If you are a Dr Who fan*, then it may prove worthwhile to pay a visit to West Ham, for inside their former supporters club store can be found an entire museum devoted to the science fiction show.

In fact, the museum sits at the back of a shop in what was the football club’s trophy room. Gaudy cups celebrating sporting prowess have been replaced by Daleks and Cybermen.

A cheery hullo as I wandered in, and looking around by the door I didn’t see anything obviously museum like, but the cash desk confirmed that yes, there is a museum, and for £3 a person can use the Tardis in the corner to go have a look.

Yes, you enter the museum via a Tardis – corny or brilliant – take your pick.

So, running the width of the back of the store is the dark room filled with Dr Who memorabilia – most of it original from the TV series, and a smaller quantity being props made for promotional events.

Dominating the room are costumes – lots of costumes, mainly of villains, but sitting significantly in a protective glass box is one of Tom Baker’s famous outfits – and yes, it has a scarf.

The Who Shop in East London
A couple of Daleks line one side of the room. They own four in total – another one is in the shop and the last is in storage.

The Who Shop in East London

The Tardis console is from the 1989 stage play 

The Who Shop in East London

For me personally, what I liked about the museum is that it focused mainly on the older stuff rather than being dominated by anything post-2005, as some of the travelling shows have done. Obviously that is in part due to newer items not being sold off to collectors yet, so I am sure the collection will slowly catch up with the newer episodes eventually.

They have a gas mask, obviously, and the shop has plenty of weeping angels. A chap wandered in while I was browsing and asked for weeping angels. He didn’t care what sort of things he could buy, he was just after a weeping angel.

Should have visited a memorial stone mason.

Back in the museum, I was particularly pleased to see a 1980s style Cyberman. I really don’t like the new versions. For me, they lack humanity – which may seem an odd thing to complain about, but part of the fear of the Cybermen was that they were humans who blended with machines, and in physicality at least – retained some human aesthetics. For me, the current Cybermen are too mechanical and the notion that they are actually living people is buried literally, and figuratively under grey makeup.

The Who Shop in East London

Amusingly, they have a robot from the Robots of Death – that’s two I have seen in the past month!

A few glass cases contain smaller objects from face masks to weapons and general costumes from the TV series.

The Who Shop in East London

As usual with museums, not everything is on display and they rotate the objects on occasion. An ice-man is currently awaiting restoration before going on display. A Yeti is in the corner, sitting in front of a London Underground sign.

Feel free to take photos or pose with your favourite villain, and the owner or staff will be in there to very happily chat away for ages about anything Dr Who you care to talk about.

The main store is packed mainly with collectables from the current crop of TV series, although if you look around, there are older objects for sale. I spotted a couple of VHS boxed sets that I once collected myself, and then sold on eBay a few years ago.

There are in fact two Tardis in the shop – one the entrance to the museum, and the other is an actual prop from the film – Dalek Invasion of Earth.

However, who ever thought up the idea of a cuddly toy Dalek needs to be exterminated.

The museum/store has been around since 1984, although they only moved to the current location a few years ago.

For me, the TV show is just a bit of light entertainment, but the museum is nostalgic, and run by evident fans which then makes the shop a more enjoyable place to visit – and it feels better to be buying goods from somewhere that isn’t just piling up shelves because a head-office merchandising department brought some stock.

The museum and shop is open Mon-Sat usual retail shop hours (map link)

The Who Shop in East London

* Yes, I know it is Doctor Who, but I am lazy and Dr is faster to type – and, more importantly, it really annoys the pedants.

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12 Comments

  1. M@

    What? How? How? How have I not heard of this before? I’ve been to West Ham plenty of times, but never spotted this. Cheers for the tip.

    Also, like your footnote.

  2. Ted

    When you say West Ham, you mean Upton Park.

    Turn right out of Upton Park tube, turn right and walk as far as the Boleyn pub (Barking Road). Turn left and walk for about 150 yards and you’re there.

    It has been in this location for several years – before then it was located opposite East Ham tube. Had been there for years…

    • IanVisits

      I mean West Ham as the fact that it sits next to West Ham football club, and inside the former West Ham supporters store.

  3. Thanks for posting this! I’m with you on the new Cybermen, they are very far removed from the “dehumanised medicine” that their co-creator Dr Kit Pedler used them to warn against.

    Think I’ll get my Third Doctor costume out and pop along :)

  4. Lela

    A Mom and Daughter Texas pair will be in London in mid-May and would love to visit this Dr Who Museum. If we are staying in Kensington, how/where do we go there and what should we look for please? Thank you in advance, Lela

    • Jolie

      The Tube. Circle line to Gloucester Rod, change with District line to Upton Park

  5. Kate

    Thanks for the directions and for the heads up about the museum. I’ll be there with my 15 year old Doctor Who fanatic (Tom Baker and David Tennant fan, but loves Pertwee, too)–in May. I may try to stay near the place–it would be easier since he will want to camp out there!

    Kate from Jenkintown, Pennsylvania USA

    • The Doctor

      I think i will just go there with my TARDIS…

  6. Lina

    How great to see something else from the big official “Doctor Who Experience” which fees like it’s what you said – just piling up shelves with stuff. Very cheap museum too, I’ll be sure to visit it!
    Great review, I like that it’s mostly post-2005 :)

    Lina from Sweden

  7. richard hewitt-dutton

    Would anyone know the full postal address for this Dr Who museum in East London? If anyone does could you come forward.

    Thank you

    Richard

    • ianvisits

      You can look up their address on their website, the link to which is provided in the article, next to the link I provided for the map to find the venue.

  8. Bob Pickering

    Thank You for this…we will be in the UK in September and were planning to visit the Dr. Who experience, however we found that it will be closed when we are there for an upgrade to the 12th…. Never the less this place will do nicely.

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