Next I put a bar magnet on the end. Power was applied and nothing happened. As there was a spark when I connected the wires to the batteries, it was not lack of power. Clearly I had to reverse the polarity. Thus, the polarity was reversed and a spark proved there was a circuit. The bar magnet didn't budge!
That was rather odd. I have no idea why nothing is working. The identical magnets should have repelled each other. I tried a permanent magnet on the bought electromagnet with the same lack of effect. Next I tried a bought electromagnet on my homemade electromagnet and the same thing happened or rather didn't happen.
Now I'm rather depressed. I just don't know why what would appear to be fairly standard physics aren't working. Either there's a factor I'm missing or physics laws don't apply any more; possibly this is an indicator of the end tymes.
The only other thing to try is a bar magnet and a simple coil - if that doesn't work then I'll be totally stumped!