It was a close run between this and a wall clock I bought from the lovely Donald and Miss June Vintage, but this Doctor Who 1978 annual is my favourite find from January’s Vintage Village.
A few months older than I am, it was published in 1977 by World Distributors (Manchester) Limited (based on Lever Street in Manchester, near where I work now), and originally cost £1.35. It’s 62 pages full of comic strips, stories, and maths and science puzzles and trivia, plus a weirdly incongruous page of joke cartoons.
There is also a quiz and a crossword filled in by the original owner, a certain Craig Lee Gibbons from Abbey Road in Sale. His mum, presumably, wrote his name and address down on the contents page, for him to trace over in fountain pen. Philip Wood (a second owner? Craig’s friend? Craig’s enemy?) has also scrawled his name in the front, in grey crayon.
I love the artwork, which I guess has been done by tracing photos or film stills. And there’s some seriously amazing typography – much of it obviously hand drawn.
Even though I don’t remember Tom Baker as Doctor Who (I can see snippets of Peter Davison, and watched Colin Baker but found him creepy – so Sylvester McCoy was my Doctor) I can imagine the excitement of receiving this book – I bet Craig Lee Gibbons was chuffed on Christmas morning.
And I hope Craig would be pleased to know that his annual will be going to a good home – joining a growing library of other annuals and 1970s books in our vintage-retro decorated holiday cabin in west Wales. It will feel right at home alongside an Elvis annual, and a framed picture of K9.