs. Pictures HERE.

Tuesday 12th January 2010 - DIY Magic

After a false start to the new year when the snow got the better of us, we reconvened a week later for some makeshift magic. But first we were able to welcome new member Ian Birket who  travelled all the way from Burton-in Kendall for his audition. Ian ran through some clever card effects including a four Ace routine, a Triumph effect and an ESP experiment with some help and encouragement from an attentive audience. He followed this up with a very polished ring and rope routine, sealing his membership with some self evident skill. After a few introductions and notices, Alan Mylecraine started the DIY session by running through a clever cards across routine which had quite a few members guessing. Scissors, glue and some patient guidance followed as we all battered some spare decks into shape with a number of gimmicked cards and some careful stacking. Several subtleties were discussed in the presentation all of which helped to clarify why the effect worked so well. Given the comments, it would seem a number of members were going to try this out very soon. After a short break, Brian Taylor handed out glue sticks and tissue paper once more before running through a version of 'torn and restored' tissue paper'. The effect was found in several publications from 'Best of Magic' to 'Tarbell' and quite a few in  between. After some frantic glueing and tearing, everyone had a set of tissue props to work with as we all tried the routine for ourselves. Steve Eastham demonstrated his own handling shown to him by Harold Taylor (no relation!) and the merits of the placement of the gimmick were tried and discussed at length. It was a promising start to our new year and Alan passed on our good wishes to all who were not able to be with us. Pictures HERE. February's meeting will be a 'Trick Session'. Members should bring along a couple of effects to perform.

Tuesday 1st December 2009 - Teach a trick night.

When this meeting was devised, no-one had any real idea how it might work but it turned out to be both a challenge and a fun night. The idea was that each member paired up with another member and in 15 minutes, each member showed the other how to do one of thier tricks. Afterwards this was to be performed in front of everyone. The pairs set to work and soon the function room was alive with laughter and furrowed brows in equal measure, props were bandied around and cards were being dealt, flicked and cut with great abandon. After the turmoil everyone gathered and Steve Eastham who had been paired with George Jennings stepped up to centre table. Steve's card trick involved a numbered card being selected and found to match a freely named card chosen by another spectator. On the spot next was Joe Gilmour who had been paired with Allan Clarke. Joe demonstrated a clever sandwich trick where the selected card is found face down in a deck that had righted itself. George Jennings returned Steve's favour performing a Paul Gordon effect where selected cards were the opposite colour to the rest of a shuffled deck. Jack Clarke, who was paired with Jonathan delivered a nice four aces effect, while dad Allan Clarke tried to follow some difficult patter with Mark Leveridges this, that and the other routine. Jared Stoker who had been paired with Alan Mylecraine gave everyone a laugh with some imromptu juggling before going into a clever prediction effect 'about face'. Paul Joyce took to the table to perform Brian Taylors egyptian effect matching symbols using some nice Alan Warner props. Jonathan Joyce now took centre stage to run through a lottery coin effect, correctly predicting the last coin symbol left on the table. Alan Mylecraine threw off his sticks to play with another great prop recreating Houdini's rope escape with a block and a frame. Lastly, Brian Taylor pattered through Pauls 'Seamus' sandwich effect adding his own brand of humour along the way. The last 45 minutes was spent performing a range of efects using amongst other things, Dice, ESP cards Ribbons and a duff domino. Almost two hours of performing whizzed by again amid bundles of laughter and impropmtu gags. Photo's of the night can be found HERE. January's meeting is to be a DIY night, more details will follow. The Mystics Christmas dinner will be on the 14th January at the Kingfisher Inn, book in with Alan M if you haven't already done so.

Tuesday 3rd November 2009 - The 'Trick Sessions'.

The second outing in our new home attracted a good number of members again, enjoying the pleasant function room at the South Fylde Lawn Tennis Club. Alan Mylcraine hobbled to the front still on sticks after recent knee surgery to give out a few parish notices, not that he got much sympathy! Steve Eastham opened the sessions with a great four of a kind effect from Al Smith. Alan Chester followed with a nifty Brass Tube effect where he successfully predicted the tube that held a £1 coin deposited by a spectator. Mel Wilson was up next with an impromptu variation on the penetrating silks effect but using straws borrowed from the bar. George Jennings ran througha neat prediction effect that had Mel winning a dog, fortunately it was ony one made up with beads! Paul Joyce had been dreaming as he recalled an effect where 'Fred the Red' appeared correctly identifying a selected card. Ken Ashburn 'Hijacked' the next section with a very 'clean' Jay Sankey opener, turning four jacks into four aces with a few turns of the cards. Young Jonathan Joyce performed a slick variation of the 'four robbers' using four Kings. Allan Clarke had a spectator 'Stop Right There! with another Al Smith classic, while Jack Clarke showed everyone who was the top card man from a host of celebrity cardicians. Alan M closed the first half with 'iDeck' a new, clever effect from Noel Qualter. The second round began with Steve Eastham's handling of Paul Gordon's 'Muldoon Match', where the spectator correctly identifies 3 unseen cards. Mel W whipped out a deck of cards to run through a 'William Tell' routine where a card (arrow) shoots through a deck to the position of a selected card. George Jennings 'Triumphed' with a slop shuffle effect and Paul Joyce who had continued to dream, revealed a pair of 'thought of' Queens from a set of Jokers. Ken Ashburn took the imagination further when he ran through Brian Caswells 'Trilogy', a brilliant 3 card prediction which had quite few members reaching for the order book! Jonathan showed his mind reading skills by correctly identifying a coloured tile hidden in a bag, while Jack Clarke used his manipulation skills to remove a selected card from a locked deck. Alan M closed the trick sessions with a card effect called 'one over the eight, where black sevens turned into red sevens with the aid of a ghost. The last part of the evening was given over to Brian Taylor and Jared Stoker who amazed the crowd with a couple of performances of some illusions they had built. Brian & Jared showed off their construction in great detail as well as talking about some of the difficulties in both constructing and performing the illusions. Another magic filled evening passed by very quickly. Photo's HERE.

As a footnote, Alan Mylecraine and Allan and Jack Clarke met up with Maria Felix Vas as part of the John Gillmore show on BBC Radio Lancashire. We had been selected to talk about the Fylde Mystics, having been formed in 1958 which was on Gilly's 'My Favourite Year' programme on Saturday Morning. The interview can be heard in full HERE (if the technology works!).

Tuesday 6th October 2009 -  Entertaining
Children with Guy de Paul

Paul Guy has been entertaining children for more years than he would like to admit to but theres no getting away from the feeling that he really knows what children's magic is all about. From the ubiquitous David Nixon Magic set to what is now a huge range of magic routines catering for children of all age groups, Paul has spent a considerable part of his life keeping ahead of a fast changing audience. Starting from a genuine desire to give something back to the childrens hospital that nursed his very poorly daughter back to health, Paul has crafted a set of 'standard' effects that can be tailored to suit his many and varied bookings. Although Paul admitted that lecturing wasn't something that came naturally to him, he kept our group thoroughly entertained as he ran through his thinking on how a show should run. What was impressive was Pauls creative variations on what were some very good, if 'standard' effects. He explained his 5 'phases' that make up a successful show carefully outlining all the elements that ensure that his clients come back time and time again. It was a fairly simple formula, but one that had no doubt come from years of experiences, good and bad. Like most of us he has had some awful bookings but he was quick to point out that even these had helped him improve his shows and develop an ability to change a theme or patter at very short notice. As I said earlier, there were a number of recognisable effects but often given Pauls unique twist of presentation. By far the most popular was a cards across routine which until you knew the principle had quite a few of us fooled. Based on Shinkansen by Phil Goldstein but presented in a new Guy's? it played very well. Among the other routines lurked a modified 'Demon Wonder Box' routine, 'Cedric's Hat Trick', jointly developed with Donald Monk of the Modern Mystic League coupled with Anverdi's rising card which was used to good effect. There was also a 'Stratosphere' routine with a cleverly engineered vanish as a kicker finish, a 'Ring on Rose' effect and a lot of themed tricks tailored to involve the 'birthday' boy or girl using a bit of forehand knowledge. Paul closed a great evening with what is fast becoming something of a signature effect for him. A nice idea based on Tony Steven's 'no tear' newspaper effect which Paul very successfully uses some modern technology to peer into the future. Paul produced a copy of the following day's local paper bearing a headline relating to the Fylde Mystics event, complete with a photo of organiser Alan posing with Paul at the start of the evening. This was a fun filled evening with something for everyone and a fitting opener for our new venue. Pictures HERE.

Tuesday 1st September 2009 - A Night WITHOUT Cards ....

With 13 members in attendance, Alan Mylecraine opened with a few notices and a discussion on an opportunity to move meetings to another venue. The members agreed that the suggestion was worth pursuing and Steve Eastham was to make further enquiries. To get the evenings magic underway, Alan introduced new member Stuart Bagot (Baggy to his friends!) who ran through a number of impromptu card tricks with a shuffled deck. Baggy started with a Four Ace production and proceeded through a number of clever tricks with predictions and matching pairs being found along the way. There was a feeling that he could have continued all evening, but keen to let everyone else have a turn, Alan M called his audition to a close and opened the meeting to the rest of the members. This was to be A NIGHT WITHOUT CARDS! and it was not without significance that Ken Ashburn stepped up to the plate and delivered a stunning opener with a cap in bottle effect. Paul Davis slid onto the stage with an excerpt from one of his kids routines centred around a rabbit in a hat and a sweeties to silk effect. Alan M showed a clever Tenyo item called the Crystal Pyramid where a coin was transported into the pyramid under cover of a handkerchief. Paul Joyce showed a nice disappearing tumbler effect with a sucker finish and was followed by his son Jonathan Joyce who demonstrated a nice multi- coin penetration. Ron Wilson was again full of DIY magic showing us a nice paddle item and a variation on ‘Block Off’ he had constructed. Jack Clarke then went mental with a correctly divined prediction with three coins. Allan Clarke ran through another ‘mental’ item centred on reality and perception where the colour of a freely chosen pen was correctly determined. Mel Wilson then demonstrated his grasp of the Chinese Sticks with a nice change in patter which he then followed with a deft T&R newspaper effect. Steve Eastham performed a Wayne Dobson effect called ‘No Chance’ where two spectators freely choose an envelope each leaving the Magi with the only one containing real money. George Jennings was practicing a kids routine using a block that would stop on a rope at any pre determined position. Next up was Kelly Ann Chester who for her first meeting performed another multi coin penetration effect. Alan Chester, Kelly’s dad took to the stage and showed another Tenyo item where a heart and oval shaped cases containing coloured balls magically transposed. Baggy came back to the front and ran through a nice paper cutting effect with a kicker finish. Ken Ashburn presented his second effect which was another clever idea from Collectors Workshop using a pocket watch which was magically restored from a jumble of bits initially shown. Paul Davis then previewed a Square Circle routine from a Christmas Kids show while Alan M gave us a nice ‘Uncanny Silks’ routine. Paul Joyce made some coloured ropes magically join together while Jonathan made a ball in an egg cup disappear. Ron then showed us an Xmas version of the Chinese sticks, again made by his own fair hand. Jack Clarke followed this with a funny C&R rope routine while dad Allan performed a ‘Houdini’s Grandmother’ effect from an Abra magazine. Steve Eastham demonstrated another Wayne Dobson effect using some Chinese coins and American quarters which magically change places in the spectators hands. George Jennings closed another great evenings entertainment with a quiz routine heavily weighted in favour of a home made change bag. With so many members wanting to perform we are going to have to extend the 2 hour session to cope, maybe our new venue will give us more scope. Keep watching this space for details. Pictures HERE.

Tuesday 4th August - Mini AGM and Lecture.

It’s hard to imagine that the thriving club that is the Fylde Mystics have come so far in just 12 months. Last Tuesdaynight was the first anniversary of the reformation of the society andwas celebrated in style with a special ‘birthday’ cake provided by Alan Mylecraine. Whilst we have no formal committee, we thought it prudent to have a ‘mini AGM’ to receive the accounts from Steve Eastham who has kept our finances on track for the last year. All was found to be in order and the accounts wereadopted. Next was an audition from the society’s newest (and youngest) member, Jonathan Joyce. This very confident ten year old had clearly put in a lot of practice in a perfect delivery of the ‘cups and balls’ routine, varied on the way by a neat production of the balls needed from a drawer box. Jonathans entry marks the 18th member to join the society thus far. Having celebrated the event, the evening was given over to Mark James who was delivering his first ‘professional’ lecture. Mark has been a resident performer at Manchester United for a number of years as well as being a successful children’s entertainer and former demonstrator with JB Magic. Mark was promoting his latest DVD packed with commercial effects and getting rave reviews in the magic press. ‘Supercharged’ Vol. 2 follows on from the successful release of his first DVD last year. Mark opened with a slick chop cup routine straight from his table hopping repertoire. His comedy presentation, with a couple of twists was explained in all it’s subtle detail and sprinkled with anecdotes of those ‘bad nights’ we all get. Next was ‘card under cup’ again with plenty of attention being paid to the off beat moments that are key to this powerful effect. Mark explained a number of out’s he uses as well as a ‘performers eye view’ of his palming techniques. From here he went on to his variation on the ‘Ambitious Card’ routine. There is plenty here to keep the lay spectator puzzled including a nice card to pocket segment and an ‘Omni deck’ finish. Marks misdirection, clearly gained over many years was masterful to watch. After a brief interval, Mark continued with a few of his cabaret style effects. A great favourite with audiences, Mark ran through a very funny ‘Mental Epic’ style ‘Mind Reading Orange’ routine with a clever ‘card in fruit’ closer. Next was a well thought out book test with some interesting variations that made use of previous effects. This was followed by a fairly standard sponge ball routine livened up with some nice vanishes. The second half was closed with Mark’s ‘Quadropener’ routine based on ‘fine print’ by Jay Sankey and encompassing a very nice colour changing deck and diminishing card switch. A few stories of his exploits brought a very funny and entertaining evening to a close. Judging by the comments from the audience, I’m sure Mark will be pleased with his first outing as a lecturer. Pictures can be found HERE

Tuesday 7th July - Blackburn's Modern Mystic League Entertain.

A veritable 'coach party' had arrived to sample the delights of a huge 'Jacob's Join' buffet and some first class entertainment. Five intrepid members of the MML had volunteered to join us in Cleveleys and provide the entertainment for what turned out to be a riot of magic and humour. After a couple of 'parish' notices from Alan Mylecraine, the show got underway. Brian Lead, the Leagues concert secretary and strolling Compere, got the audience warmed up with the help of Baskerville the hound. It transpired that Baskervile could speak and not only that, speak in foreign tongue. After a host of corny gags, Brian introduced the first act, Roger Woods, chairman of the League who mesmerised everyone with a special deck of cards all of which had differing back designs. With an uncanny choice, Roger guided a spectator into discovering the only two cards that were identical. Roger then demonstrated an escape trick based on his hero, 'Houdini' who once again managed to free himself of the handuffs, even thought they were only finger sized. From here, Roger armed himself with a regular deck and had the specator discover a chosen card using a 'lie detector' routine. From here the deck was used in a clever diary trick where the spectator managed to find the very card selected from a special day in the diary. Roger closed a very tight set with his trademark Chop Cup routine with a very fruity ending. Brian Lead returned with more laughter as he demonstrated the centuries old 'Indian Rope Trick' and tried his hand at mentalism courtesy of a predicted word and an animal which need to 'look round'. Next act was Past President Ron Baron who was introduced as for better or 'verse' due to the rhyming patter that accompanied his act.  Ron opened with a cautionary tale of his schooldays illustrated with a ring and rope to great effect. Next he told a tale of cowboy builders and a chimney that needed a 'Block Off'. Pulling out a piece of rope and a spectator, Ron bewildered the audience with a linking scissor routine culminating in the spectator becoming a real 'star'. At the break, the audience were treated to a sumptuous buffet assembled in a blink by the members of the Fylde Mystics. Opening the second half, Brian Lead checked that the magic was present before bringing on Paul Guy who at first wasn't sure which society he was supposed to be entertaining. All was put right with the help of a few alphabet cards correctly assembled unseen by a spectator.  Paul then had the audience in fits with a variety of sight gags from 'Spot On', a sponge ball and silk routine which produced presents from an otherwise empty bag and a very funny rope segment where the spectators eventually managed to 'repair' a cut rope. Brian reappeared, this time with a monkey who had everyone in stitches with his antics. The final act was introduced as 'Donald the Average'. The irrepressible Donald Monk who decided he would show the audience how one of his tricks worked. A piece of tissue paper was torn and restored to demonstrate the trick. Afterwards Donald ran through the trick again, only to bamboozle the audience by restoring the final torn pieces again. Donald moved on to a very funny faulty follower' routine, completely fooling his assistant, even when all the moves were made by him. Next Donald introduced a couple of slates and with the aid of one of the audience, managed to demonstrate how freely drawn symbols could be magically transferred between the slates. Don finished by introducing a new book he had written, 'Slim with Donald'. This funny limerick brought a great evenings entertainment to a humerous close and no doubt had eveyrone laughing all the way home. The MML had set a very high standard and our challenge was to equal this on a reciprocal visit to Blackburn next year. It's not going to be easy! Pictures can be found HERE.

Tuesday 2nd June - The Trick Sessions

Alan M opened the meeting with a discussion on the naming and logo of the society. Having found an original image it was decided that we would incorporate elements of this with our current design and felt it was important to bring back the genie's lamp. It was also discussed and agreed that the name would revert to the original founding name i.e. The Fylde Mystics. Having sorted this out, we got on with the usual round of tricks. Ken Ashburn took to the table with Liam Montier's 'Superstition' involving a 'Lucky Card' transposition which changed places in a locked deck. Next came Steve Eastham who  enlightened with an old David Jones routine called 'Umph' Joe Gilmour launched into Paul Gordons 'incredible card trick' before Ron Wilson waved the credit crunch goodbye with a series of money based effects. Ron started with a blank paper to note transpo using a self made prop following quickly with a very nice money box routine. New member Mel Wilson (no relation!) opened with a nice prediction before rattling his way through a Wayne Dobson effect with a coin in a bag discovery. Allan Clarke proceeded with a double card location based on a Michael Weber stack. Alan M closed up the first leg with a presentation of 'Tagged' by Richard Sanders. The second round commenced with Ken Ashburn performing Devin Knights 'Insight'. Steve Eastham followed with a four Ace puzzler from Paul Gordon Joe Gilmour tested his ESP skills with Hen Fetch's 'Symbologic'. Ron Wilson continued his money theme with a betting game where even the odds of 5:1 didn't get any winners. Mel Wilson followed with a 'blind man's card trick' revealing all the cards to be blank. Allan Clarke went on to perform Peter Nardis version of Adrian Sullivan's 'Eliminator' effect. Alan M brought round two to a close with a very funny finger chopper routine. Ken Ashburn opened the final round with Ted Leslies 'Impossible', an effect that truly lived up to it's name. Steve Eastham puzzled everyone with Roy Johnson's 'Cased' while Joe Gilmour had us all laughing with Thom Peterson's 'Chapstick' routine. Mel demonstrated his rope skills with his version of the 'Professors Nightmare'. Allan Clarke concluded his set with an Aldo columbini effect making the cards match, while Alan performed 'Haunted' using a borrowed deck. We may have been short on numbers, but we weren't short on magic! Pictures HERE.

Tuesday 5th May - Shawn Farquhar
- Three times World Champion of Magic.

What can you say about this guy? There aren't enough superlatives in the dictionary to describe what a great performer he is, but more than that, he genuinely wants to share his hard earned knowledge with all the magic fraternity. Right from the word go, his energy and enthusiasm for magic burst out of him, carrying all those present on a wave of wonder and excitement. It's easy to see why Shawn is three times world champion, his Cups & Balls routine opener set the stage for an evening of pure astonishment (with sincere apologies to Paul Harris). Everybody present has seen the Cups & Balls done hundreds of times but Shawns award winning take on this classic literally had to be seen to be believed. The kicker finish was just the beginning of an evening full of surprises from his Coin Matrix, to Torn and Restored photo stopping at his Omni Deck, 'Magic CD', 'Card in Wallet' and 'Tagged' along the way. The overriding feature of his lecture was an almost childlike mischievousness that pervaded every take on some of magic best known effects. His lecture tour is called 'Bread & Butter' tour, not because it earns him money but because the effects and presentations he gives away have been his 'Bread & Butter' for many years. I can't think of many other performers who would happily reveal their 'trade secrets' in this way. The depth of explanation of the subtleties of these real world effects are priceless. My own favourite was his 'Deck Switch' which was so perfect, no-one in the room had spotted it without being told! Shawns by-word seemed to be 'I like easy'! and he demonstrated this to great effect all evening. Every effect was 'do-able' and workable by anyone present. Don't get me wrong, if you have seen Shawns 'Shape of my Heart'  routine you know what a skilled slight of hand worker he is. But this was different and it was one of the most enjoyable three hours I have spent in the company of any magician. Everyone in the room was laughing, smiling and nodding sagely at the words of wisdom gained from a long career in Magic. Shawn started by saying he wanted to give something back, on Tuesday he did this in spades. For all those on his tour this year, you are in for a real treat. Pictures HERE.

Tuesday 6th April - Close-up Competition

The Fylde Mystics got competitive last night when 8 members threw down the gauntlet to find out who would reign supreme in the first ever re-formed Mystics Close-Up competition. A large crowd had gathered to witness the event, some old friends and some new faces who’s curiosity about the Mystics may have got the better of them. Steve Eastham acted as host for the evening and got the proceedings underway by outlining the running order and how the judging would work. We were pleased to have three magical judges on hand, Paul Guy and Donald Monk from the Modern Mystic League and Richard Blackie who is the current editor of the club magazine for the Order of the Magi in Manchester. Ron Baron was also on hand to present the awards.

Paul Davis AKA ‘Chubbz’ drew first out and had the difficult task of warming up the audience. Paul opened with ‘Jam Jar coins’, ‘twins’ and Nicholas Paul’s ‘13’. Paul was followed by our youngest member Jack Clarke who only turned 14 last week. Jack opened with Lewis Ganson’s ‘Tiny Trio’, a close up linking ring routine, a nice version of a Cut & Restored rope, the ‘Sidewalk Shuffle’ and closed with a classic Cups and Balls routine. Alan Mylecraine hit the ground running with a load of gags and a ‘Cell out’ opener, swiftly moving onto a diary trick combo. His closing Chinese coin matrix was perfect. Allan Clarke opened with some classic ‘Ring & Rope’ through to a mentalism item called ‘X’ marks the card, an ESP card effect using a couple of spectators and closed his set with a ‘memory deck’ card routine. Ken Ashburn engaged a couple of spectators and opened with a card to money effect before going on to a wide ranging card trick set comprising "Pimpin", ‘White Trash’, ‘Back to Earth’ and ‘Lazer Aces’ along with his trademark ‘Poppit’ bead routine. George Jennings dry humour supplemented a patter set with a ‘Phil’ type named card effect and another nice ‘Diary’ effect. Paul Joyce set the scene for a closing mentalism effect before working a reversed card revelation, a matching card routine using Tarot cards and a very funny credit card transpo. Paul closed by correctly ‘reading’ the selected card from the beginning of his set. Ron Wilson drew the last spot but first showed us a small ‘automaton’ he had made some years ago, it showed of his woodworking skills and attention to detail. Ron went on to perform some very funny sight gags with hand made props notably a clever ‘propeller’ effect and a nice ‘This, That and the Other’ card routine.

After some no doubt difficult judging and collating of marks, Steve Eastham announced the award winners as Ron Baron congratulated everyone on a good nights entertainment and handed out the trophies. It was another magic packed evening which everyone seemed to enjoy. Pictures are HERE.

1st Place - Paul Joyce

2nd Place - Alan Mylecraine

3rd Place Ken Ashburn
- who also took the trophy for the Best Card Trick of the competition.

Tuesday 3rd March - Grand Auction.

The hustle and bustle in the Community Centre gave the game away. Piles of magic books, media and props were laid end to end along several tables. Tellers and runners waited patiently as eager buyers purused the array of magical wares on offer. It could easliy have gone on for hours, but our able auctioneer Steve Eastham didn't take any prisoners and rattled through the lots at breakneck speed. Thanks to the unequalled scrounging by our esteemed co-ordinator Alan Mylecraine, we had a large lot of donated material from a range of big names in the magic community. There were signed photos and posters from Derren Brown, The Great Soprendo, Mac King and Michael Ammar. Books and DVD's from David Acer, David Williamson and Thom Peterson. DVD's and effects from Aldo & Rachael Columbini and Kevin James as well as a fabulous signed poster from Norm Nielsen. Over 200 items were given close scrutiny before going under the hammer to an eager audience, some of whom had travelled a considerable distance to be with us. At the end of a very enjoyable evening, the Society was better off to the tune of almost £200 and more importantly, a happy band of buyers got thier hands on some real bargains.

Tuesday 3rd February - Workshops Galore!

The Fylde Mystics welcomed not one but two new members through its doors this month. Ron Wilson who had popped in to see us last meeting and Joe Gilmour who had been invited along by Steve Eastham earlier. It’s reassuring that the performance of magic is still highly regarded by the members. Alan Myclraine outlined plans for the forthcoming auction and confirmed the Shawn Farquhar lecture in May. The planned competition for April will be limited in the first instance to Close-up work. After a couple of parish notices Alan handed over to Allan Clarke for the first of the two workshops. Ring and Rope routines have been popular with magicians and laypeople alike so Allan ran through the routine he had put together for his Magic Circle audition last year and went on to explain some of the moves and the thinking behind them. Starting with a classic ‘hunters bowline’, ‘threading the needle’ and onto a number of on and off rope moves attributed to a variety of magicians including Vernon, Darryl, Tony Griffiths and others. Brian Taylor then took to the floor and in true Blue Peter style had packets of papers, tapes and glue for all the members to have a go at the classic Torn & restored newspaper routine. Brian performed the effect first and then went on to explain in detail not only how to make the props but also the subtleties in his own particular presentation. Great fun was had by all as reams of paper and glue flew in all directions culminating in a synchronised Tear and Restore by all present. A great spectacle unfortunately not captured on camera. The fun continued as members then performed the usual round of effects. Joe Haslem demonstrated his card following skills, correctly identifying a thought of card in a matrix fashion. New member Ron Wilson, gave an impromptu display of a number of effects using objects from his pocket. A nice selection of Coin effects, rubber bands, Safety pins and string. Jack Clarke came up with a prediction effect where the selected card was found to be one of a number of cards on his prediction. Applying a little heat then revealed the true selection as the others vanished. Allan Clarke demonstrated a poker effect where the choice of hands was entirely with the spectator who promptly loses. Jared Stoker went into a nice Egyptian prediction using Tarot cards and an Ankh mirror to foretell a chosen card. Paul Davis demonstrated an impromptu prediction using a shuffled deck where the spectator selects two cards that are shown to match the two predictions. Joe Gilmour had a slick routine combining a diary trick with a very clean selection of a card which proved to match a card displayed in the diary. In a night of predictions Steve Eastham had not one but three predictions as the spectator managed to choose a card that matched the three on the table. George Jennings tiptoed through a nice bit of patter with a card effect originally marketed as ‘Escort Cards'. Alan Mylecraine closed another great night with a very clever coin and card matrix where cards then coins vanished and re-appeared building to a giant coin production at the climax. Photo's as always HERE.

Tuesday 6th January 2009 - A Quiz too far...

The January meeting proved to be a puzzling time for the Fylde Mystics. Not the usual, ‘why are we here’ or ‘what’s it all about’? More along the lines of ‘who is credited with inventing ‘Mental Epic’’? or who’s real name was David Wighton? The new year quiz, developed my Brian Taylor was a real brain teaser. After the usual parish notices from Alan Mylecraine and a short video of Jared Stoker performing Cliff Lount's "This is the Queen", the quiz began. Sixty questions ranging from sublime to ridiculous split into several categories. There was a section on Magic Posters another section focussed on negative images of well known magicians while another featured Magic Book authors. There was a great deal of ‘Oh I know this one… now what was his name’? After the answers were revealed, the winners received grand prizes, generously donated by Alan Mylecraine and Brian Taylor. Top of the list was George Jennings with 35, closely followed by Steve Eastham with 34 and in 3rd place (with a bit of help from his dad), was Jack Clarke. Booby prize went to Joe Haslem, our new Junior for his valiant attempt. The rest of the meeting was spent performing magic. We welcomed a prospective new member Ron Wilson who offered up a nice version of ‘Dots Impossible’. Steve Eastham spent a few minutes with a dual prediction effect called Nomen Omen. Alan M followed this with a short routine based on Bill Thompsons diary trick, which started out by changing the colour of the deck then having had a diary date selected, proceeded to find the predicted card at a freely named number. Joe Haslem then showed everyone his latest effect, the classic ‘Cards Across’. Allan Clarke then demonstrated a prediction effect using a set of dominoes to determine the final two digits identified in a prediction. Paul Davis then ran through a nice routine with a packet of sweets and a few silks. The sweets vanished from a tube and were replaced by a chosen silk. The sweets were then found in the silk bag. A nice routine that should play well. George Jennings had us in stitches again with a ‘blind date’ routine, successfully identifying the name of Brian T’s blind date. Jack Clarke demonstrated a nice ‘Egyptian’ effect using 3 mummies and a wooden sarcophagus. The freely chosen mummy was correctly identified by Jack. Brian Taylor closed the evening’s performance with another Alan Warner item, a transposition effect called Pharoe's Curse. Well, 2009 had opened with another good nights entertainment flashing by in no time at all. Workshops next month by Allan Clarke and Brian Taylor. Pictures as ever HERE.

Tuesday 2nd December - Mentalism for Dummies...
Christmas came early to the Fylde Mystics, when the season kicked off with a prediction that everyone would have a good time! And so it was. Despite a couple of absences, many a varied effect was performed by all and sundry. All in this case was All-an Mylecraine who opened with the fabulous 'Chinese Menu' item from John Archer using half the audience to run the effect. Sundry followed in the guise of Paul Joyce who performed a clever book test found in '13 steps to Mentalism' by Corinda. Brian Taylor went Astra-Mental with some very nice props and Jared Stoker showed off the first of the evenings Alan Warner items. Jack Clarke hammed it up with the mental 'divination' of a freely selected card using his best body language detection and NLP skills to good effect. Joe Haslem demonstrated mental co-incidence when two random cards selected by spectators matched perfectly. Allan Clarke closed the first round with an old Abra item based around zodiac signs, successfully reading the spectators freely chosen sign. Alan M then continued the John Archer theme with a classic on the spot magic square cleverly assembled from a freely selected number. Paul Joyce then showed the crowd a comedy mental effect he was working on where a pair of chattering teeth chewed a piece of paper representing the selected card. Brian T showed the next Alan Warner item where the spectator this time correctly matched Egyptian symbols comically transmitted by Brian. Jared moved the evening on with a version of Stephen Tuckers 'Mind Map'. Jack C then continued the mind reading with some mind reading cards, correctly identifying a thought of card. Joe then performed a Tenyo item where he identified a symbol concealed in a closed box. Allan Clarke then closed the second set with an old Anneman book test with a few twists. There was still a little time left so we were treated to a Max Maven book test, a Cluedo based effect, a PATEO force effect and a closer look at some of those Alan Warner items. Look at some pictures of the evening  HERE to see how seriously we took it! Another great evening was brought to a close as Alan announced details of the forthcoming Auction Night in March which will contain more than a few items of donated Magical Memorabilia. January's meeting will have the usual performing sessions coupled with a themed quiz. Bring it on!
Tuesday 4th November - Classics of Magic

Another effect packed meeting opened with the audition of two more prospective members, Brian Taylor and Jared Stoker. Brian opened with a nice card switch followed by a convincing Torn & Restored newspaper routine, he continued, playing up the comedy angle, with a 'mental epic' routine and closing with a nice head chopper effect. Jared was up next and ran through a version of 'Professors Nightmare' with some nice handling, he followed this with the ESP matching card effect 'Perfect Match' and closed with a very nice Mikame Mirror incorporating a 21st Century Silk finish. Both auditionees acquitted themselves very well and were subsequently elected to membership. The evening continued with an effect by Alan Mylecraine based on Al Koran's classic, 'paper under cup'. George Jennings,with his dry sense of humour, milked the classic Carmo Bead effect, something not seen for a long time. Paul Davis was up next with an entertaining Square Circle routine followed by new junior Joe Haslem who ran through 'Hunters' bowline knots and O'Connells Aces. Allan Clarke demonstrated another classic with the 'Hastings Prediciton' albeit with some subtle changes in presentation. He was followed by his son Jack who delivered a smooth Dribeck Die routine. Ken Ashburn as ever, was determined to impress and he did so with the clever Simon Aronson effect 'The Worlds Greatest Card Trick' where the instruction card turned out to be the selected signed card. Steve Eastham performed the classic 'Proudlocks Aces'  and was followed by Brian with Geoffrey Durhams 'Magic Square'. Alan M started round the members again with Juan Tamariz's very bold 'Cards Across' routine, he was followed by Paul who ran through another kids classic, the Sucker Die Box. George Jennings then regaled everyone with Vernon's sponge ball routine, while Jack Clarke demonstrated his handling of Cliff Lounts original 'Scarlet Pimpernel'. His dad Allan then performed some more 'Vernon' with a classic Ring and Rope routine, followed by Joe Haslem and another version of the 'long & short ropes'. Steve Eastham closed a packed night of magic with Hen Fetch's 'Card in Balloon' and Jack Hughes's 'Nest of Boxes'. With membership now growing, there promises to be a lot  more magic performed in the coming months. We can already see that 'Mentalism for dummies' will be good! Some photo's HERE if you want to see who did what.

Tuesday 7th October - Steve Eastham Presents:

The evening drew a record attendance and was bolstered with a good number of guests. After a welcome by Alan Mylcraine, a prospective member, Paul Davis AKA 'Chubbz' ran through his audition pieces. Although understandably nervous, Paul performed an off-beat children's effect based on 'Stratosphere'. The patter, of his own devising, played well and would no doubt prove popular with the Christmas children's party scene which Paul works in. He followed this with the puzzling Nicholas Paul close-up card effect, 'Thirteen'. The rest of the evenings entertainment was organised by Steve who opened with a sucker silk effect. He went on to explain about the 'family connections' running through the planned show, before introducing Allan Clarke who performed a number of effects which had a common thread in that they were all DIY props. Next up, in this 'mini' Gala Show, was Jack Clarke who opened with a couple of silk effects culminating with 'Symphony of the Rings', Jack's own linking ring routine. As a special treat, Steve introduced a youngster who he has been tutoring for a couple of months. Joe Haslem was billed as the 'New Kid on the Block'. This was Joe's first 'public' performance and was watched by his nervous Mum and Gran. They needn't have worried as Joe effortlessly ran through a wide range of entertaining effects demonstrating a good grasp of the basics. Steve continued as compere for the evening seamlessly linking the different segments. Last but by no means least, Steve introduced Ken Ashburn who confounded everyone with his 'Magic in the Classic Style'. Ken served up a stunning array of what he called the 'Ultimates'. Card at any number, 'thought of' card revelation and 'Card under Glass' transposition, all delivered in that classic style that has long been his trademark. Steve had one last trick up his sleeve in which he presented all the performers with a small gift in token of appreciation. As another good night of magic drew to a close, Alan M thanked Steve for his organisation of the evening and all the performers for their input.

Tuesday 2nd September
- Members Workshop.

The second meeting of the society took place on the 2nd September with a members workshop. First off though, each member opened with a short trick. Allan Clarke showed a novel effect using a magic square principle in cube form. George Jennings demonstrated a ‘holiday postcard’ effect using the ‘out to lunch’ principle with suitable patter. Jack Clarke was up next with a smooth classic cups and balls routine. Paul Joyce ran through a funny routine with a credit card ‘crunched’ out using an envelope switch. After this, the workshop proper got under way with a couple of nice effects from Alan Mylecraine. The first was a routine based on a combination of effects by Ali Bongo and Simon Aronson where a series of card predictions came true even though a deck was thoroughly shuffled and mixed. The second effect was Henry Evans ‘perfect triumph’, well executed and the performance pitfalls explained. Next came founder member Ken Ashburn who ran through his version of the Al Koran Blindfold routine that won him the Close up competition earlier this year at the Manchester Magi. This was explained in detail outlining the subtleties required for the presentation, as Ken said, this is a great effect not seen enough. Last on was Steve Eastham who showed his version of a card to wallet effect and an alternative handling for a cards across routine which could be adapted for kids or adults. This short write up can’t do justice to the discussions that took place regarding various handling suggestions and opportunities to improve effects. Another good night of fun and magic.

Tuesday 5th August - Re-Founding Night.

After a brief welcome by Alan Mylecraine, Steve Eastham and Ken Ashburn gave an overview of the founding and history of the Society.
Following this, each of the members performed a couple of effects to establish the missions of the Society.
For a photo of the members present that evening click HERE.

Tuesday 8th January - Stage Magic. - Meeting Review by Paul Joyce

Tuesday 12th March - Star Lecture with Mark Leveridge: Meeting Review by Paul Joyce