Isle of Man News - POSTED Mon 14-12-2015

Mike Clague recognised by Inner Magic Circle

by LC

Mike Clague recognised by Inner Magic Circle - picture Local magician Mike Clague is delighted to have been made an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle (AIMC). The Magic Circle, founded in London in 1905, is the world's most prestigious magic society, with a worldwide membership. Mike, who lives in Kirk Michael, achieved the award as a result of writing his recently published book about magicians who performed on the Island during the nineteenth century.

Mike explained: "It's a real honour, and I was over the moon when I heard. The research took over four years, and I was amazed to find so many fascinating stories about some extraordinary performers, including a number of locally based conjurors." Peter Lane, Executive Librarian for The Magic Circle, was one of three examiners. He said " I have read Mike Clague's submission for AIMC and it is excellent. I thought that I had a good knowledge of Victorian magicians but he has done an amazing amount of original research and I certainly learnt a lot. I had no hesitation in recommending him for AIMC."

Only three other local magicians have achieved AIMC status. They were Cyril (Gus) Alligan and Dr. Tom Hardy in 1962, and Tom Morley in 1986. Mike said: "Gus Alligan was one of my heroes when I first started learning magic, and I was spellbound by his performances. Tom Morley, of course, had one of the largest private collections of rare magic books in the world above his tobacconist's shop on North Quay. My modest effort to add to knowledge about magicians on the island would, I hope, have pleased him." He added "The staff at the Manx Museum Library and iMuseum were of tremendous assistance."

The Magicians of Mann, a club first started by Tom Morley and four others in 1952, was highly successful for twenty years. It was re-established in 1994, and Mike has acted as it's secretary since then. He started the Young Magicians of Mann, a separate club for 11 to 18 year olds, in 1987. At a recent lecture organised by the adult club and supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council, Mike was very pleased when the visiting lecturer, Fritz Alkemade from Holland, asked to buy a copy of the new book. "Luckily", said Mike, "I had one of the few remaining copies in the car!"

Photo - Mike Clague (L) and Fritz Alkemade.

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