5th September 2019 – Ian Keable – Charles Dickens the Conjurer

Charles Dickens was an amateur conjurer for around seven years of his life, from the time he wrote A Christmas Carol to David Copperfield. His best-known performance was on the Isle of Wight in 1849; he wrote a highly amusing, and informative playbill to promote this show. This playbill, where Dickens called himself the 'Unparalleled Necromancer', provides the focus to talk about how Dickens was inspired to take up magic, which other conjurers influenced him, whether he was any good as a conjurer and how he depicted, and wrote about, magic in his own books, articles and letters. The talk includes a description of some of Dickens' tricks from his own repertoire, plus some performances by Ian. Any questions are allowed - apart from 'how do you do it!?'

3rd October 2019 – Meet the Conveners Meeting

At this meeting you can take the opportunity to find out more about our interest groups and speak to the conveners.

7th November 2019 – Bob Horner – Bletchley Park: Britain’s Espionage Factory

 By VE Day 1945, in a small Buckinghamshire town 45 miles from London, nine thousand people were attacking the codes and ciphers of the Axis forces with remarkable success. This talk describes the wartime history of The Government Code & Cypher School and the people who worked there, and at its outstations. I outline the story of how the Enigma and Lorenz machines were broken. Finally, I give an insight into the lives and working conditions of the people who worked there.

5th December 2019 – Bertie Pierce – Wonder Workers, the Art of Illusion

From the beginning of time the fascination with magic and the impossible has been widespread. Egypt was the cradle of magic. Sorcerer Priests used scientific principles to create illusions for the edification of worship and to hold power over the people. Where there was power there was magic. Then there is the age-old skill of sleight of hand, which proves that ‘the hand is quicker than the eye’. Magicians were known as ‘Jongleurs’ lest they be sentenced to death for ‘witchcraft and conjuration’ under the edicts of Henry V111