Swancar Farm has developed a sterling reputation as one of the Midlands’ finest wedding venues. Located in close proximity to Nottingham city centre, yet situated in several acres of idyllic rolling countryside, it offers unique rustic charm coupled with accessibility.
Couples can enjoy their dream wedding day in the seclusion and privacy of the garden, courtyard and spacious function suites. The diligent events team and exceptional in-house caterers will also ensure it truly is a day to savour and enjoy. It also offers immaculate accommodation for those who may prefer to remain in situ.
Swancar Farm is a venue I always thoroughly enjoy performing magic at. I have many fond memories of mingling with guests outside on glorious summer days, and of performing parlour magic in the elegantly furnished orangery. Most recently, it was a massive privilege to provide entertainment during Dave and Kerry’s evening reception immediately after the speeches. This is a venue which truly offers many exciting opportunities for my style of magic.
If you are currently seeking a wedding venue in the East Midlands, visit Swancar Farm’s website at: www.swancarfarmcountryhouse.com or for friendly support and advice telephone: 0115 930 6528.
‘It was a more open time all round, and heroes like Barry Sheene were touchable, human, and keen to interact with everyone’
Nick Elliott on the 1970s
The 1970s was a definitive decade socially, culturally and politically. By Nick Elliott’s own admission, it was a great time of exploration and experimentation. Having been an avid motor-sport fanatic in his youth, Nick was in dreamland when top end magazines such as Motorcycle News and Motorcycle Racing commissioned him to capture the action on race days.
A passion for racing has resonated within Nick since childhood, and he and brother Gary frequently raced motorbikes and cars throughout the UK during their adolescence. Some of the Peterborough photographer’s earliest and fondest memories involve off-road biking with friends and family. A devil-may-care attitude, and propensity for risk taking quickly evolved, and this is clearly reflected in Nick’s exceptional and unique brand of photography.
Nick often fondly recalls memories of iconic venues such as Silverstone and Donington Park in the 1970s when legends such as Barry Sheene and Giacomo Agostini graced the track. Such superstars burned the candle at both ends, and Nick enjoyed rubbing shoulders with these larger than life characters before and after their sensational performances. The champagne flowed – along with the incredible tales of past glories – in the race course bars where Nick became privy to the personal strife and struggles of the world famous stars of motor racing.
Nick Elliott was present for Barry Sheene’s sensational World Championship victories in 1976 and 1977. He also fondly remembers the indefatigable Englishman’s clashes with Kenny Roberts in the 1979 Grand Prix at Silverstone. These profound experiences have left a massive impression upon Nick, fashioning him onto the distinctive lens-man he is today.
‘It was awesome seeing you on Ben Nevis. Thanks for making it that extra special!’
Feroz Khan, Ben Nevis, 26th August 2018
Performing magic in challenging environments has always excited and interested me. The magician often has to think quickly on his feet and tailor his performance if the conditions get tough. For example, when performing outdoor magic at Christmas markets many years ago, I would often have to alter my show to accommodate the blustery conditions – not to mention freezing hands – which limited my capacity for sleight-of-hand.
One challenge I have always wanted to undertake is to perform magic on Ben Nevis (Britain’s highest mountain). Standing at 4,411 feet above sea level, this iconic landmark would be an excellent location to put my magical abilities to the test. In Gaelic the mountain is known as Beinn Nibheis which means ‘venomous’ or ‘malicious’ mountain on account of the adverse weather conditions, which persist for most of the year, and the harsh inhospitable environment.
I was delighted to be supported, encouraged and accompanied by Mr Daniel Kershaw throughout this expedition. Daniel is currently fund-raising for the Brathay Trust. This is a tremendous charity which provides support to young people through innovative community projects. Since 2007 the Trust has also been engaged in assisting ex-service personnel. Next year Daniel will run ten marathons in ten days to fund-raise for this magnificent cause. You can sponsor him at this link: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/danielkershaw10in10
Overall, it was a tremendous experience and we really appreciated the great reaction we received from climbers on the mountain and at the summit. We also have plans for another exciting project very soon.
The Brathay Trust provide support for young people through innovative and proactive projects. Visit their site now at: Brathay Trust.
To find out more about Ben Nevis and this magnificent part of the UK, please go to: Visit Scotland
‘Wow! What can I say? David has completely changed my opinion of magic!’
Dean and Shirley’s wedding day, 8th July 2018, Bestwood Lodge Hotel
It was a massive privilege and a pleasure to be part of Dean and Shirley’s wedding celebrations on 8th July this year at the beautiful Bestwood Lodge Hotel. I was delighted when the lovely couple asked me to entertain their guests after the wedding breakfast period. Indeed, it was an additional bonus to have the opportunity to work alongside the exceptional Martin and Ellen Hoyle of Martelle Photography. I have known Martin for many years and this would truly be an evening to savour and remember.
Performing magic immediately after the wedding breakfast always allows me the opportunity to perform some very special magic for the newlyweds. I want to provide them with an everlasting experience and unforgettable memory from their special day. Martin and Ellen were expertly on hand to masterfully capture the action at the top table. It is always vital to start the evening with some high impact visual illusion and I was delighted by the reaction of Dean, Shirley and all of the guests.
Bestwood Lodge is one of the finest venues in the Nottingham area, and it was fantastic to entertain family and friends in the spacious and elegant bar area. This is an excellent area for close-up magic and I was also able able to perform some high-impact parlour effects for larger groups of people. On a wedding day all the generations are present and I thoroughly enjoyed entertaining everyone from grandparents to grandchildren.
Magic always helps to build an excellent bridge between both day and evening guests as we move into the latter stages of the wedding day. Dean and Shirley are a very popular couple, and naturally there were a lot of arrivals after 7pm who wanted to share this special moment with them. It really was a privilege to continue to mingle and perform my full repertoire of effects for everyone present.
Recently awarded an elite and much deserved place within the top 100 wedding photographers in the country by ‘Your Perfect Wedding Photographer’, Martelle are truly outstanding. Martin and Ellen Hoyle are an exceptional team when it comes to capturing those special moments on a wedding day. They will always go the extra mile, and more, for bride and groom. The wonderful photographs I have proudly displayed within this blog article are testimony to their talent, dedication and professionalism. Visit their website at: www.martelle.co.uk or phone them now on: 07833 253788.
If you are planning a wedding, party, black-tie event or social function around the Nottingham area, the conscientious and highly dedicated events team at Bestwood Lodge are always here to help you. Visit their website at: www.bestwoodlodgehotel.co.uk or phone them today on: 0115 920 3011.
Overall it was a marvellous wedding day experience at Bestwood Lodge with Dean, Shirley and all of their wonderful guests. Thank you again for investing your trust in me and congratulations!
David Fox is a professional magician and freelance writer based in the East Midlands. Visit his website at: www.magician-midlands.co.uk or phone him on: 07946 686 258.
It was a massive privilege to be part of Gem Vending’s 50th birthday party celebrations at Langley Mill United Cricket Ground. Gem have been providing state-of-the-art drinks and snacks vending machines throughout the Midlands and Yorkshire since the late 1960s, and their team hosted a memorable occasion. For more details, please visit their website at: Gem Vending.
Langley Mill United Cricket Club was an excellent choice of venue and is in close proximity to Gem’s offices. The club boasts well-stocked bar facilities, function space, and a friendly and diligent events team. Visit their website at: Langley Mill Cricket Club
It was a real pleasure to work alongside the exceptional Joey of Party2Party who enthralled all the children present with his games, magic and fantastic bouncy castle. Joey provides a superb service and has a fantastic personality. If you are seeking first class children’s entertainment for your next special event, visit his website now at: Party2Party.
A party wouldn’t be a party without delicious catering, and Barlows Butchers were a tremendous hit with all of the guests. This family run business has been providing sumptuous meat products since the 1940s. If you are seeking a caterer for your next special occasion around the Langley Mill area, please visit their website at: Barlows Butchers.
I was delighted to meet DJ Eddy Lush again at the celebrations. I had last worked alongside him at a wedding reception several years ago and he was on fine form providing a great selection of tunes past and present for everyone to enjoy. Eddy also masterfully orchestrated a karaoke contest. The standard was very high indeed and it certainly added something very special to the proceedings. So expect to see the contestants appearing on Britain’s Got Talent very soon! Visit Eddy’s website now for a DJ at your next event: Walk on Entertainments.
Such an important occasion should most certainly be documented for posterity, and the highly talented Dave Fuller was present to capture those magical moments. I am very fortunate that Dave agreed to provide some of his exceptional photographs for this blog article. Professional, personable and meticulous, Dave is perfect for weddings, parties and promotional shoots around the East Midlands and beyond. Hire Dave Fuller for your next event and visit his website at: Dave Fuller Photography.
Congratulations to Gem Vending on your 50th anniversary! Well done to everyone at the company for hosting such a memorable evening. Here’s to the next 50 years…
The author of the article is David Fox, an award winning entertainer and freelance writer based in the UK. Visit David’s website at: David Fox Magic or phone him today on: 07946686258.
If you are planning a trip to Paris soon, why not pay a visit to the Musée de la Magie? It truly is one of La Ville Lumière’s hidden gems, and I was very fortunate to pass many a magical moment there when I lived in Paris.
The French contribution to the art of prestidigitation has been considerable. Robert Houdin (1805 – 1871) is said to be the ‘father of modern magic’ and famously performed an impressive illusion to quell insurrection during French rule in Algeria. Indeed, it was most interesting to see this very effect resurrected on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ recently. The Hungarian-American magician Ehrich Weiss was so inspired by the French master that he took his name, becoming none other than the great Harry Houdini!
Located at 11 Rue Saint Paul in the bohemian 4th arrondissement, the museum provides an enjoyable and unique experience. Even those with just a passing interest in magic will find much to amuse and enthrall. Visitors can either participate in a guided tour of the museum or peruse the extensive array of memorabilia at their leisure. A first class performance of legerdemain then follows in the theater – provided by one of the exceptional resident magicians. Both young (and not-so-young) spectators will be treated to classic illusions, card manipulation and sleight-of-hand delivered with inimitable wit, skill and Gaulish charm.
The museum also boasts a well stocked magic shop, which vends hand made effects and novelties, as well as a magic school for those inclined to study and learn more. I have personally always found the resident magicians and staff at the Musee de la Magie to be extremely courteous, enthusiastic and helpful whenever I have had the pleasure to pay a visit.
Opening hours are: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 7pm. However, the theater is normally accessible during local school and public holidays too. Visit the website for more details: www.museedelamagie.com. Current tariffs for entry are: adults – 10 Euros, and children – 8 Euros. It is well worth a visit if you happen to be in the area.
Are you planning a special occasion in the future and require magic for your event? Visit David Fox’s website at: www.magician-midlands.co.uk or phone/text him: 07946 686 258.