Walsall Museum: 90th anniversary of Radio Times display

One of the country’s best loved and most popular magazines is celebrated in a special display at Walsall Museum this September

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It’s exactly 90 years since Radio Times was first launched in September 1923 and the Museum is marking the occasion by teaming up with a local collector of Radio Times to create a special exhibition showcasing the magazine.

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Radio Times is renowned for its bright and striking covers and the display will show a range of prominent covers from the early 1920s right through to the present day. The Museum has carefully selected the covers to highlight some of the key personalities and major events which have featured on the covers of Radio Times, including Royalty, the 1966 World Cup, the moon landing and of course Doctor Who!

Visitors will also be able to look at bygone programme guides, getting a flavour of the entertainment on offer in the days before hundreds of television channels and multi-platform options for watching programmes. The very name Radio Times is a giveaway – when the magazine was founded it only included listings for radio programmes as television was not available at that point. The display also features the many adverts for a wide variety of domestic products which have appeared in the magazine over the years and which now provide a fascinating snapshot of life in the twentieth century.

The display is the idea of local collector Mike Evans, who contacted the Museum with his idea for celebrating the 90th birthday of Radio Times. Mr Evans first developed his interest in Radio Times as a boy in the 1950s when TV was a new and exciting medium and the Radio Times was a must-read for many people. Mr Evans began to set aside issues making significant occasions or special editions. Since then he has continued to add to his collection and now has over 300 copies of the magazine from 1923 onwards. Mr Evans also collects memorabilia relating to the magazine, and a selection of these items, including a set of model Radio Times delivery vans, will be included within the exhibition.

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The Radio Times display is on show from Tuesday 3 until Saturday 28 September.  It can be seen within Walsall Museum’s Changing Face of Walsall gallery on the first floor of the Central Library building. Entry to the Museum is free of charge, for further information please contact us on 01922 653116 or email museum@walsall.gov.uk.