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Not to worry as Alan had overcome all of our domestic cleaning problems. He collected invisible dust and placed it on to his magic 'Dust Table', resulting in a ball of sponge. The dust ball then just simply vanished from his hand. He reminded us that the Victorians also liked to gamble, and demonstrated this using a small chain and a scam known as 'pricking the garter' - a type of 'cat's cradle' effect. His next Racquet was an updated variation of Ken Brooke's 'Dizzy Dominoes' - this had Ron Baron at sixes and sevens. Then an Irish 3-card monte, using 4 blank cards (one must have been Dublin). A Wild Card changed into a Leprechaun, then all the cards were shown to have a picture of a Shamrock on them. It wasn't a fairy story, for sure, for sure.
It was Break Point; time for Irene and Kate's refreshments and the raffle. Roger thought he'd won the Trophy with a Drop Shot. Unfortunately, he lost the Point because of a Foot Fault. However, he still had a smashing time.
The Second Set began with David Plant admitting that he was Jamming - or was he just pulling our (Pom Pom) strings. Christine brought on an invisible table and an invisible deck of playing cards - which was a Brainwave idea. Then Forrest, who had been a much sought-after assistant throughout, showed Ron how not to tear and restore paper.
Time for the Doubles. Chris Returned with 3 holey coins on a cord. Each coin, inexplicably, became free from the cord. Those who saw how the Chinese coin had been taken off the cord must have been Peking (Chris's joke, not mine).
Brian Sefton was also in the Second Round. We had a Slice of luck because he taught us how to change a hank into a fake egg. Only thing was, his egg was real. He tried out a new book test using Lexicon cards. Regrettably, he encountered an Unforced Error. Let me say that had it gone right it would have been in a different class. His Big Serve was a 5-card repeat performed to a poem about Steamboat Sam.
Brian Johnson was the final double act. His Second Serve was a Walter Heck (SS) Emblem. Spectators chose random numbers, the Grand Slam being that the random numbers totalled those on the emblem.
Members wished for 'Mo're but Chairman Roger came on court to thank everyone for attending and our visitors and Irene and Kate for their outstanding performances. Finally, to officially announce that it was Game, Set and Match to the Blackpool lads.
Chairman's Day faced strong competition for your attention on two fronts; the hot sunny weather and Wimbledon. Even so, our visitors from the Blackpool Magicians' Club attracted a large audience and the Blackpool lads warmed to the challenge and Served up a treat.
However, to begin, Tennis was given the Elbow as prospective new member, Alex Self (from Halifax) gave his initiation show on an Outside Court. His close-up routines included Gozinta boxes with sponge balls and four English half-crowns which changed, one at a time, from silver to bronze and were then dropped into a cup. Mysteriously, they had become silver coins again when taken out. Then, an 'ambitious card' routine which concluded with the chosen card being the only face up card in a deck which had been mixed; some face up and some face down.
Alex performed his audition in good humour and with confidence. Having already taken part in Team MML's show at the Etihad Stadium, his enthusiasm for performing magic was 'Self' evident. The MML Umpires were unanimous in the view that he had passed his audition with flying colours, and that he should be accepted and welcomed as a member of the MML.
Game on, Blackpool's first Singles performer on Centre Court was team captain, Mark Woodsford. His Approach was a neat card (held by a volunteer) switch using a Mini-Break and then a signed card became an 'ambitious' card which vanished, only to be found in a sealed envelope inside a wallet. He finished with a chop cup and ball routine which ended very fruitfully.
Eager to build on a winning start, Chris Stickland produced three Volleys of his Coin Matrix; first, Two Handed and then with just the one hand, all of which were Clean Winners. Hawkeye would have been pushed to reveal the moves. He followed this with a variation of the 'Professor's Nightmare' effect and a polished 'Ring On / Off Rope' routine.
Brian Johnson (aka Anthony Quenten), who is a 'Friend' of The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, Cornwall, had us all in No-Man's Land because his 'Baffling Blocks' simply defied the laws of Physics. Why? Well, according to Aristotle; 'The whole is greater than the sum of its parts'. This axiom was blown Off Court as he demonstrated that one Block actually weighed more than it did when two more blocks were added to it !! Everyone was invited to handle the blocks themselves - which was just the Ticket. A queue formed and heads were in a Spin. This was just 'Ace'. No doubt about it, it was a Love-all effect'.
Next, very good friend of the MML, Brian Sefton, loomed large on the Service Line to keep up the heat and build on their Advantage. However, this wasn't his well-known 'dovle' act. Nor did it contain any Forehand or Backhand finger flicking but, even so, the former British Ring Shield winner swatted Ball-girls, Lorraine and Adele (Blackpool's coach), aside with some sweet, Cross-court, Jumbo card effects. They then became Net Cord Judges as they witnessed 3 x Balls being taken from the net they held between them. Brian placed these, one by one, into his fist and they just disappeared. Somehow, the balls had been Lobbed (unobserved) back into the net they held. His Follow Through was a Deuce Gypsy Thread routine. Each segment was appropriately Tied to a mythological god or goddess. This play was a hit, not a myth.
Alan Coventry took us back to the Victorian era. House cleaning in those days was carried out by Tweenies, their chores being superseded by the cumbersome and heavy vacuum cleaner.
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