In 1994 Eddie delivered this talk in Ayr, Scotland, on the occasion of the unveiling of a plaque dedicating the Ramsay Gardens to John Ramsay. Eddie manages to convey the charm of the man whose close-up skills made him internationally famous. The roles of Victor Farelli and Andrew Galloway in bringing Ramsay’s magic to a wider audience are also covered, as are Ramsay’s less well-known successes with stage magic.
1897 was the 60th year of Queen Victoria’s reign. There were to be Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and Maskelyne saw an opportunity to make a good profit by building a Grand Pavilion with a view of the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, where the ceremony was to take place. Unfortunately, the speculation did not turn out well. Dr Dawes draws on many sources to tell this story. We meet David Devant and Douglas Beaufort and learn about some rather surprising litigation that resulted from Maskelyne’s initiative.
William Morton spotted Maskelyne and Cooke in their early years when they were touring the provinces and at the same time improving their show. He stayed with them as their manager until well into their long tenure at the Egyptian Hall in London. Drawing on Morton’s autobiography, Dr Dawes is able to throw light on this period, including information on the business relationship between Morton and Maskelyne and Cooke.
William Morton continued to work in the world of entertainment and eventually had several theatres and cinemas in Hull. His story tells us much about the entertainment industry.