Dalek Lands in Gorton as Sound of Dr Who is Heard in Manchester

23 Mar

Dalek meets its match at Belle Vue in 1965. Photograph courtesy of P. Stanley.

This is a black and white print of a press photograph print taken at Belle Vue on Janaury 26th 1965.

It shows a Dalek from BBC cult science fiction series, Dr Who, posing with an elephant at Belle Vue’s Zoological Gardens in Gorton.

The press release that accompanied the photo read: The Daleks of the BBC television series Doctor Who take to the ring with elephants at Belle Vue Circus in Manchester, 26th January 1965.

In 2008, lost audio tapes created by legendary Dr Who composer and First Lady of Techno, Delia Derbyshire were donated to University of Manchester for cataloging and preservation.

Delia Derbyshire at work in 1965. Courtesy M. Guy.

Created at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop between 1962-1973, the 267 tapes reveal her ground breaking work, including early experiments in electronic music and in particular her realisation of the famous Dr Who theme music (link at bottom of page) composed by Ron Grainer. Derbyshire was the one who did all the fantastic weird and wonderful sound distortions.

Further information on the archive of 267 works held by University of Manchester can be found by clicking this link.

Just goes to show you there is still value in unearthing long forgotten tapes! Well unless your are poor ITV X FACTOR judge Tulisa Contostavlos who only wishes her more personal tapes were still very much hidden!

Belle Vue Zoological Gardens included a zoo, amusement park, exhibition hall complex and speedway stadium opened in 1836 and eventually closed in 1987. The speedway however is still going strong and remains very popular and is home to the world famous Belle Vue Aces. Belle Vue Stadium as its officially called is also home to Manchester greyhound racing. Notable for holding the first race on an oval track in 1926.

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2 Responses to “Dalek Lands in Gorton as Sound of Dr Who is Heard in Manchester”

  1. David April 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Why use ‘cult’ when saying science fiction series and not say cult when talking
    about football?


    • HistoryME April 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      Hi David

      Very nice to hear from you. I used the word ‘cult’ in the context of a particular science fiction series, Dr Who.

      As I believe it’s origins lie in something that wouldn’t immediately be thought of as having a following and the people who have followed the show over the years have developed a very particular type of following or community, similar to those who may follow Star Trek (‘Trekkies’) and not necessarily reflective of the general public as I’d say football
      fans in general are.

      However, I have friends who support particular clubs who you would most certainly put in the cult following bracket.

      Very interesting point though.


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