About us



Author : Len Wilkinson - President of MEMS (1988 - 2016) Deceased.

The year was 1967. The Venue - The Marconi Club in Chelmsford. The event was a stage of the British pre snooker Championship. During the interval, cabaret was provided by a young (ish) magician operating under the name of Marco The Mystic. In the audience was another magician named Ray Cooper. He introduced himself and found out that Marco's real name was Len Wilkinson. Ray said that he was thinking of forming a magical society in Chelmsford and they agreed to keep in touch.

Jump ten years to 1977. A friend of Ray's wife said there was a magician in her office and it turned out to be Marco! The spark had rekindled! Ray rang Len to see if he was still interested in forming a society and by an amazing coincidence, Len had taken a call that very week from a Mr Keith Charnley in Witham suggesting the self same thing! They agreed to meet at Len's house on 6th April 1977. 

Jamie Williamson - Chairman, Jack Strong - Public Relations Office, Keith Charnley - Secretary, Ray Cooper, Len Wilkinson, Des Thirkettle, Kevin Law (Junior Member)

These gentlemen were installed as Founder Members and were called 'The Committee'. Provisional rules were agreed upon and the committee also decided upon a title – hereinafter called 'The Mid Essex Magical Society' (M.E.M.S.)

St. John's Hospital asked us if the club could do a show at the hospital. It was decided to present a full evenings magic show which was to be the first ever MEMS show. Members who performed were Colin Wade (who with Wendy became Colinski & Flame), Keith Charnley (later known as Keith the Thief), Ray Cooper, Len Wilkinson, Jim Sinclair, Kevin Law and a new member Simon Lovell. 

In 1980 we moved to the George Hotel in Witham and met in a room at the back. Amongst our lecturers were Ali Bongo and Wally Boyce, sadly neither of whom are still with us. During this period, Ken Pumphrey took over as Secretary/Treasurer and edited the MEMS magazine. After a few years there, we moved to The Wheatsheaf pub in Hatfield Peverel. We continued with our monthly meetings and our annual dinners, which were always successful. We also put on shows in Chelmsford, Colchester and surrounding areas. At this time (1997) Michael Alderman MIMC was elected Secretary, Len Wilkinson AIMC was elected President and the late George Key edited the MEMS magazine.

We then moved to the White Hart in Witham for a short time. One of our members, Stuart Hammond, owned a restaurant in Ingatestone and he said we could meet there, so we met at his restaurant for a  few months, but it was quite a trek for most of our members, so we looked around for somewhere else to meet. We eventually found a pub in Sandon, just outside Chelmsford, called The Crown, so we moved there in 1999 and had some very pleasant meetings there.

After several years there, the pub caught fire and so we had to look again for somewhere to meet. We managed to find a very nice pub in Danbury.

We now meet once a week, with a lecturer once a month or so and the club has grown from strength to strength with quite a few young members. We enjoy doing our MEMS charity shows which are always very well received.  Our annual dinners are always well attended and our future looks bright.


Photo - Left to Right - Len Wilkinson (President), Keith Charnley, Ray Cooper

People Always Loved Magic, Solely Because Of How Entertaining Watching All These Tricks Is.