We are sorry to report the passing of Stuart Glazebrook, the artist who, as “StuART”, provided many illustrations for early Doctor Who Appreciation Society’s publications in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and was an integral early member of the Blackpool Doctor Who exhibition team.
For those of a certain generation, StuART’s stippled pieces in TARDIS, and elsewhere, sometimes working in partnership with Gordon ‘Drog’ Langden, were a vital element of the organisation’s early publications.
Reading online tributes from his friends for someone who was one of the early founding fathers of 1970s fandom, I know he will be much missed, and he was certainly an influence in developing my love of the series imagined worlds, brought to life by so many great artists down the years, both professional and fan.
Stuart’s work was so striking, for me, in the late 1970s, back when the idea of seeing much early Who seemed an impossible dream. He conjured worlds denied us in an age of few repeats, before even home video, let alone DVD, Blu-Ray and BritBox, and stirred our imaginations.
His friend Kevin Taylor, a fellow member of the Hyde Fundraisers who have raised money for BBC Children in Need and many good causes down the years, reported he passed away peacefully, after a tough battle with cancer.
“Stuart, along with Christine, was a regular staple at events through the late nineties into the noughties,” Kevin noted. “Being one of the founders of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, I always felt so lucky to have his support with what we do in Hyde Fundraisers. His enthusiasm in character sparked smiles from children and adults alike at events. He loved Batman, Egypt and cult tv, something I had in common with him. Classic Doctor Who always excited him and, in those early days in Blackpool, he would dress up as various characters at the exhibition.”
Stuart’s partner, Christine passed away earlier this year, a huge blow to the artist, hitting his strength in ongoing battles.
“We were fortunate to celebrate his 70th Birthday in March and he hopefully realised how much people cared about him,” says Kevin. “He is now back together with Christine and we will never forget their contributions to Hyde Fundraisers and their friendship.”
“Stuart took the idea of what Doctor Who art should look like, established commercially by Bellamy and Achilleos, and ran with it, fuelled by a fan sensibility which he transmitted to others,” notes writer, editor and researcher Matthew Kilburn. “His work might have been seen by a tiny few on first publication, compared to commercial artists and the creators of the internet age, but he was disproportionately influential.”
“I first met Stu in the late 1970s, at DWAS events,” recalls writer Stephen James Walker, “and came to know him better shortly afterwards when I joined Jeremy Bentham’s CMS team, for which he and his friend Drog were art editors. I recall he was initially very resistant to the idea of me taking over from Gary Hopkins as editor-in-chief of the group’s flagship Space and Time publication (I think, and hope, because he’d had such a great relationship with Gary rather than because he had anything against me per se!), but he later came round to the idea, and I really enjoyed working in tandem with him for a couple of years, until he handed over the main artwork duties to Phil Bevan around 1984.
“I was always a huge admirer of his artwork, which graced so many fanzines in those days, and his passing is another great loss from the early years of Doctor Who fandom.”
“In the days when A5 fanzines had very little in the way of visual material, Stuart’s art shone like a beacon whenever it appeared,” feels Who archivist Richard Molesworth.
“I met the legendary Stuart,” notes fellow Who artist Pete Wallbank. “Very knowledgeable, very talented and indeed a lovely man. Thoughts out to his loved ones.”
“I was very sad to hear of Stu’s passing,” commented Who art fan and collector Chris Howarth. “Back in the day, we spent many a Saturday afternoon putting the world to rights in the now closed Crown Tavern in Manchester. He was fine company and an all round great guy.”
“We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of one of our Exhibition Army,” say the team behind the Blackpool Remembered book project.
“Stuart Glazebrook was a legend within the Doctor Who community, an exceptional artist and regular visitor to Blackpool. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
“Stuart was a founder member of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society when it launched as a national fan club in May 1976,” archivist and author Jeremy Bentham recalls “who, as curator of the DWAS Art Department, received and evaluated submissions from other would-be contributors, a role that helped bring into the Doctor Who fan world such names as Tony Clark, Paul Stephen-Smith, Phil Bevan and fellow Atherton resident, Gordon ‘Drog’ Lengden.
“It was with a very, very heavy heart that I learned about his passing. While I’ve known about Stu’s battle with lung cancer for some time, it was still a terrible shock learning that the end had come as it brings down the shutters on a friendship that has been steadfast and unbroken since 1976.”
Jeremy has penned a tribute to Stuart, charting his career, which will feature in a future issue of the Society’s magazine, Celestial Toyroom.
Our sympathies to family and friends at this time.
• The Doctor Who Appreciation Society
The longest running Doctor Who fan club in the world, with members across the globe. The Society offers members a monthly magazine Celestial Toyroom which itself is the longest running Doctor Who magazine currently in existence, and all members are welcome to contribute.
A volunteer team who create replica characters from Doctor Who, Star Wars and other franchises to raise funds for BBC Children In Need and other charities
Blackpool Remembered is a glorious Doctor Who project by the fans for the fans, celebrating the northern seaside town’s original long running exhibition – and it was always editor John Collier’s ambition to create something that would be available for free.
Available now as a digital publication, Blackpool Remembered offers fond memories of the original Doctor Who Exhibition on Blackpool’s Golden Mile, delving into the its rich history – and creating an impressive guide that includes contributions from Stuart Glazebrook
Categories: Art and Illustration, downthetubes News, Exhibitions, Features, Obituaries, Other Worlds
This is a lovely tribute to a wonderful man and exceptionally talented artist. Stuart was a real inspiration when it came to writing my two books about the original Blackpool exhibition. Thank you for sharing.