New Coventry building named after Doctor Who music pioneer Delia Derbyshire

It has opened on Cox Street in Coventry
It has opened on Cox Street in Coventry -Credit:Coventry University

Coventry icon Delia Derbyshire has been honoured in her home city with the opening of a new building named after her at Coventry University. It opened on Cox Street yesterday (Thursday, May 2).

Derbyshire, born in Coventry in 1937, lends her name to the new building for the College of the Arts and Society. Some of the facilities at the state-of-the-art building include two immersive studios and a large-scale projects Hyperstudio, which was renamed the Bugatti Trust Hyperstudio.

Among the guests on the day were BBC Radio 6 DJ Stuart Maconie who hosted a panel event and a talk with Throbbing Gristle legend Cosey Fanni Tutti, whose new book explores the life and legacy of Delia Derbyshire. The Coventry musician is remembered for her innovative work with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, where she used her talents to create the signature sound of the Doctor Who theme tune.

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Partner Clive Blackburn, who spent 21 years with Delia, was among the hundreds of people at the event on Thursday (May 2). He said: “Delia was born in Coventry and grew up here during the Blitz.

“She went on to Cambridge University and later worked in London, mainly for the BBC, where she joined the newly formed Radiophonic Workshop. Throughout her life, she regularly returned to Coventry to visit her mother, who was always immensely proud of her success and loved to tell her friends about what she was doing.”

Mr Blackburn added: “I really cannot imagine her reaction if someone had told her that one day there would be such a thriving electronic music facility here and, what is more, that it would actually be named after her. She would find it staggering that people still remember her name and that her music is played more than ever.”

Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop at Maida Vale in London in April 1970
Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop at Maida Vale in London in April 1970 -Credit:Mirrorpix

BBC DJ Stuart Maconie said: “Delia Derbyshire is one of the most significant musicians of the modern era, who realised perhaps the most influential piece of electronic music ever, the Dr Who theme, which fired the imaginations of generations. I am delighted to be part of this landmark commemoration of her in her hometown.”

Professor John Latham CBE, Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University, added: “Delia Derbyshire proudly called Coventry her home, as do we, and that is why we could not be prouder to name this amazing centre of creativity after her.”

It is home to the College of the Arts and Society
It is home to the College of the Arts and Society -Credit:Coventry University

He added: “It is home to technology, studios and workshops that mean the next generation of innovators and visionaries are given the chance to watch their ideas bloom and their creativity harnessed. Delia made sure her music was heard far and wide and at Coventry University we give students and the city the chance to ensure they have their time in the spotlight.”

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