This talk covers new insights into the private and business lives of Goldston. It is based on a study of the Goldston archives within the Davenport Collection as well as new research undertaken by Fergus. The story is a fascinating one, brought to life with many illustrations. The talk starts by solving the mystery of where Goldston was born.

It is very difficult to find reliable information on the salaries paid to variety acts. In this article Anne Goulden reports on Oswald Williams’ act at the Leicester Palace and compares his salary with the other acts on the bill. These are recorded in a salaries book which belongs to the British Music Hall Society Archive.

Comic Relief is a British charity, founded in 1985. The concept of Comic Relief was to get British comedians to make the public laugh, while raising money to help people in need in Africa, and at home in the United Kingdom. The highlight of Comic Relief’s appeal is Red Nose Day, a biennial telethon held in March, alternating with its sister project Sport Relief. The pen acts like a rattle: as the head of the blue and white person revolves around the pen it makes a clicking noise as it moves across the ribs at the top of the pen.

This is a well known illusion. Staring at the centre of the revolving spiral for 20 or 30 seconds and then looking at the back of one’s hand creates a sensation of creeping flesh. Cambridge magician and engineer Tony Middleton made this in 2016 for display at Davenports magic museum in North Walsham, England.

Although the observer is simply looking at a 2D rotating image, the impression is one of looking down into the crater of a 3D rotating volcano. Cambridge magician and engineer Tony Middleton made this in 2016 for display at Davenports magic museum in North Walsham, England.

In 2015 the bare mechanism of this electrically operated window figure was found in a Davenport store in very bad condition. The figure turned its head from side to side and raised and lowered its arms. In 2016 a Cambridge magician and family friend, Tony Middleton, had the vision to strip it down and re-engineer the figure, to convert it into a Chinese magician performing a magic trick. With the help of John Davenport, the figure now levitates a Chinese lantern up and down in the air, passing a ring over it to show there is nothing but magic holding the lantern suspended. Tony christened the magician Chung Ling Soo from the outset. The figure has been on display in the family’s magic museum in Norfolk, England. One of the photographs here shows Roy Davenport on the left and Tony Middleton on the right.