74th British Ring IBM Convention
22nd - 26th September 2010, Eastbourne
Update 19, August 2010
Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO

On reading the Convention Programme of events you will have noticed that the Banquet has been superseded by a Gala Dinner. It is only the name that has been changed and the hope is to make it a more attractive event by introducing close-up magic around the tables, a few novelties and generally updating everything. Looking back over past Convention Souvenir programmes the banquet was introduced as an event in 1948 in Bournemouth. The price? 10/6d and the menu was in French!

While the gala Dinner is in progress Films will be shown in the Floral Hall by Bob Hamilton and will consist of compilations of previous Conventions and some vintage footage of yesterdayís magicians. Each year Bob prepares an edited compilation of the highlights of the Convention which serves as a record for eternity. This is in addition of preparing and screening a moving and befitting memorial in which the magic of those members who have passed away in the previous 12 months are remembered. The screening gives us the opportunity to reflect on us being able to have had their friendship and enjoying their company.

So what do we know about Bob Hamilton, the most modest of men, who behind a camera does so much recording the art of magic and how did he become involved in doing so. Magic has been a hobby of Bobís from an early age and it was when attending one of Ron MacMillanís International Conventions in Tottenham Court Road he, like many others was unable to see what the lectures at the other end of the hall from him was doing. He put a suggestion to Ron that he could project the lecture onto a large screen at the same time recording it. The following year Ron got him to do just that and so the principle of using screens for these types of presentations was born and was the start of his involvement in providing video services to magic events on a hobbyist basis with borrowed equipment.

In 1993 he took early retirement from his position as a Training Manager for a Pharmaceutical Company where he had introduced video into the training programmes and with his son Peter he set up The Magic Video Company and soon was being commissioned to make training programmes for corporate companies. With his long interest in magic Bob behind a camera is a wizard knowing where not to point the lens, while he relies heavily on Peterís expertise on editing and compilation.

Despite his heavy involvement in recording magic, Bob still manages to perform formally and informally half a dozen times a year. He still buys books (he has an extensive library) and is interested in new techniques. Magic first came into Bobís life when at Primary school in the Poole/Bournemouth area in the 40ís Percy Bee pulled a string of sausages from inside the jumper of a boy sitting next to him. A box of tricks and getting hold of an Ellisonís Catalogue established his interest. After the family moved to Rowlands Castle Bob joined the Astral Magical Society who met in nearby Emsworth. With the society he performed his first public show being billed as the clubís youngest magician. He always preferred performing card magic; although he did go on to do billiard balls, card manipulations and many of the classics.

He entered a talent competition on Southern Television doing the Vernon Ball and Cone and Slydiniís Torn and restored newspaper in a three minute slot. Although he didnít win, his performance was seen by Lewis Ganson, a neighbour in Rowlands Castle, who congratulated him but reminded him that smiling when performing was a necessity. So impressed was Lewis with Bobís Torn & Restored Newspaper he invited him round to his house so he could include the effect in a film he and Harry Stanley were making. When Harry asked Bob to prepare a twelve minute act Bob backed away preferring to have magic just as a hobby. So he turned his back on becoming a professional magician and opted instead for a career as a training manager and continued as a hobbyist magician, until his encounter with Ron MacMillan brought another aspect of magic into his life.

Bob, by documenting magic in the way that you do, you provide an invaluable record of contemporary magic for future generations. For this you will always be held in the highest esteem by the magical fraternity.

This year there is going to be a change of host for the Stage competition. It is being entrusted to Michael Jordan of High Jinx and by undertaking the task he is the youngest person ever to undertake what must be the most testing event to host. In his introductions he has to, at all times, be impartial being careful not to appear to give any one of the 10 competitors any hint of preference at the same time keeping the audience interested. This can be demanding as at anytime there can be a mishap in the setting on an actís props requiring an unexpected fill in.

Michael has already proved himself as a competent performer by being, with his sister Siobhan, The Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year and winner of the British Ring Silver Shield. It is great for the future of magic in general and our Convention in particular that one as young as Michael would even consider taking on this role. We are confident that he will prove a worthy successor to all of those who have preceded him in the job.

Attention all you Young Magicians. The British Ring is offering to all young magicians of 18 years of age and under a special weekend registration for the British Ring Convention. The price of £35 includes all lectures, workshops and the International Magic Show on Saturday 25th September and Sunday 26th September. Only admission to the Childrenís Showtime is excluded.

Mandy Davis and the Young Magicians Club will be holding a workshop on Saturday afternoon at 15.30 in the Congress Suite when she and her team will assist you in solving any particular problem you may be having in either performance or presentation. As usual she is inviting some of those appearing in the Convention to come and talk to you. So far she has approached Hayashi the International Manipulator to be present and she is hopeful others will be able to do so but it will depend upon their commitments.

Remember this workshop is for you Junior Magicians only; all others are excluded. This is an opportunity to meet and mingle with the World Stars of Magic.

If you havenít already registered fro the Convention there is still time to do so. You can do so from the British Ring website www.britishring.org.uk or by contacting the Registration Officer Neville Johnson by telephone on 01202 873234 or by e.mail at nevillejohnson25@aol.com. If you are unable to attend the whole Convention day registrations are available. Donít let this great magical event pass you by. Get your application off today.


Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO, August 2010. www.britishring.org.uk




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