by Geoffrey Newton
On Monday 3rd February 2014 I travelled to Wolverhampton to attend the funeral of Steve Evans a fellow Member of The Magic Circle and the IBM British Ring. Our other link in common is that we both were employed as building surveyors in the Local Government Service – hence Steve’s self- styled catchphrase “The Man from the Council”.
Those of you who attend the British Ring conventions will all know Steve for his roles there. He acted as compere for the Shield competition where his joke telling competition became almost legendary. He also ran the close up convention competition for the Zina Bennett Trophy.
The anticipated attendance at the funeral service was so great that it was decided to hold it at the Civic Hall in North Street, -envisaging the Old Fallings Lane family church would not have been able to manage the numbers. This proved to be true as the main hall was full to capacity and access to the balcony was needed to provide additional accommodation. I am informed there were in the region of 1,000 people there.
There were several tributes, including one from Derek Lever and a visual from Russ Stevens. The main eulogy was provided by Steve’s former comedy partner Frank Skinner. The Broken Wand Ceremony was performed by British Ring President Neil Roberts and Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians President Dave Taylor. I feel this made a fitting final tribute to a very popular man of magic.
After the service the family and a number of invited guests retired to the crematorium for the committal.
To Steve’s wife Septina, daughters Megan and Lauren and the rest of the family The British Ring offers their deepest condolences in your sad loss of such a loved one.
Towards the last page of The Order of Service Document, Steve’s opening phrase was cited “My Name’s Steve Evans, unless you are from the Wolverhampton tax office, then it’s Elizabeth Kent”. Clearly these were his wishes and made him so much a trouper to the end.
The age of 52 is too early for anyone to be taken away from us but rest in peace dear friend, your journey is over and your pain and suffering gone. You are now in a better place.
Geoffrey Newton, February 2014