Southend Sorcerers Club History 1960-Present
Back in the late 60's / early 70's, Ken Hoskins, an aspiring magician, was introduced to the late, great Ron MacMillan, who, apart from being the proprietor of London's International Magic Studios, was also a renowned and skillful coin manipulator. Ron and Ken would meet fairly regularly, with Ron teaching Ken the tricks of the trade. As time went by, more magicians began to attend these informal sessions and in the end they all started to meet every Sunday night at the Dickens Pub in Southend, to talk about and swap magical ideas. At the time, people like Dick Turpin, Ronaldo, Magini and Jimmy Rogers were all attending regularly.
In the end it was Jimmy Rogers, the Club's first President, who suggested the formation of a proper formal society, since so many magicians were now coming along. As a result, Southend Sorcerers Society had its first proper meeting in 1976 at the Bell Public House in Southend. Early members included Don Simpson (who has recently rejoined), Don Griffin, Henrique, Terry Machin, Richard Graham (who is still a member) and, for a short time, Simon Lovell attended. Steve Valentine who went on to become a well known TV and movie actor in America was also a member in his younger days.
Show & Lecture Dates
6th June -
Leo Smetsers Lecture
4th July -
Paul Gordon Lecture
1st August -
The club has seen its fortunes come and go, with membership down to an all time low of 3 people at one time. Various meeting places have hosted the club nights since then, including a return to the Dickens Public House, then back to the Bell. After that it was off to the Eastwood Community Centre, then back to the Bell again (!). Next came a successful couple of years at Southend's Essex County Hotel, before the club's home once again moved, this time to Flights Leisure Centre which became Saxon Hall in Aviation Way near Southend Airport. Meetings were held there until July 2007, when, for the 4th time the Bell again became our permanent meeting place. Finally, with the size of the club beginning to outgrow the Bell, a new meeting place had to be found, so with effect from 1st April 2012 we moved to the Ekco Club in Thornford Gardens, just off Manners Way.
Southend Sorcerers also provides its members with an opportunity to perform for 'real' people, by putting on shows for fund raising evenings of magic, which the club is often booked to do by local schools and charities.
For more details about the club - membership or shows - please take a look at the relevant pages on the site. If you can't find what you're looking for, please feel free to contact one of the committee via e-mail or telephone (details on the contacts page) and we'll do our best to help you.
The club is now bigger and busier than ever, with about 40 regular members, including the likes of mentalist Luke Jermay who was a member from his early days in magic, and has recently rejoined after a fantastic run starring in his own show along the Strip at Las Vegas. The club is also unusual in that it encourages junior members to learn and perform alongside their senior colleagues. We meet on the first Sunday of every month and we host competitions, lectures, dealer demonstrations and a variety of themed club nights. The Annual Awards Dinner is held every October at a local venue and is always a night to remember.