Kirkcaldy Magic Circle

Kirkcaldy Magic Circle

Kirkcaldy Magic Circle was formed in 1942. The founder members were Max Murdoch (Sanara), Jim Hynd, Tommy Scott and Andrew Birrell. The club name at the time was The Lang Toon Legerdemaniacs. It has been said that the name was changed to Kirkcaldy Magic Circle as none of the members could spell Legerdemaniacs. I am not sure of the accuracy of this but it is a nice story.

The first meeting of the club was held in Kirkcaldy Fire Station, Coal Wynd, Kirkcaldy. Unfortunately Jim Hynd (a local fireman) had to leave the meeting early due to a fire in the area. Jim Hynd was elected first President of Kirkcaldy Magic Circle.

Early Club meetings were held in Deaf and Dumb Institute in Kirkcaldy.

The club had a rather unusual ceremony for installing new members into the club. The Prince Sanara costume belonging to Max Murdoch, (donated by Max) was used. The president wore the turban during the installation ceremony. The novice was blindfolded and escorted into the club room where his eyes were uncovered to disclose the room in darkness saves for a weird green light issuing from a pyramid on the table and striking upon the features of the figure in Eastern robes. Closeby stood an artificial hand grasping a wand. The new member gripped the wand also, whilst repeating after the president the oath of loyalty and secrecy where the club and its secrets were concerned.

All this followed after the applicant had performed magic to the members to show he was a worthy applicant.

A fuller explanation of the ceremony and a photograph of the event can be seen in SAMS magazine Volume 12 number 4. The report was by Tom Johnston who wrote many reports in the magazine as well as acting as Editor for some time.

This ceremony lasted a short time before being overtaken by another ceremony based on Powers of Darkness by Corinda of 13 Steps to Mentalism. The magical props used included rope and a metal ring. By 1964 the ceremony was cancelled due to the fact that the documents describing the ceremony could not be found. The fees in 1942 were £1 membership and five shillings per year.

The club members have organised an annual magical sale and exchange for 38 years (1999). This started as a club sale, grew to be a sale for local clubs and after the opening of the Forth Road Bridge (1966) grew further to take in the Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Aberdeen Circles. Soon all clubs in Scotland were attending. In 1966, the first time other clubs were invited, the sale lasted till 11-45pm. The present auctioneer, Jim Craig usually starts the sale just after 1-30 and has it finished by 8p.m.

The club organised a convention in October 1960 and again in 1967. A report can be read in SAMS magazine Vol 9 number 4.

Some members of the club were well known for their contributions to magical magazines.

Jim Cook (Campbell McCrae), Tom Johnston and Jim Boyd were regular contributors to the Gen magazine. Jim Cook also wrote the instructions on how to perform magical effects for Thomas Salter, a local firm who produced Magic Sets. There is a number of these magical sets in the collection of Wittis Witt in Germany.

The McMillan Shield and the Craig Quaich were presented to the Scottish Association of Magical Societies by Harold McMillan and Jim Craig, both members of Kirkcaldy club.

Honorary Members
Will Goldston, John Ramsay, Stewart Murray and Tommy Cooper.

The club did design a club badge but never took the final step to having it produced.

Kirkcaldy was one of the founder members of the Scottish Association of Magical Societies. They went on to win many of the SAMS competitions.

Cannon Trophy
1959, 1963.

McMillan Shield
Jim Craig 1955, Jim Cook 1963.

Max Raskin Cup
Stewart Murray 1959, Stewart Murray 1963, Jim Craig 1990.

Presidents of SAMS
Jim Craig(2), Jim Boyd, Jim Hynd(4), Tom McFadyen, Harold McMillan, Stewart Murray, Sam Nardone.

The club is still in operation and all is well in 1999.

Gen Vol 22 number 8 page 199
SAMS Magazine Volume 9 number 4 page 43 and 51
SAMS Magazine Volume 12 number 4 page 59
Ian Matthews minutes of K.M.C