The Fylde Mystics

Northern, Southern, Manchester, Eastern England and, at long last,The Midlands!

Moderators: Mandrake, bananafish, Lady of Mystery, support, nickj

MagicWorld Magic Shop for Magic Tricks Playing Cards for Magicians Sorcery Shop - Home of the ITR UK's Online Magic Tricks and Jokes Shop offers kids and beginner magic tricks and jokes. Dude That's Cool Magic World-Of-Magic, Suppliers of quality Magic Worldwide

The Fylde Mystics

Postby Leslie Melville » Jul 3rd, '13, 11:58

Everyone in the magical world knows of The Blackpool Magician's Club and of the great Convention it stages every February. Not very many are aware of The Fylde Mystics, originally formed in 1958, eventually disbanded in 2003 and then re-formed in 2008.

Since then it has gradually developed until it now boasts in excess of twenty regularly attending members who meet on the first Tuesday of the month. We meet at Blackpool's very agreeable South Shore Lawn Tennis Club. In addition to hosting a variety of quality lecturers (this last year, Woody Aragon, Mark Leveridge, Gregory Wilson and recently Jan Logemann) members are also required to 'perform' at meetings, following which various effects seen on the night are discussed and analysed. In the recent past, members have gone out in groups to perform shows for local charities and more are planned for the future.

There is no hierarchy - no committee! Alan Mylecraine chairs the meetings and books the lecturers, Steve Eastham looks after the finances; Allan Carke takes photographs and produces an occasional yearbook and Paul Joyce takes care of the library and as from this year produces a very good on-line magazine for members! It is a very healthy and happy club.

At last nights mini-AGM, it was suggested that later in the year we may produce a magic/variety show which, if successful, may become an annual event!

We are of course, like every other club, always looking to increase membership so if you live in an accessible location and YOU like the sound of a magic club with NO POLITICS(!); just the desire to perform and help each other to improve the art/craft then do get in touch - you will receive a warm welcome!


Leslie Melville
Junior Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Feb 23rd, '07, 20:41
Location: Blackpool, Lancashire, U.K.

Re: The Fylde Mystics

Postby mark lewis » Sep 10th, '13, 18:23

I well remember the Fylde Mystics and was around when it was first formed. However, I am pretty sure it wasn't in 1958. Or perhaps it was but disbanded and appeared again sometime in the seventies. If I remember correctly it started as a result of great displeasure with the Blackpool Magicians club and was formed as a result of a protest of some sort.

But the best magic club of them all was in the next town Preston. They had no lectures or any activities of any kind. The sole purpose of the club was for the members to go out and do charity shows which were organised by the secretary Brian Berry. There would be at least one or more shows a week all unpaid but gave the members good experience in actually performing. I think more magic clubs should follow this example. I don't think you were even allowed to be a member if you wouldn't participate in these shows.

mark lewis
Elite Member
Posts: 3771
Joined: Feb 26th, '05, 02:41

Re: The Fylde Mystics

Postby MylieMagic » Sep 11th, '13, 14:16

As one of the re-founding members from 2008 I am pleased to say we are a society growing steadily. Our main emphasis is on PERFORMING magic, far too many societies have many members, but how often do they actually get up and do something? We limit the amount of lectures we have, although the ones we do have are some of the very best in the world. Since we reformed in 2008 we have welcomed Shaun Farquhar, Pit Hartling, Jan Logemann, Gregory Wilson, Matthew Wright, Woody Aragon and more.

Please see the history of the Fylde Mystics below as taken from our website :

The Fylde Mystics was initially the brain child of Bert Russell and was formed in January 1958 following a discussion with Albert Davis and Laurie Gleeson during a return car journey from Wigan to Blackpool after attending a magic competition at the Wigan Magic Circle. The three felt very much that there was a need for a society in Blackpool whose aims and objectives were to encourage the active performance of magic and provide a teaching base for enthusiastic young magicians, a concept that was unavailable in the area at that time.

The original founder members were Bert Russell, Albert Davies, Laurie Gleeson, Ken Bowell, Brenda Russell and Ken Ashburn. The first formal meeting of the society was delayed to allow Ken Ashburn to attend and be recognised as a founding member. Ken at the time was on active service in Cyprus serving with the Royal Air Force 284 helicopter squadron and was awaiting demob.

Dr. Alexander Cannon was the first Hon. Life President with Arthur Culpin, Francis White and Murray as Hon. Vice Presidents. Dr. Cannon's home was the Enchanted Hall on the Isle of Man; this enabled a special relationship to be formed with the islands only magical society The Magicians of Man. The two societies had regular exchange visits both socially and formally with an annual competition that took place each February on the eve of the Annual Blackpool Convention. The event always attracted a full house as in those days no other entertainment was provided prior to the convention. The standard of the competition was always extremely high.

The society ran a number of competitions for various trophies, the most notable being the "Cannon Trophy". This was an inter-society competition between three societies. Each had to present two stage acts and a close-up act. It is thought that many and various societies took part, but we would be interested to know if anyone out there remembers the competition and if they ever had a team taking part.

Over the years the Mystics held meetings and social gatherings in various hotels and guest houses throughout Blackpool. The first formal meeting was held at the Claremont Hotel, North Promenade a venue it shared for a number of years with the Blackpool Magicians' Club, later moving to the Sun Hotel which was owned by Albert Davies. Albert owned numerous properties and businesses in and around the Blackpool area many of which were used over the years for formal and informal get-togethers. Probably it's most popular meeting place was 23 Hull Road in central Blackpool. This busy little guest house was the home of Cyril and Shirley Critchlow who always provided a warm welcome and generous hospitality. The final meeting place of the Mystics could not have been more appropriate "The Coronation Street Theatre" - This venue was a former Methodist Church Hall and had been purchased and refurbished at enormous cost by Cyril Critchlow in order to fill his life long ambition of owning a theatre in central Blackpool.

By 1977 with the loss of a number of older members the society had dropped down to an average of ten members attending on a regular basis all of whom held dual membership of the Blackpool Magicians' Club. Almost without any formal decision and following the death of Bert Russell meetings ceased. In 2003 the last three remaining members Cyril Critchlow, Ken Ashburn and Steve Eastham agreed that the Fylde Mystics should be formally wound up and its assets distributed to charity.

We are currently compiling a more detailed history about the society and it’s former members. If you have any information about the Fylde Mystics, we would be interested to hear from you.

Junior Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Jul 9th, '13, 10:20

The Fylde Mystics

Postby ConnorOldfield » Jun 23rd, '16, 03:23

As a member of Fylde Mystics now and aged 15 I never knew half of this other than we reforming in 2008. It's great to know we have such a great history and such loyal members. Although I knew Ken was part of the original club I never knew he was a founding member. Which makes me feel honored to have met the man.

User avatar
New User
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 23rd, '16, 01:30
Location: Blackpool, UK, (15:SH)

Return to Regional Meetings

Best prices around! Web Design for Magicians A web site set up to sell my book, THE STRIPPER DECK, and future magical/mentalism titles. Visit Magicbox for all the latest and best effects! Manufacturer of modern & unique magic apparatus! Aeternum Servare Secreta Best prices around!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests