Sad to report that long-time Sheffield Circle member Stan Leslie (Stan Whomersley) died on 6 January. His funeral service on 25 January was well attended by his many friends, fellow entertainers and SCM members. Stan had been a member of the Circle since 1957.
His daughter, who many members will remember performing a two-person mind-reading act at SCM events some years ago, read a version of an appropriate poem by David Whalen (Stan was a keen ballroom dancer as well as a magician):
When the music stops
When the music stops, the dance is done
So listen and dance with all your mind and your heart.
Always dance as if it were the last one
Live life to the fullest, make the most of your part.
When the magic is gone, it’s gone forever
So leave room for mystery in all of your days.
Keep a bit of excitement in every endeavour
Once the magic is gone, it’s gone always.
When the music has stopped, and the magic has gone
We can smile and look back at a life that’s well done.
Actually, the magic does live on, in the memories of Stan’s friends, fellow magicians, and those who saw him perform his well-known drunk act over the years. Earlier today I found a VHS videotape recorded at the Regal Theatre, Worksop, in 1991. The picture and sound quality aren’t great, and I had to cut a small section part-way through due to an unfortunate glitch on the tape. But it’s good to have this reminder of one of Sheffield’s magical characters, and a classic act!