Looking back... Top magicians cast a spell over Newtownabbey audience

Newtownabbey hosted a magic convention in May 1984.

The three-day event was hosted by the Edenmore Hotel in Whiteabbey, supported by the Irish Magical Society.

Seventy magicians from Ireland, Britain and one from the United States took part.

They were officially welcomed to the borough by the Mayor, Councillor Leslie Caul.

One of the highlights was a children’s magic show held at the Valley Leisure Centre.

Entertainment included juggling and clown acts. There was also an appearance by local comedienne Marjorie Rea.

Paul Yates, Newtownabbey Borough Council’s arts officer, said that the show would feature top ranking magicians.

He added: “It would not have been possible to stage a show featuring this calibre of acts otherwise, especially for such a reasonable admission fee.”

The cost of admission was 50 pence. Proceeds were donated to charity.

The magicians’ convention was held in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in alternate years.

Newtownabbey was selected as the location due to its proximity to the airport and harbours.