Cyril Golding

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Guest » 11/30/06 02:33 AM

Some tiem ago, somewhere in cyberspace, Roger Crosthwaite posted the following recollections of Cyril Golding:

On November 10th 2004, my earliest mentor, Cyril Golding, died. I have so much to thank him for not least for introducing me at the age of twelve to the book of Erdnase. While cards predominated our teaching sessions, Cyrils extraordinary versatility would often show itself in a variety of ways. One of the most memorable was when he said he wanted to show me a coin trick. He placed a coin in each of my hands and then proceeded to steal my watch. The whole thing came as a complete surprise I felt nothing and saw nothing. The watch was gone! I badgered him for weeks to show me the modus operandi. Eventually he taught me the Golding Technique and I have used it ever since.

Fifty years later Cyril performed the self-same watch steal on a friend of my wife during an impromptu session at one of The Magic Circles At Homes. At eighty-one he was as young and as sprightly as ever. His technique was flawless. I will never forget the look of sheer amazement on the face of the lady in question. Like the little boy of years before, she had absolutely no idea that Cyril had taken her watch.

Cyril was one of the finest exponents of pure sleight of hand that I have ever met. Today some might say he was old-fashioned. Possibly. His repertoire consisted of the Pass, the Palm, the Top Change, as well as a host of flourishy cuts, shuffles, armspreads and catches. After World War II he became friendly with Fred Kaps and Freds influence was much in evidence in the way Cyrils magic developed at that time. Less known was his penchant for the methods of the card cheat. His work on the Second and Bottom Deal was second to none. I still have his notes of 1953 on the Centre Deal. In his hands it was undetectable, i.e., it really looked as if the card was being dealt from the top of the deck. He told me he was indebted to Fred Robinson for the time they spent together in the development of this and Cyrils other deals.

Cyrils execution of the Pass was the softest and smoothest I have seen. Again, like his Centre Deal, it was undetectable. He believed that the Pass must be executed with the hands in motion and often referred to Edward Victors personal instruction in this respect. I was interested to find this and other Cyril-like observations raised by Wes James in his excellent Enchantments book. Cyril, like Wes, paid great attention to detail in the execution of any sleight he wished to master. It is not surprising therefore that their thinking converged at certain key points.

Cyril loved Italy, having spent time there during World War II. He spoke fluent Italian and a number of other languages. After the War he joined The Magic Circle, met and became friends with such notables as Sydney Kersh, Edward Victor, Jack Avis, David Berglas, Stanley Watson and Bobby Bernard. He loved The Magic Circle with all his heart. During my teenage years he became a friend of the family and often performed at the Evening Soirees my parents used to hold. He was one of the kindest and most generous men I have ever known.
Apart from Roger Crosthwaite's recollections, I cannot recall ever reading anything else about Cyril Golding. Can any forum members shed any further light on Cyril Golding? I'm interested in learning more about the man and his magic.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/30/06 02:46 AM

Cyril Golding was an early mentor of Roger Crosthwaite, see latter's Roger's Thesaurus, L&L 1994, p.41, and p.70, Think-a-Card.

You may find references to Mr Golding in the Gen, Abracadabra, Pentagram.
Guest
 


Return to Magic History and Anecdotes