The Cyril Critchlow Collection is held in the Local and Family History Centre on the first floor of Blackpool Central Library on Queen Street.  

Cyril Critchlow was a founder member of Blackpool Magic Club, proprietor of the Coronation Street Theatre and at one time had his own museum of entertainment in Blackpool.  He was author of a number of books on Blackpool’s entertainment past.   

For 60 years he collected and recorded all aspects of Blackpool’s entertainment heritage from the 19th century to the present day. Cyril was a huge supporter and promoter of entertainment in Blackpool, and a great collector of entertainment ephemera. He was a member of Equity, the Magic Circle, Blackpool Heritage Forum and former councillor of Blackpool.  

Collection contents

The Cyril Critchlow Collection is an extensive collection of ephemera and printed material relating to the entertainment industry in historic Blackpool.  Material consists of printed ephemera including:

  • Programmes
  • Handbills
  • Posters and flyers
  • Photographic material including postcards, glass negatives, photographs and commercially produced tourist views
  • Archival material relating to Lawrence Wright’s “On With the Show” on North Pier including song sheets, notes, photographic material, programmes and autographs
  • Programmes from major and minor entertainment venues including North Pier, Central Pier, South Pier, Tower, Winter Gardens, Grand, Palace, Queens and so on
  • Blackpool history with files, notes and manuscripts relating to each individual venue or aspect of Blackpool’s entertainment 

Accessing the collection

The collection contains 10,500 items and is housed in 230 volumes.  These volumes can be consulted upon request.  

The collection is kept at the Local family and history centre. See the contents and listing below

Cyril Critchlow Collection May 2017 [PDF 2.87MB]