The family of a veteran Northamptonshire magician whose talent was enjoyed by thousands of people through his career has paid tribute to him.
A member of the Magic Circle and the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Colin Hooton was also a member (and past president) of the Northamptonshire Magicians Club for more than 50 years and had entertained generations of local adults and children.
Since his first public show for the Wollaston and Strixton Sunday school Christmas party in 1955, through years of balloon modelling at the Chronicle & Echo’s balloon festival stand and right up to his last performance at All Hallows Church in Wellingborough just two weeks before his death, Colin put a smile on many a Northamptonshire face.
Born in Norbury, London on October 15, 1936, at the outbreak of war, he and his family returned to his father’s boyhood home of Wollaston, Northamptonshire.
Colin went on to attend Wellingborough School with his two older brothers. Every chance he got Colin was practicing magic and soon his talent started to bloom. When his National Service took him to Paris, his shows delighted fellow servicemen and Field Marshall Montgomery alike.
As well as touring the county to perform children’s magic throughout the 1960s and 70s Colin built a career in advertising. He co-founded Repete Publicity advertising agency in Wellingborough; when he used the Sex Discrimination Act to recruit an administrator he attracted national press coverage and was inundated with applicants – perfectly illustrating the power of marketing.
In the 1980s he re-focused on magic, entertaining at children’s parties, social clubs, oil companies in the Middle-East and on board cruise ships. He could even be spotted on occasion in television programmes such as Casualty, Dalziel and Pascoe and the BBC’s adaptation of Bleak House.
Colin passed away on his 80th birthday after celebrating with his two sons and their families. Neither of his sons picked up magic, but his two young grandchildren were given magic sets for Christmas. His guiding hand will be sadly missed.
Editor's note: Mr Hooton died in October 2016 and the obituary, written by the family, is published today following a request by the family.