All you classic Doctor Who aficionados out there might be interested in an epic free new ebook from John Collier, entitled Blackpool Remembered. The book celebrates the original Doctor Who exhibition on Blackpool’s Golden Mile, which ran from 1974 to 1985.
I became involved in this project in April – over a month into lockdown. John Collier contacted me, as he was keen to use some of my own written memories and photographs of the original exhibition, as featured in my 2011 mini-book, Who, Where and When. Due to lockdown, John finally had the time to dedicate to his long-gestating idea of creating a detailed and comprehensive book about the exhibition – and was now looking for contributors.
I completely re-wrote my account for John’s book and one thing soon led to another. I was soon writing more pieces and working together on year-by-year floor plans. This was just the kind of Doctor Who project I had always wanted to be involved in. Soon, ideas were being exchanged, memories discussed, and having put John in touch with ex-K9 assistant operator Steve Cambden, the momentum was really growing. I volunteered to illustrate the cover, but this soon led to me producing several exclusive illustrations throughout the book.
Over the following months, Blackpool Remembered evolved into a much bigger beast than either of us ever expected. The interest and subsequent reaction has been phenomenal. We have met so many great people along the way, willing to share their personal recollections and photographs with us. It has been so rewarding to re-visit the exhibition through all of this, and for me as an artist, this is the most gratifying kind of creative collaboration. It isn’t very often that so many different elements and interests collide to create something really special, but this has been one of those moments, all thanks to John’s vision for the project.
The end result was a gobsmacking 400+ pages long, jam-packed with photographs, memories and nostalgia from over 80 contributors – with several names that will be familiar to those of us in the Whoniverse. It is an absolute must-read for anybody who ever visited the original exhibition or has an interest in the show’s props and costumes.
Blackpool Remembered was released as a free digital publication at the end of August, and recently exceeded 7,000 downloads. A revised version is currently in the works with updates to things like the floor plans, which were always going to be a work in progress, and John has started work on a follow-up publication.
I never thought time travel was possible until my involvement in this book – but it took me right back to 1985, as an awestruck seven-year-old, wandering those exhibition corridors deep beneath the Golden Mile.
Head over to blackpoolremembered7485.wordpress.com to download the free book and find out more.