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February 2016

Someone once said that nostalgia ain’t what it used to be, but they were proved wrong at our February meeting when our guest, Steve Short, turned his attention to Ian Adair and the halcyon days of the Supreme Magic Company.

The afternoon began with some fascinating snaps from Edwin Hopper’s family album and a video clip of him in performance.  Edwin always used to quip that Mr. Punch was the real founder of Supreme Magic, as the money used to establish the firm in 1953 came from funds raised from Punch and Judy performances on Woolacombe beach.  We were taken through Edwin’s career and his partnership with Ian Adair, who joined him in 1958 at the tender age of eighteen.  The talk was spiced with many entertaining anecdotes, along with interesting historical details.

The second half of the session comprised the demonstration and explanation of ten effects from the extensive Supreme range, from ingenious devices such as Arthur Setterington’s ‘Cube in a Tube’ and the ‘Fantasy Frame’ of Eric C. Williams to the dressing of Cinderella for the ball and a beautifully simple, yet most effective, rising card.  The early catalogue prices ranged from 30/- to a heady £7! Steve also had some current Ian Adair creations for sale, along with videos of Edwin’s lectures and books relating to the Bideford years.

The event was a real eye-opener to the younger members, and a trip down memory lane for the rest.  

                      Brian Lead

Steve Short on The Supreme Magic Co.


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