Magicians bewilder Buxton

John Smith President of the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, ahead of their convention in Buxton
John Smith President of the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, ahead of their convention in Buxton
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Magicians from around the world are up to their old tricks in Buxton this weekend, as almost 500 have descended on the town for their annual gathering.

The International Brotherhood of Magicians, arrived in town yesterday (Wednesday) for their 77th convention and will be disappearing in a puff of smoke on Sunday.

The conjurers will be exchanging secrets, listening to lectures, enjoying shows and reliving some of the history of magic.

Former Buxtonian John “Sly” Smith, president of the British Ring, said he was delighted to be returning to Buxton and had suggested the town as a venue as it was a “magical” place.

But it’s not the first time the performers have worked their magic in the High Peak, they’ve gathered in Buxton three times over the last century.

At the 1937 convention, nervous onlookers watched Paul Graham, “The man with double vision”, walk blindfolded on the narrow 16-inch parapet of the Buxton Crescent.

In 1947, illusionist Arthur Buckle wowed audiences when he produced seven full glasses of Buxton water from an empty top hat.

And in 1959, the amazing Alan Alan cheated death by escaping from a strait jacket suspended from a blazing rope in the Pavilion Gardens.