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Fire Starter
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Went to London yesterday and the shop that said they had a trick online did not two shops in London dam useless had nothing I wanted ,not even a packet of flash paper or a swengali deck in red bicycle ,never bothered with International magic they never have anything either, Zanes and Alakasam are the best without douht just to far on a train ,or too expensive and a long time getting there highlight of the day was dinner in a Irish pub in convent garden and one of the shops had a chap who did a nice trick with different card in hand, I know how he did it ,but was very good.
Potty the Pirate
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Alakazam isn't so far on the train - also, there's a cool shop in Waterlooville (which is a bit further of a trek): The Merchant of Magic. But frankly, all their stuff is on the internet, with full reviews of the good items. The reason that there are no really good magic shops in London, is that it costs a small fortune to maintain premises there. International Magic is lucky to have been at their Clerkenwell Road premises for decades, so they certainly don't pay the exorbitant rent and rates most would. And Davenport's is now in a seedy underground station walkway (tramps sleep outside all the time). I'm sure again, that this is because it's the only place cheap enough for a magic shop to afford.
Sadly, the days of fantastic magic emporiums is a thing of the past in the UK. In the 60's I used to visit International Magic in Brewer Street, and later in Leather Lane (round the corner from the remaining shop, with a basment linking the two premises)....there were masses of props and cool stuff, magicians hanging out sharing their favourite effects.....but all that is long gone.
Killertweety
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I've been to Davenports two times when I was in London the last few years. They have a lot of stuff in stock (also pretty old tricks) and are always happy to show you as many tricks as you want. They aren't exactly cheap though.
It took me a while to find the shop and it's not exactly located in a 'nice' environment as Potty sais. Fist time I looked for it I thought 'this place can't be it' but then all of a sudden at the end of a tunnel on the left side there it was.
Fire Starter
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Yes service was good in Davenports ,just never had the basic things I wanted and yes most stuff I want is online but just fancied the day out, The Merchant of Magic must visit that one, Alakasam is a nightmare to get to by train took me 2 half hrs to get to ramgate one time 32 pound in fair , you can get a fast train to France but not to our own coast sickens me to the hilt.
Potty the Pirate
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The Merchant of Magic is in a warehouse - they have a good selection, and do have a counter and small display area. The staff are also very helpful and informative. It's tough to get there unless you're driving though. Unfortunately, there seem to be almost no really exciting magic shops left in the UK. We have a new shop in Brighton, but they just carry the same old stuff, most of which you can see videos of online. Great that it's there, but I suspect they will struggle to survive, because they have to charge a lot more than regular price, to cover their rent and rates. Really, I understand the joy of visiting magic shops, but personally I now strictly buy stuff online. Hocus-Pocus magic shop in the States has a huge website, with videos of most good items. Also, I've often called and spoken to Paul Gross, who is one of the most knowledgeable people I've come across in magic.
If you want a really fun magical experience, I can highly recommend the "Maison de Magie" in Blois, France (the erstwhile home of Robert Houdin). http://www.maisondelamagie.fr/
The museum is fascinating, and they have a small shop, selling mostly kiddies' tricks. They also frequently present magic shows. And the building is awesome, with HUGE dragons appearing from the windows at regular intervals. Blois isn't so far away - I visited several years ago on the way down to a gite we had rented.
tomsk192
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Ahoy thar Potty, thanks for the heads up on Blois, I'll be camping near there this summer, will definitely check it out.
Wizard of Oz
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Sadly, the same is true here in the states. Magic shops are going away just like record shops, book shops, and video shops...all gone. No where left to relax, chill, and hang out...except for coffee shops...which play bad music, have no books, no movies...and certainly...no magic.

I love technology, but the changes have been both wonderful and painful.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Bob_Hummer
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Tam Shepherds in Glasgow is a nice small shop. It is easy to get to (it is 5 minutes walk from the city centre). So if you are ever in the city there is no reason not to go. Also - Roy Walton is usually behind the counter. Always nice to chat to a genius like Roy. Also - there is a Pizza Express on the same street. So - there is no need to visit anywhere else in the city!

Newcastle has a good shop as well called The Magic Box. Again - it is only 5 minutes walk from the city centre. So - if you are in the area - you should check it out.

I really like International Magic in London. The selection is pretty good - and often you get to chat to Jerry Sadowitz behind the counter. I guess it was more fun back in the days when he would sell you copies of his magazine as well. But it is still my favourite shop in London.

Lastly - my favourite is The Magick Enterprises in Sheffield. It carries the complete range of Martin Breese products (which is great stuff you hardly ever see elsewhere). And it has a wide variety of second hand magic books and tricks for sale. I have spent many hours browsing those shelves waiting to find an old dusty manuscript that I never realised I was looking for. Easily the happiest times I have had in magic. Also - it has a great group of magicians who hang out there each Saturday morning. And because of the vibrant magic scene there - you will also find many tricks and lecture notes which you won't find elsewhere. Along with much of Al Smith's magic magazine output.

Again - it is quite easy to get to. It is 10 minutes walk from the city centre (and train station). But it is probably easier getting a taxi there since the two different bridges you have to cross over to find the shop can be confusing for a first time visitor.

Anyway - I have being lucky. I was raised near The Magic Box. And as I first got seriously into magic I discovered The Magick Enterprises in Sheffield. Which luckily for me was where my grandma lived at the time.

Later still I got to hang out with Sadowitz and Walton at the shops they work at as well.

And later on again. I discovered H&M Magic Books in America. It is an online shop - but it is so useful for tracking down obscure books.

I wouldn't trade my early magic shop memories for the world. I really hope they can find a way to stay around in the future. Most magic shops sell fancy dress, fireworks and other novelty items. So - there is no need for them to totally rely on the magic business to stay afloat. I just hope some creativity is shown in trying to keep more in business. I am a big believer that most retailers can flourish with the right business strategy. Even in a difficult market.

Joe
Steven Leung
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Quote:
On 2012-07-11 21:36, Wizard of Oz wrote:
Sadly, the same is true here in the states. Magic shops are going away just like record shops, book shops, and video shops...all gone. No where left to relax, chill, and hang out...except for coffee shops...which play bad music, have no books, no movies...and certainly...no magic.

I love technology, but the changes have been both wonderful and painful.


That's right, it is the same on the other side of the globe too.
Most memorable moment - with Maestro Juan Tamariz & Consuelo Lorgia in FISM Busan 2018.

"Being fooled by a trick doesn't always mean they are having a good time" - Homer Liwag

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Fire Starter
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Well keep the recommendations flowing peeps as it can do no harm in beefing up the little shops reputations, it is sad so many small shop are struggling, all the online buisness has effected them big time, so to get a list down of local magic shops in people's home towns is a good thing.
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