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Topic: Houdini's UK Tours
Message: Posted by: Mick Hanzlik (Sep 28, 2011 02:35PM)
I just received (from the author) the very first copy of "Houdini's UK Tours" by Derek Tait.

A very good book, listing as many known UK appearances by Houdini, with local newspaper reports and pictures of many of the theatres he played in. Really good for research, or just for finding about just what he did in a particular town or city. This will be updated when more information emerges.

I think it's available now from Amazon.
Message: Posted by: houdinisghost (Sep 28, 2011 03:19PM)
Does this letter fit into the 1920 tour.
I know it does, but, the Empire Hotel stationary, the date (May 28, 1920) and the "aeroplane" flight to Paris (with a mention of what it cost). Anything in the new book which lines up with this letter.
Whit Haydn has this letter for sale for $1500.
I think it's worth at least that--all handwritten plus the mention of the aeroplane flight. Very cool.
Message: Posted by: Riley (Sep 28, 2011 03:39PM)
Mr Tait has reproduced this drawing of Houdini on stage


However, this is not the Palace Theatre in Plymouth 1909, but the Peoples Palace, Halifax, November 1902.
Take a close look at the top centre of the drawing. This drawing was given to me by the late David DeVal and was reproduced with his permission in my lecture notes at my lecture "Houdini at Plymouth" at the Plymouth Athenaeum, Feb 22nd 2001.

Message: Posted by: houdinisghost (Sep 28, 2011 10:53PM)
That letter, which Whit may not have already sold, is (almost certainly) to Donald Stevenson, the man Houdini had get the Voisin out of storage.
Message: Posted by: WEASEL DANDAW (Oct 1, 2011 07:14AM)
Hi Riley,

I agree with you about it being the Peoples Palace in Halifax, but I think it was November 1903.

Interestingly, the main Plymouth Library say they have the original drawing & it was drawn during a performance in Plymouth!
Message: Posted by: Riley (Oct 3, 2011 04:51PM)
From my notes (given to me by David DeVal):-

From the Halifax Courier Saturday November 8th 1902:

"This week the Peoples Palace has been a popular place for public patronage. Houdini, who describes
himself as "The Handcuff King" has nightly performed several remarkable feats with "locks, bolts and bars"
and many other things. On Thursday night he accomplished something which eclipsed all his previous clever performances. Mr Lewis Crossley, manager for Messrs T. Gaines and Sons, joiners of Stannary Street, issued a challenge which on the face of it was absurd because it appeared impossible to accept successfully...." etc etc.

The name "T. Gaines and Sons" appears on the packing case, as was usual with this type of Houdini challenge.
So, sorry Plymouth... and Plymouth Library... but the drawing does NOT show the Palace Theatre, Union Street,Plymouth, although the procedure and situation would have been identical at all the theatres where Houdini presented this particular escape.

The People's Palace was situated at St. James Road, Halifax. And unless the drawing in the possession of Plymouth Library is 15" x 12" then what they have is a small copy, probably from my lecture notes, around 5" x 4"