The IBM British Ring Convention, Eastbourne 2015

Reported by Geoffrey Newton PRO

The IBM British Ring convention was held in Eastbourne last week, where hundreds of delegates enjoyed a few days at this very sunny south coast resort. The new president is Paul Ray (Photo) who will be hosting his official dinner on 19th March 2016 at the Lord Hill Hotel in Shrewsbury and further details will be available soon.

The whole convention was conveniently situated within the Congress Theatre/Winter Garden complex and hosted some excellent shows and lectures. In addition to these we now have an increasing number of workshops; this year including balloons, juggling and card magic. Mini dealer dems took place in the Dealers’ Hall throughout the convention. Sadly, our president, at the time Alan Astra, was unable to attend due to ill health but we wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to his and Barbara’s company at future events. Immediate past president (at the time) Neil Roberts stood in at the last moment for the installation of the new president, as the show must go on.

The opening show with High Jinx featured Michael Jordan really on form and the History of Mystery together with a show from Sussex Magic Circle, all in one day, certainly gave the convention the buzz that was vibrant throughout.

The Sooty and Gala shows appeared to have the greatest public support that I have known in recent times which to me clearly demonstrates the little golden bear is as popular as ever and interest in magic is, generally speaking, high at the moment. The lectures were excellent; just the right length and covering a variety of subjects.

The Close-up competition was won by Rob James with the comedy award going to Mel Harvey (the first time this had been awarded for close-up). Bernard Jones won the Ali Bongo Micro Marathon and Brian Berry (for Peter Diamond) the dealers’ trophy for the most attractive stand.

Christian Lee hosted the Friday late night burlesque entertainment and was brilliant, although the Fan Dancer in the Folly Mixtures may have literally ruffled a few feathers. It was tastefully done, nothing offensive, fun and above all accepted in the spirit in which it was intended. Modern entertainment has arrived!

The friendships reunited and new ones made are a very important part of any gathering and this certainly was a harmonious four days for everyone to enjoy.

Next year The British Ring returns to Buxton from 8th – 11th September and details will appear as further information comes to hand.


In May this year the 80 year old society magazine known as The Budget was renamed Key Ring and now has 16 of its 32 pages in colour. There have been many kind comments about the publication’s new format. Why don’t you see for yourself by joining The British Ring? Details are on

© Geoffrey Newton PRO, October 2015