British Ring Convention update August 2011
Geoffrey Newton, British Ring PRO



This annual event arranged by Shirley Ray sees Steve Evans return as compere where 10 performers will compete for the top prize of £1,000 and the British Ring Shield. (second prize, £500 third prize, £250 and other trophies may be won) The event will be held on Saturday night 24th September at 8.00pm in the Southport Theatre.

The order of appearance is: First half: Dave Andrews - London, Nick Barnes - Congleton, Tim Shoesmith - Welwyn Garden City, Peter Stewart Fitchett (Jock Mac’Jishun) - Grange over Sands and Mark Shortland – Northampton.

Second half: Jay Gatling (Elemental) - Gwynedd, Matthew Wright – Burnley, Ta na manga (Inspirato) – Portugal, Mandy Fletcher (Ianthe) Glasgow, Mel Harvey – Warwick.

The competition is organised by Shirley Ray assisted by Dave Cass and the stage manager is Neil Roberts.

The Judging panel chaired by John Palfreyman consists of Brian Lead, Anthony Darkstone Brook, Vanni Pulé (IBM President) Stuart Loughland (Safire) Jayne Loughland (Safire) Don Beattie (Chief Steward) Keith Cooper (IBM British Ring President)

The presentation of awards will take place directly after he competition followed by the installation of Brian Miller to serve as President of The IBM British Ring for 2011/2012.


Steve Evans has released the names of the competitors for the Close Up Competition as follows: Rob James (Bristol), Marcus Taylor (Shrewsbury) Russell Levinson (London), Michael Neto (Glasgow), Mel Harvey (Wellesbourne), Stephen Ablett (Stockport) Mark Shortland (Northampton), Matthew Wright (Burnley), Alex Hansford (Plymouth), Malcolm Bromwich (Hessle), Paul Ingram (Rhyl), Steve Dela (Chislehurst). The first prize is the Zina Bennett Trophy and £1,000, second prize £500 and third prize £250. The Rovi Trophy may also be awarded.


This has again been placed in the very capable organising hands of Julie Llusion. For 2011 another excellent speaker has been sourced in the name of Pam Bosworth from Grantham with “A History of Fashion and Millinery”. Pam has been involved in the fashion business since the 1960’s when, during her teenage years she began modelling for a variety of shops in the Midlands.

In the 1980’s a hat hire service was created having seen the demand for millinery items required for one off special occasions. On the strength of this success she branched out into fashion. Ladies had regularly complained to her that expensive outfits they had bought for weddings, christenings etc would not be worn again. Pam started her Premier Dress Agency to sell these designer labels at half price.

This talk down memory lane with designs and fashions over the years should prove an interesting afternoon and Pam’s motto is IF YOU LOOK GOOD, YOU’LL FEEL GOOD.


Don’t forget your passport! Registration Officer John Palfreyman has arranged for all conventioneers to receive the Southport Passport. This handy little booklet contains an assortment of vouchers. Some restaurants are offering a free glass of wine whilst others offer a free bottle! There also dining vouchers for up to 25% off meals at some local establishments. A handy town centre street map is also included in this worthwhile publication. The convention is a very packed programme but if you have time for a short diversion from magic you can have a buy one get one free game at Premier Bowl and Laser.


The following lecturers (with their subject titles) will appear at the convention:

Mark James - Extravert

Mel Mellers - Making Magic Commercial

David Tomkins - New Children’s Magic

Shawn Farquhar - Bread and Butter

Joe M. Turner - Eyes and Mind

Michael Finney - Sharing Secrets from My Life in Magic


The Opening Show on Thursday morning (22nd September) features Pat Fallon, Mark James, Mandy Fletcher (who was a great success at the President’s dinner earlier this year), and illusionist Chris De Rosa completes the bill to open up the days of great magic.

The Ali Bongo Magic Marathon will be there on the Thursday evening and afterwards it’s


Cabaret Night with Vittoria Marino, Wez Zaharuk, Sonny Pennington and Safire.

The Late Night Gala of Magic after the gala dinner features Michael Carr (another success from the President’s dinner), the talents of Jordan Gomez, Mel Mellers with his own special style, Mat Ricardo a juggler with something plus – trust me I saw him at the NMC convention in Scarborough earlier this year, and the well known skills of Amethyst.

The Children’s Show on Saturday morning 24th September is again produced by Clive Moore and Jean Ellison (Clivo and Jeani) and features Paul Joyce, David Tomkins Safire with both illusions and black light puppets. Topping the bill is everyone’s favourite Sooty with Richard Cadell.

The International Gala of Magic and Variety on Sunday night 25th September is being compered by Aonghus McAnally (Ireland) who will introduce Michael Finney (USA) Guy Barrett and Company (UK) Jeton the Gentleman Juggler (Germany) Shawn Farquhar (Canada) who fooled Penn and Teller on their UK TV show recently. Romany (UK) also from the Penn and Teller show, Rafael (Belgium) and Jason Andrews (USA)


More History of Mystery presented by Eddie Dawes (photo) this year features Brian Lead The Tragic deaths of Lafayette. David Hibbard A Glimpse of the David Devant Collection of Photographs from The Magic Circle Archive. Jon Marshall Secrets of the Sideshows

Special Venue Shows are again being arranged by Peter Greenwood (photo) at various locations throughout the town.

Nostalgia is being presented by Bob Hamilton on the Friday evening for those not attending the Gala Dinner. This year he features items from his recordings of the conventions from 1986 to 1991.

Jim Boyd has again arranged the dealers’ magical trade fair and they are all listed in the convention brochure. On the Friday morning Alec Powell introduces the Dealers’ Showcase where they all will have the opportunity to present their wares in a 5 minute slot each.

The International Close Up Magic will be introduced by Anthony Darkstone Brook and features Shawn Farquhar (Canada), Joe M. Turner, (USA) Mark James (UK) and Shaun McCree (UK)

The Great Debate which you will have been able to follow in the Budget is brought to the stage by Viv Davies (Mysteeny) and has a panel representing four counties. Pat Fallon (Ireland) Mel Harvey (England) Paul Anthony (Wales) and Margaret MacLean (Scotland) Questions may be left at the registration desk.



Help Make A Child Smile
The Anthony Darkstone, In Conversation Talk Show


Some children don’t smile because are too embarrassed; they have cleft palates. Operation Smile enables children from all over the world who were born with cleft palates to have the surgery at no cost.

On The Anthony Darkstone In Conversation Talk Show at this year’s IBM British Ring Convention, Michael Finney, Shawn Farquhar, Joe M. Turner & Jason Andrews (photos in this order below) will be signing two decks of Bicycles each. Every card in each one of their decks will be signed by these four Super Stars of Magic.

Attendees will have the opportunity to win one of these decks. The rules are very simple. At The Registration/Welcome desk there will be a large box. Simply put your business card together with a UK banknote into a standard envelope & drop it into the box.

At the end of the show, each guest will draw two names that will win a deck each. The money collected will be presented on stage to Michael Finney by IBM Ring 25 President Keith Cooper. Michael Finney is the Founder & Board President of The Michael Finney Foundation. The Foundation was established in 1997 and its primary purpose is to raise money for Children’s Charities. These funds will go to the Children’s Charity - Operation Smile.

Apart from the signed decks from the above named guests on the show, there will be two more decks of Bicycles signed by George Schindler – past National President and currently, The Dean of The Society of American Magicians. Also kindly donated by The Dean will be two of the highly sought after DVDs of “Entertainment First” as prizes.

That’s 12 prizes in total on the show. Each one a collectors’ item.

Attendees may place as many envelopes into the box as they wish. There is no limit. No restrictions. Except one! Envelopes that don’t contain a UK banknote will be disqualified.

Smile – You could be a winner, in every sense of the word. That’s real Magic!


Details on
or telephone Registration Officer JOHN PALFREYMAN 01743 792090


Geoffrey Newton, Public Relations Officer,