A noted Blackpool magician and designer of tricks for some of the biggest UK showbusiness names has died.
Eric William Hawkesworth, 95, was best known as a specialist in paper magic tricks and published many books on conjuring as well as being a popular performer himself.
In the 1970s he was a regular on TV appearing on such shows as the Generation Game, Crackerjack, Magpie, Opportunity Knocks and Jackanory.
He designed tricks and props for the likes of Paul Daniels, Ali Bongo and David Nixon and was a good friend of comedian Ronnie Corbett who died in March.
Eric, who had skin cancer, died on Saturday peacefully in the Layton Lodge care home where he lived with his wife Margaret since last October.
Prior to that the couple lived since 1979 in Hawes Side Lane in a house painted white and tangerine in support of Blackpool FC.
Eric served as an engineer working on spitfires during the Second World War and used his manual skills to create tricks and illusions with the help of his wife.
He also made a house in tangerine and white for the Blackpool model village modelled on his own home.
Daughter Hazel Malone, of Poulton, said: “He was an intelligent, unassuming man who would do anything for you. He was devoted to mum and they never spent any time apart in 60 years of marriage.
“They met in Derbyshire. He was an amateur performer at the time and mum was in the audience and he kept looking at her and dropping his cards!
“He was brilliant at making things. With mum he made two 1/8th scale model steam trains that they used to take to fetes and galas in the late 50’s one of which, Hercules, is still running today in Cleethorpes.
“After the war they got a Bluebird caravan and went on the road, making things to sell for a living.
“They ran a caravan club site in Aberystwyth before they came to Blackpool in 1979 where he had done his service and where they had enjoyed so many holidays.
“They worked from home, he wrote many books on magic and he supplied tricks to many of the big names.
“He loved doing tricks and did many children’s parties and fetes. He last performed at Revoe school in 1998 when my eldest son Ashley was there.
“They bought a little blue mini when they retired and used to drive it to Stanley Park at 6am and sit near the clock tower until 6pm. You would also see them on the Prom near the sand hills, they were never at home!
“You could never hope to meet a nicer person, he always put mum first, he was magic.”
He leaves wife Margaret, daughters Hazel Malone and Helen Montgomery and son-in law Stephen Malone, grandchildren Caroline, Stuart, Ashley, Keiron, Georgina, Curtis and Regan, plus great grandchildren Jack and Jonathan.
Eric’s funeral service will be held at Carleton Crematorium at 12.45pm on Thursday, September 1 with interment at 1.30pm. The family requests no flowers be sent.