MOST young Harry Potter fans have wished they could be in the boy wizard's shoes.

Now they have the chance as a magic society based in Blackburn has issued a call for Apprentice Wizards to learn the mystical craft.

Lancashire Telegraph reporter Fiona Pendlebury has been to take a find out what makes a good apprentice magician.

The Modern Mystic League - Blackburn and District Society of Magicians, which has vintage magician Paul Daniels as an honourary vice president, wants youngsters aged between 11 and 16 to get in touch.

The league which celebrated its centenary in 2014, currently has more than 40 members including four juniors and holds monthly meetings on the second Sunday of the month.

The oldest member of the league is 93-year-old Maurice Haworth who was performing magic tricks until a few months ago but was taken ill and now lives in a care home.

The art of magic goes back to ancient Egyptian times when details were found in a manuscript of a magician known as Dedi pulling the head off a live white goose and putting it onto the body of a brown goose where it is restored to life.

The trick has since been successfully recreated by TV magician Ali Cook.

The first book about magic is believed to have been penned in England in the 17 century.

League members often go out and perform at charity events and are set to stage a magic show open to the public on April 16 to celebrate 30 years of meetings at St Silas Parish Centre in Preston New Road, Blackburn.

Magician Allan Clarke, who performs with the Modern Mystic League, said: "We are trying to encourage youngsters interested in magic.

"We used to have about eight or nine but some found their way into full membership and others fell by the wayside."

Interested young people will get the chance to learn magic at the hands of the experts, some of whom are members of the Magic Circle but must undergo a three-month probationary period to gauge the level of their interest to separate the magicians from the muggles.

One young member of the league recently completed his school work experience performing magic tricks at a venue in Spain.

He now plans to enter the Magic Circle's Young Magician of the Year biennial competition, said Allan.

The league wants young would-be wizards to be able to demonstrate some magic skills already said Allan.

"They must come to us with some level of skill. They shouldn't be coming along thinking that we will show them everything there is to know. We don't want just anyone rolling up wanting to learn the secrets of magic."

Paul Daniels spent an hour working and chatting to junior members back in 2014 the day after appearing at the league's centenary magical banquet, said Allan.

Contrary to popular belief magicians do not automatically know how each other's tricks are done and 'fooling magicians is always great fun', he said.

Another mark of a great magician is the ability to cope when magic tricks go wrong in front of an audience, he said.

"A really good magician can get out of it. Part of the craft is dealing with things when they go wrong. You have got to be able to manage the situation."

The league puts a very heavy emphasis on health and safety for its members and youngsters will be quite safe, he added.

Allan has seen a few hair-raising YouTube videos where tricks have gone wrong including a trick involving a knife and a paper cup.

"This is not something we expect our juniors to be having a go at," he joked.

Magicians tend to have different areas of expertise from comedy magicians who make a signed card appear from a balloon, to those who can multiply billiard balls and make them change colour to levitation tricks.

Allan said: "Harry Potter did us a lot of good. He brought magic back out into the arena. Even though it is based on white and black magic rather than skills and effect we were able to latch on to that and start apprentice wizards."

Magician Dynamo has also been an inspiration to young apprentices.

Allan recalled meeting the Dynamo: Magician Impossible star whose real name is Steven Frayne, at a magic event when he was aged around 12.

He joked: "I remember him as a snotty youngster trying to show me card tricks. He came from a Bradford council estate. To get as far as him takes guts and determination. He is a great person and he's very clever."

Young would-be Apprentice Wizards can contact Allan on 01772 685073 or contact the Modern Mystic League via its website