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Norwich road safety magician makes landmark school visit in Larkman

PUBLISHED: 13:31 27 January 2011

Olly Day giving his road safety show at Larkman primary school in Norwich.; Photo: Bill Smith

Olly Day giving his road safety show at Larkman primary school in Norwich.; Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2011

It is the show with the road safety twist that has entertained thousands of children in Norwich and across the county.

For nearly two decades, it has preached the message of stop, look and listen with mesmerising magic and handfuls of jokes.

And yesterday the Olly Day Road Safety Magic Show continued to keep children safe and smiling with its 800th school visit.

Olly Day delivered his landmark performance to a hall packed with pupils at Larkman Primary School.

Throughout the afternoon, pupils cheered, laughed and gasped at the tricks, songs and puppetry that helped communicate the serious road safety message of “being seen and being safe”.

The magician from Thorpe St Andrew said: “Out of everything I do this is the one thing I am most proud of. It’s wonderful to see the enthusiasm the children have had at all of my 800 school visits. They are like sponges, they just soak up the information.

“Even though they may not remember all the tricks, they do remember the messages.”

The original idea of combining a magic show with road safety came from Norfolk County Council road safety officer Colin Morley.

The aim was to use the world of magic and illusion to help inform children of the dangers facing them when playing outside with friends or biking to school.

Cycle helmets, high visibility clothing and seat belts are all covered in a playful routine. And 19 years since the first show, pupils are still mesmerised by the vanishing rope tricks and the puppet, Freddie the Ferret.

Mr Day continued: “In all the 800 visits the show has not changed very much. It is the same safety message I heard when I was a boy. But it is important that you keep the visits going so the children can see what the dangers are and how to be safe.”

Meanwhile, head teacher of Larkman Primary School, Alison Clarke, praised the magician for the afternoon of entertainment.

She said: “The children have loved every minute of the show. I just think that it is a great way of doing road safety rather than having a dry lesson.”

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact Ben Woods on 01603 772439 or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk

Look at the web gallery at the top of the page to see Olly Day in action at Larkman Primary School.

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