If you were in Blackpool 49 years ago, you would have had been among the first of thousands to visit the city’s Doctor Who exhibition that would go down in history.
It was a great year for Blackpool, and their long-running daily newspaper The Gazette has collected an archive of images from 1974 including several of the seaside resort’s famed Doctor Who exhibition.
Opened in April 1974 while Season 11 featuring the Third Doctor was on air, it remained an active exhibition all the way through to October 1985, by which point Season 22 – the first featuring the Sixth Doctor – had already been broadcast. When the show returned to air almost 20 years later, the exhibition was revived too and ran for several more years through the eras of the Ninth and Tenth Doctors.
A police box formed the external entrance to the exhibition on Blackpool’s Central Promenade, and with people piling in, it formed the illusion that it was bigger on the inside. It in fact connected to the actual entrance, which then led down into the large exhibition space.
While it was not compulsory for the Doctors themselves to attend, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, and Colin Baker all did visit during their tenures and were usually accompanied by their on-screen companions. A couple of them made sure that they were in costume too.
Take a look at The Gazette‘s website for sights such as the psychic spiders from Metebelis Three (Planet of the Spiders) and a chocolate Dalek being admired/attacked by Jon Pertwee and Elizabeth Sladen, all taken during the launch of the exhibition just before it became open to the public. And if you want to see what happened after the opening… take a peek.
The exhibition left an impact on the people who visited it and worked there, and a few years ago, there was even a book written about it.