Sunday, 26 August 2007

Dalek Invasion in Manchester

This year, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester has been hosting a Doctor Who exhibition which has proved very popular. However, this did not alert me to the risks Keith, John and I ran when we visited the Museum on Sunday, 26th August 2007. For this was no ordinary day - this was the day for the Dalek Invasion in Manchester!

Apparently, there was no Guiness Record for the most Daleks gathered in one location. The Museum of Science and Industry determined that this amazing oversight be corrected by making a record attempt on the very day we'd chosen to visit.

At first, it was like a normal day at the Museum but then a crowd of people started to gather near the 1830 Warehouse. And then the Daleks started to appear, first in ones and twos but then in strength. The crowd didn't appear to realise their danger - in fact, a number of them appeared to be on good terms with the Daleks but I must have been mistaken. Some of the Daleks were exactly as I remember them - 'British Standard Daleks' as it were - but others varied in size, colouration and even design. Was this, I wondered, the result of inter-breeding or merely the effect of off-shoring manufacture to the Far East?

Soon there was a large crowd - I couldn't determine how many were Dalek and how many humanoid. As the electronic ring modulators started up, the raucous voices of some of the Daleks could be heard, whilst others remained silent or conversed in an attractive North Country lilt. Despite the crowding, I saw none of the terrible violence which is traditionally associated with the Dalek race.

One brave policeman supervised the throng - apparently the Chief Constable of Manchester. Presumably, the police have targets for stop and search of Daleks - he was certainly kept busy on this day. And, somehow, a time-travelling Mr. Chadwick from 1830 appeared as a genial Master of Ceremonies. The day was becoming altogether too bizarre. I assumed that some of those present were from Guiness Superlatives and that they would determine whether a record had been created.

To borrow a phrase, we 'made our excuses and left' just in case there was a problem over the record - the vengeance of the Daleks would have been as nothing compared with the vengeance of the various young people dressed in cardboard Dalek suits. More photographs