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Mark Burgess
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Caerphilly, South Wales, UK
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I'm not sure how well known he is around the world, but I know that he wrote books and was president of IBM for a while.

Does anyone else know of him, or knew him?

He was my grandmothers cousin, and I'd like to know more

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Hi Mark,

Sorry I didn't know Bill Stickland personally, but I'm sure if you contact the Magic Circle in London they'd be happy to put you in touch with those who did. I do know he was good friends with Jeffrey Atkins (who passed away a few years ago).

The Magic Circle auctioned Atkins' property which included a number of items that belonged previously to Bill Stickland. I was lucky enough to end up with a few of those pieces....including Bill's "Great Presto Painting Mystery" (in which a little model car is painted magically while pushed through a toy garage!) and his Peacock Trick made by Jack Hughes (a one-of-a-kind floor model with table & huge peacock production).

I believe he was known for his "Sporting Act" (which he performed with his wife Poppy under the name "Marius & Mariette"), and in fact one of these items, his Tennis Racquet Trick, was one of the highlights of the auction. Sadly, I was underbidder on that piece of apparatus.

For what it's worth, I hope that helps!

Good luck with your search.

Mark Burgess
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Caerphilly, South Wales, UK
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Hi Joe,

thanks for that. I never knew him myself, but seeing as how magic seems to run in the blood from that side of the blood, it'd just be good to find out these little nuggets of things like you've said there.

Cheers again!

Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Bill was a major player in English magic politics, running a number of Conventions and was president of the British Ring (of the IBM). He often attended the IBM Conventions here in the USA.
james prince
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Hi Mark

Came across your post quite by accident as I was looking up details of Bill Stickland's book - Introducing Bill's Magic, which I'm in the process of putting on eBay

I knew Bill back in the 70's and early 80's, not hugely well but I met him on numerous occasions, through Jeff Atkins who was a good friend of his

Most notably he got me my first professional residency

He was, or had recently been President of the IBM and had been approached in this capacity by someone wanting a young magician to work twice a week at a Medieval Banqueting Hall

He contacted me and I got the job, which I did for several years

So it's quite possible that your Grandmother's cousin is responsible, at least in part, for my having had a career as a magician (when I say had, it's still ongoing, albeit stalled at the moment)

He was infectiously enthusiastic about magic, always has something new and was generous of his time

It was a pleasure to have know him

All Best

James Prince

PS - Looked up a few things about him, which I expect you've already found -

Cover of Genii (1970)
Born William George Stickland
October 12, 1902
Dorset, England
Died May 25, 1984 (age 81)
William Stickland (1902-1984), known as the Wessex Wizard, was a professional performer of ventriloquism, marionettes and shadow magic.

He was a member of the I.B.M. and I.M.C.[1]

He worked for ENSA during World War Two

Wessex Wizardry (1931)
Interesting Tricks (1936)
Join the Party (1947, with Eric P. Wilson)
Introducing Bill's Magic (1970)
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If memory serves me correct Bill Stickland did a cool dice routine, it was very involved. I believe he even used Anverdi's electronic table top duck in the act.

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