THERE was no trickery at work when Kirkcaldy Magic Circle disappeared from the town recently.
Instead it was a gradual loss of numbers which led to the once thriving group being forced into abeyance.
But the four or five surviving magic men, who are all still practising their art in various guises, are hoping that it won't be long before they are pulling rabbits from hats and wowing people with the quickness of their hand once more.
In the meantime, they are still honing their skills by joining forces with the Perth Magic Circle, where they attend regular meetings.
Kirkcaldy Magic Circle was one of the original groups to be formed by a group of fire fighters operating from the town's fire station during the Second World War.
It was set up as a form of wartime entertainment in 1942 when it was known as the Lang Toon Legerdemainiacs.
The Kirkcaldy group then helped set up the Scottish Association of Magic Societies with groups forming around the country to entertain people in live variety shows and concert halls.
In its heyday during the 1960s and 70s it regularly attracted 15-20 members who were in constant demand to perform in clubs and at events around the Kingdom.
But over the past few decades as the demand for live entertainment and variety type shows declined, so did the Kirkcaldy group.
Current president Jim Boyd from Glenrothes says it is a sign of the times.
"It is really a case of age catching up with us, with older members dying and other members leaving Fife, and no new people coming in to replace them," he explained.
"We made a decision a long time ago that we would not take members under the age of 16 as there was a lot of red tape such as Disclosure forms involved, and all our remaining members are over 40.
"Live entertainment has also virtually died out – apart from singers in clubs and pubs, there is not much call for other variety type acts.
"Some members do children's parties or table hopping type entertainment in restaurants, which is quite popular, and we do the odd charity events, but it is not on the same scale as it used to be."
Over the years Kirkcaldy Magic Circle met in Kirkcaldy Deaf Institute and the Archery Club in the Gallatown, before moving to office accommodation in Glenrothes.
"With the decline in numbers it was no longer feasible for us to continue, but one of our members went along to the Perth meeting, and the remainder followed.
"There are groups in Edinburgh and St Andrews, with the St Andrews group just forming a few years ago through the students there, so it is not all doom and gloom.
"Hopefully this won't be the end of the road for the Kirkcaldy Magic Circle, and if the interest does pick up again in the future, then it could be resurrected."
Anyone interested in finding out more can contact Mr Boyd on (01592) 771217.