Anyone who knows me will.be well aware of the importance that the cult television series Doctor Who has played in my life, and you can even check out why by reading my article Here on how it shaped me into the person I am today.
Right now something Who related needs your help! Please take a few moments to read the rest of this article and help save a Dalek from Extermination!. Thank you!
HELP SAVE DALEK EVICTION BY COUNTY COUNCIL!!! Yes…our beloved Dalek has now 13 days to be removed following a letter from Northumberland County Council this morning. PLEASE SHARE & SUPPORT this post!!!! To survive I really need to ask the community to act!
Hello everyone. I’m writing this with a very heavy heart. For over four years now many of you will have seen that I have worked every spare hour to create something truly special in the Northumberland village of Allendale. I have done nothing less than restore a Grade 2 listed Georgian cellar and have enabled visitors to be able to see its original features once again. I have repaired historic props and costumes from movies and television and painstakingly curated, researched and presented them for everyone to be able to see. I have been asked to remove the Dalek by Northumberland CC following a minority of complaints emanating from the Parish Council…this despite the revenue our fledgling business has already started bringing into Allendale…and the pleasure both children and adults alike have experienced passing the Dalek on their way up the Peth (I’ve lost count now of the number of selfies and nice comments we’ve had about it).
In terms of the village of Allendale, I have created a new tourist attraction and have already had over 900 visitors since the museum’s opening in October 2018. The majority of visitors are now travelling from all over the UK to visit and once here either stay in our local hotels/B&B’s or eat/shop in the village. The Museum of Classic Sci-Fi is bringing fresh footfall into our small community and helping our precious local economy. In terms of publicity, the museum has appeared on NETFLIX (I still receive e-mails from all around the world resulting from ‘Amazing Interior’s’ transmission), BBC Look North (with Colin Briggs visiting), ITV Tyne Tees News, local Radio, national magazines (such as ‘In-Flight’, ‘Doctor Who Magazine’ and ‘Infinity’) in addition to tremendous support from the local press (Hexham Courant, Evening Chronicle) also.
My family have helped me fulfil this amazing project all the while I have continued teaching in a local school and my wife works as a CBT therapist in Allendale. In truth it is all the more amazing when you understand that my wife suffers M.E. and our children autism and ADHD- we have all pulled together to bring something quite remarkable and unique to our small village.
The Museum of Classic Sci-Fi has such a positive future- if it is allowed to flourish. Already visitors (including some ‘names’ in the world of Sci-Fi) are booking in advance to stay in Allendale for summer breaks in order to visit the museum. Simply put- they are coming to visit the museum but now also looking forward to finding out more about the Allen Valley. It is a ‘win-win’ for our local businesses and economy. If we can get 900 visitors over the winter- how might our community benefit over the spring and summer breaks?
Now for the bad news: due to some disgruntlement from a very small minority on the parish council (and I must stress here- the support from most members has been terrific) the local council has given me 14 days to get rid of the Dalek and TARDIS car situated on our property. Because the building is listed, we are being asked to remove them. This however is actually a far larger blow to my local business and in fact the village over a matter of a minority’s personal ‘taste’ as to what is appropriate and what is not. I have not opened a brothel. I have not decked the house with flashing neon. No…I commissioned a local joiner (again….money into local business) to build a bespoke, moveable shed in which to house the museum’s Dalek (the Dalek which was built by myself and over thirty pupils from my school ‘Doctor Who Club’). This Dalek model has already brought such joy to children who pass it…ramblers who stop for selfies, etc. It has already online become a local talking point extending far beyond the Allen Valleys. How do you help the local economy? Get people interested, excited and talking about it…and the visitor numbers prove this to be absolutely the case.
Removing the shed for the Dalek will severely cripple my fledgling business. In a time of austerity surely supporting a local business (in a small community where another will be closing soon) is the intelligent thing to do? Georgian Townhouse cellars were historically businesses. All I have done is restore the cellar and opened a new small educational enterprise (suitable for the 21st Century)…we believe the cellar’s original business was that of a farrier- sadly…times have moved on!
It is a very cynical and sad world in which local people can find the time to take such a dislike to something that has given such pleasure to so many already and that will effectively hobble a new business to the village (and locale). I can only assume that the people who have complained have very little else to do and must be very sad themselves- in that sense I feel sympathy toward them.
However….Allendale needs it’s Dalek!!!! I am asking EVERYONE who has been supporting the museum or wants to help in any way- please help us save this very special object at the front of our house! I need to collect a petition and even better- I really need people to write in support of the museum to our local Councillor, Planning department, Guy Opperman….I REALLY NEED YOUR HELP. This museum has always been intended to be a long term project- one that will really bring new visitors into our village. The Gift Shop is now on borrowed time- we NEED small local enterprise to ensure a future for Allendale.
Just to be clear- the argument against the Dalek housing is that it should not be permitted in a conservation area and building. What appears to have been overlooked (or is in the grey area) is that the Dalek is housed in a non-fixed moveable shed- a bespoke one, built and positioned such that it cannot be seen from the top of the Peth and Marketplace. To actually be offended by it, you need to really stand in front of it! The ‘Volvadis’ car is a road worthy vehicle- I will tax this and get it parked in the marketplace- so let’s keep the focus on our precious village Dalek!!!!
Key issues include the need for new enterprise to keep our local communities going- this ‘red tape’ is snuffing it out before it has even had a chance to get going. We have had 900 visitors now (during a quiet time of the year) a great benefit to the local economy during the hard times of austerity. The Dalek is in a moveable – tidy- shed- not visible from the main village at all. It is MOVABLE and non-permanent. The shed was bespoke made to keep the front NEAT and PRESENTABLE- rather than having the Dalek under a tarpaulin (which would look awful).If a dalek requires planning permission…does a gnome????Where does it all end???
The museum is a new and refreshing attraction for young and old for the 21st Century. Georgian Townhouse cellars were historically- businesses with the families living upstairs…this is just a modern business for the age we live in. Living in the 1700’s is simply not sustainable. I have turned a flooded pit into a fully restored Georgian cellar for all to enjoy. Help us keep the museum going and save the Dalek!!!!!
Please send your letters of support to:
firstname.lastname@example.org Development Compliance Officer –
Northumberland County Council Councillor Colin Horncastle. Highfield Farm, Catton, Hexham, Northumberland. NE47 9QT. 07976 677305 email@example.com
Allendale Parish Council contact details. Clerk – Helen Newsome. Email – firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01434 683 359 Hollin Close. Allendale. Hexham. Northumberland. NE47 9AW