Blackpool Magicians Club was formed in April 1941.

One of the founder members was Paul Clive, the Blackpool magic dealer who had 2 ‘Witchcraft’ magic shops – he also owned a warehouse in Blackpool. Paul Clive wrote ‘Card Tricks Without Skill’ and his brother, Douglas Craggs wrote ‘The A.B.C of Ventriloquism’ He was also well known at the Magic Circle in London. Paul went on to live in the USA, later returning to Blackpool.

The club was first known as the ‘North West Magicians Club’ but approximately 10 years later in February 1951; the name was altered to ‘Blackpool Magic Circle’. Sometime later the Magic Circle in London wrote to all other clubs using the title of ‘Magic Circle’ in their name and asked them if they would change it.

So, once again, Blackpool changed their name to that which it is today… BLACKPOOL MAGICIANS CLUB.

Edward Victor

Peter Warlock

Ken Dodd

Edward Victor was the clubs first Honorary Life President. He was a royal command performer who specialised in sleight of hand and shadowgraphs. Author of ‘Magic of the Hands’, he visited the club whenever he played Blackpool. 

Peter Warlock was asked to accept the Honorary Life Presidency after the death of Edward Victor.

After the death of Peter Warlock, well known star comedian Ken Dodd OBE was invited to accept the position of Honorary Life President, and he would always wear the insignia when performing a ‘spot’ every year at the convention. Unfortunately, Ken sadly passed away in March 2018 aged 90, he last appeared at Blackpool Convention in 2017. 

In May 2019 Arthur Casson became the Honorary Life President.


Michael Brennan


The club has had many well-known names as Honorary Life Vice Presidents including the late Jack Kinson who is remembered for his famous ‘Kinson’s Flying Record’ trick sold by many magic dealers in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Billy O’Connor (and his 52 assistants). Fred Brezin and Kardoma (fills the stage with flags). The late Charles Fitness – well known magic dealer and Murray the famous escapologist were also Honorary Life Presidents for a number of years along with ‘little’ Harry Dewhirst who was a Convention Organiser for many years.

Jack Kinson


Murray poster

Fred Brezin

Kardoma (Leonard Crompton Clifford)

Honorary Life Vice Presidents are limited to 3 and currently the positions are held by John Hardman, David Plant and Mike King

Honorary members have included the late Colonel Edward Graves who wrote a column in the ‘Worlds Fair’ for many years, the late Jack Shaw, originator of the ‘The Wychwoods’, the late Will Dexter author of ‘The Riddle of Chung Ling Soo’ and many other books. Current Honorary Life Members are Bev Bergeron of the USA, Lance Burton, David Copperfield and Siegfried & Roy.
Johnny Hart, a former member of the Blackpool Magicians’ Club began his magical career by winning one of our competitions, then going on to win the Magic Circles ‘Young Magician of the Year’ competition.


The current club badge was designed by Bill Lamb, who used the design on the front cover of the book ‘Tricks & Illusions’ by Will Goldston – who visited the club in August 1942 and donated some books so that the club could start a library. The world-famous Convention has been supported by Blackpool Magicians Club since 1952, and in 2012 Blackpool Magicians Convention and Club celebrated the 60th anniversary of the World-Famous Blackpool Magic Convention. The same year Blackpool Magicians Convention hosted the FISM 2012 World Championships of Magic.

Previous magic convention organisers have been Harry Dewhirst, Steve Eastham, Bill Lamb, Derek Lever, Ian Ogilvy and Tom Owen. 
The convention is now organised by a small management team of members each with their own roles and skill sets.

The convention was for many years operated for the one day only at the Casino at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Then as it grew larger it was moved to the Winter Gardens. 

In 1986 the first British Magical Championships was held, and the first event was held in the Horseshoe Show bar at the Casino. The Grand Prix winner was none other than Blackpool Magicians Club Past President, Mark Raffles.

Blackpool Magicians Club support the World’s Largest Magic Convention every February, when nearly 5000 magicians from all over the world are thoroughly entertained for 3 days by international magic stars in the Opera House and Winter Gardens.

A remarkable achievement and long may it continue.

Bill Lamb

Will Goldston

Mark Raffles

Cyril Critchlow, John Hardman & Tom Owen

Casino at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach