The Davenport Collection
- a growing resource on magic and entertainment history

Bill Stickland

Film of the Levantes and Sticklands visiting the Davenports

Film of the Levantes and Sticklands visiting the Davenports

When magic visitors were invited to the Davenport family home, Ivydene in Kent, there was usually some fooling around. Filming was done outside because of the brighter light. On this film we see everyone having fun on the lawn. Bill Stickland demonstrates his doll made up of a body and Bill’s hand for its face. Bill is also pushing Wyn Davenport along in a wheelbarrow. Les Levante is fooling around with a pot on his shoulder. Gladys and Esmé Levante are there too. The children are Betty and Jean Davenport. Also appearing are Wynne, George and Gus Davenport.

The first of 80 British Ring conventions, Cheltenham 1931

The first of 80 British Ring conventions, Cheltenham 1931

Roy presented this talk in the History of Mystery session at the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians convention in Buxton, 9 September 2016. Click on this PDF to join the conventioneers of 1931, and to understand what happened and why it was so enjoyed by the participants.

Town Hall, Leamington Spa. 30 June 1934

Town Hall, Leamington Spa. 30 June 1934

The poster advertises the Saturday night evening show of the IBM British Ring convention in 1934. According to the write-up of the show in ‘The Budget’ of July 1934, not all acts appeared. The act billed as Davenport and Company Magic of 1934 was George Davenport.

78 rpm record made for Gus Davenport by Bill Stickland and Poppy Gwen

78 rpm record made for Gus Davenport by Bill Stickland and Poppy Gwen

Gus Davenport fell ill in 1937 and family friends Bill Stickland and his wife Poppy Gwen sent him a cheerful self-recorded message to wish him well. Side 1: recorded by the Wessex Wizard, Bill Stickland. Side 2: recorded by Poppy Gwyn. Side 2 has bubbled and is now unplayable. Fortunately, before this bubbling occurred, both sides were transcribed onto a cassette tape and then into an MP3 file, so the Davenport Collection also has an electronic file of the content.

Still photographs from the Davenport family cine films

Still photographs from the Davenport family cine films

The collection contains cine film taken by the family, much of it from the 1930s. The film has been transferred to tape, and more recently converted to an electronic form, in order to preserve the images. During this process some of the more interesting frames have been printed out as photographs. The magician on the top sheet of photographs shown here is Gus Davenport performing in Berlin in 1937. The face of Ottokar Fischer can be seen in one of the photographs lower down in the pile.