The Charles W. Cameron Memorial Plaque was finally erected on site on the 31st October 2003, as a lasting tribute to the Godfather of Bizarre Magick.
Soon after the death of Charles W. Cameron, many of his friends discussed the possibility of having a plaque erected in the City of Edinburgh as a tribute to this wonderful man regarded as the Godfather of Bizarre Magick. Hopes were for the plaque to be erected on the building or entranceway to what had formerly been the Edinburgh Wax Museum, where Charles had enjoyed being it’s curator during the daytime. During the evening he became ‘Dracula’ as he played the lead role in his own bizarre and spooky magic show. This show took place in a specially designed auditorium at the Wax Museum and it soon became famous as ‘Castle Dracula’.
In 2002, it was decided that the actual site of the plaque should be in the entrance passage to the building, formerly the Wax Museum, which lies within a courtyard off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh Old Town. This entranceway at 142 New Assembly Close is perfect as it can easily be seen by all who pass by on this very busy road.
Permission to erect a plaque had to meet with City Council approval and many months were spent in contacting all possible departments and officers within the Council. Finally, permissions were received on the understanding that the proposed plaque was to be of an equal size and quality and placed directly below one already on the site. That existing plaque only gave the history of the building prior to the Wax Museum taking over. That meant the plaque to Charles had to be a hefty piece of cast bronze measuring 15 3/4" Wide X 12" deep X 1/2" thick. Equally hefty was the price of this whole project as far more was involved in it than just the making and security fixing the plaque on site.
Many of Charles' friends and associates in magic, throughout the world, sent in donations to fund this project. Also, many of his local 'lay people' friends were only to happy to contribute too. Alex Wallace, partner of the late Charles and to whom donations were sent, was taken aback by the sheer kindness and generosity of people sending in money. This turned to amazement and emotional times when people who never met or had any contact with Charles generously came forward with donations. This shows just how much Charles is regarded within the brotherhood of Bizarre Magic and mentalism.
Before it's final fixing, a recess was made at the rear of the plaque so that a document containing all the names of the sponsors could be sealed behind it, a 'time capsule' with a difference.
Charles IS rightly regarded as the Godfather of Bizarre Magic, without his input, this branch of magic would perhaps not be what it is today and many friendships would not have been made. His writings, performances and published books have been the significant inspiration to many well known performers in this branch of magic such as Anthony Raven, Brother Shadow, Mary Tomich and Tony Andruzzi (lots more too but there is not enough space to mention all).
In part of a dedication, Tony Andruzzi (Masklyn ye Mage) wrote in a gift copy of his "The Negromicon of Masklyn ye Mage (1977)" to Charles, "the one who started all this".
In a copy of Anthony Raven's "The Necromantic Grimoire Of Augustus Rapp" gifted to Charles, Raven wrote "To Charles Cameron-a kindred soul who travels the same paths and whose writings inspired this work".
The plaque is a fitting tribute to Charles and was made by October 2003, in time for the very special Charles W. Cameron Memorial Gathering, which was held during the weekend of the 10th, 11th & 12th October in Edinburgh.
The plaque (above) was officially unveiled on stage during the event by Alex Wallace and Brother Shadow (who had specially traveled over from the States for the Gathering). All onlookers were then treated to a whisky glass and miniature bottle of whisky by Adrian Harris of the Perth Magic Circle, which enabled everyone to toast Charles and this wonderful tribute plaque.
Finally, at 7.30 a.m. on the 31st October 2003 (Charles' birth date) the plaque was fixed on site by the makers, Charles Laing & Son of Edinburgh. The work was done by Andrew Laing (the present son running this old family business) and blacksmith, Graeme Brodie. Alex Wallace was also present and an impromptu unveiling took place courtesy of Andrew who had brought along the Flag of Scotland for the occasion.
The following pages contain the pictorial story of the plaque:-
|Page 2. Prior
to October 2003, the original plaque on site.
Page 3. The making of the plaque.
Page 4. The official unveiling.
Page 5. Final fixing on site, October 31st. 2003.
Page 6. Location photographs.
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