March 7 2014 Latest news:
Alex Hurrell, Reporter
Friday, May 24, 2013
A unique and major new tourist attraction for Norfolk will open its doors on Saturday.
Davenport’s Magic Kingdom, based in North Walsham, will offer visitors the chance to marvel at 15,000 sq ft of space devoted to illusion, conjuring and mystery stretching back through history.
Roy Davenport, the driving force behind the attraction, said an official opening would be held at the end of June when his mother Betty would cut the ribbon at an event attended by fellow magician Paul Daniels.
The lid will be lifted on the first of the building’s mysteries at 10am when visitors step into the Cromer Road attraction and become the first members of the public to wander through its elaborate interior.
Ian Westbrook, of Gorleston-based 3D Creations, has spent the past few weeks inside recreating the Davenport family’s 1920s magic shop in London’s New Oxford Street, the facade of the capital’s famous 19th century Egyptian Hall of curiosities, and a small part of Tudor Norwich.
Lorries and vans loaded with intriguing items have been arriving at the site all week as final preparations have been made for Saturday.
Many have contained the Davenport family’s collection of magical items amassed over five generations.
The collection has been in storage waiting for Saturday’s realisation of the family’s 30-year dream.
“We’re building to a peak of activity with tons of people working on site to make sure we open on time and that people enjoy a unique experience,” said Mr Davenport.
“I’m feeling buoyant and nervous. There is a lot of expectation from everybody which I hope - know - we can fulfil.”
As well as walking through a timeline of magic, visitors will also be able to enjoy a live magic show, performed by Mr Davenport, in the attraction’s theatre.
The building, which is close to Waitrose and was formerly a Crane Fruehauf trailer factory, also features a café and shop.
■ Online booking is advised as entry to the live show is timed. See www.davenportsmagickingdom.co.uk for more information.
■ Tools worth thousands of pounds have been doing their own magic disappearing act from the site this month.
Compressors, drills, batteries, chargers and electric screwdrivers were among a haul stolen between 9.20am on Saturday May 11 and 7am on Monday May 13 when thieves cut a wire fence, which runs alongside Link Road, and forced a roller door. A security guard is now on site overnight. Anyone with information should contact PC Mark Brooks on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.