|Aldbourne (Daemons location)||East Hagbourne (Android Invasion location)|
|Hurley (Visitation location)||Avebury and Silbury Hill|
After a glorious sleep I awoke at 7:30 am. I came to find out that was a bit on the early side for the other three adventures. They needed a bit more sleep then I as it turned out and we attributed it to the fact that I am much older then they. After carefully descending the staircase to the lower floor I made my way to the bath for a quick shower. Again I am confronted by the legacy of ancients because the shower is almost as wide as me and about 2 inches shorter. A bit of fumbling with the foreign plumbing but it wasn't long before I was done, refreshed and ready for a good cup of strong coffee. A quick glance in the kitchen revealed that Sarah had set out a jar of instant so I helped myself to a cup. I also had a glass of orange barley water drink. An orange flavored beverage that comes in a liquid concentrate and tastes remarkably like "Tang". This became a favorite drink during the trip and I seemed to consume gallons of it. Matt and Sarah made their way downstairs and had (what else) a cup of tea and a bit of toast. No need for anything more as we wanted to have lunch at the first location of the day, Aldbourne.
The three of us jumped in the Vectra with the maps I brought from America, printouts from Stephen's Doctor Who Locations web site and made our way to Newdigate to pick up Simon. In route we stopped for a bit of Gas (petrol) and I was floored by the cost, twice what I would have paid at home in the USA. Simon was ready when we arrived at the farm so he jumped in the back seat with me and we were off to the first Doctor Who shooting location, Aldbourne, where "The Daemons" was filmed.
Simon took the position of navigator, Matt as Driver, Sarah the notable site spotter and Me, well I guess I was just the gawker, marveling at the narrow roads covered with tree top canopies and lined with miles of hedge. Sarah would point out the sites and I would peer through the hedge at the wonder just beyond. Simon would spout forth "Roundabout ahead, straight through" or whatever direction was needed and Matt would acknowledge with a confident "cheers". It was like the dialog from a bizarre Star Trek bridge scene with sight seeing as the main mission. "We are in Hungerford not far now, The Kennet river is on your right" Simon announced. We speed by looking at a stonewall and some hedges as we turn onto the B4192.
Aldbourne shows up abruptly from the road, looking surprisingly like it did in the show. The village green with its memorial, the church and the pub. I half expected a U.N.I.T truck to zoom by. We found a place to park next to the church out front of the house that Miss Hawthorne almost gets her head bashed in by a rock. We stroll down to the "Cloven Hoof" pub for lunch. Ok it's really the "Blue Boar" pub but we don't have to dwell on fact too much do we. Inside the pub the locals give us the once over and we make our lunch order, then find our way to the tables outside overlooking the green and church. The food arrives quick as a flash and I'm having real "Sausage, Egg and Chips" with HP sauce even. (Another check mark on the things to get done in the UK). We were all hungry so lunch didn't last long. I did notice the amazing dexterity Matt had with his knife and fork what eating. Precisely cutting each piece, moving and delicately stacking the assembled mouthfuls onto his overturned fork, all at an expeditious pace. It was a great show of skill to watch. My attempts to copy Matt left us with bits of food all over the table.
We strolled the Village green, cameras snapping away at everything, pointing and generally looking every bit the tourists. Spotting the door fronts used in the show we made our way down the street to St. Michael's Church where we wandered about the grounds. Matt doing BOK imitations and I looking for the chicken at the top of the tower that Sgt Benton shoots at. All was as it should be, as I hoped it would be. Simon led us inside the church through the south porch where he made a beeline to the piano. It may help at this point to know that Simon is a trained, experienced and highly sought after piano tuner and restorer. So as we enter the solemn and deadly quiet of the Nave we hear a VERY LOUD rendition of the musical scales with Simon's fingers dancing on the keyboard. "You're going to get us kicked out!" He just smiled and closed the keyboard. We wandered inside a bit noting the door to the crypt used in the show. After another walk around the grounds and the Green we declared it a successful location visit and jumped into the car waving goodbye as we zoomed off to the next location.
"We are in Hungerford, the Kennet river is on your left. Straight through to the A4 Matt" announces Simon. "Thanks" the reply. After less then an hour of beautiful countryside there it is the B4016. Left and we are there, "East Hagbourne" the shooting location for the "The Android Invasion".
We park at the door of the "Fleur De Lys", the pub featured in the story, hoping to pop in for some refreshments. It turned out to be closed until 5:00 pm and we were not willing to wait that long because we still had much to do that day. To the left of the Fleur De Lys is "Shoe Lane", a footpath to some very old and interesting homes and the location of the scene where the Doctor runs from the Pub to the Village Store where the Android Sarah Jane is waiting. Matt reenacted the scene for us taking the role of the leading man and did a fine job indeed. The memorial was to the left of shoe lane and in plain view so we hurried over to have a seat and take a few photos. I climbed the blocks to take the position Tom Baker did in the memorable MD bomb scene with Sarah playing Sarah Jane giving me a good scolding for "Just hanging about". Simon found the Village Store location and we all went down the road for a look. It appears to be an office space now with the main door on the road disused and a flower box across the threshold. Oddly next to it is a field with chickens and a couple of scarecrows. Returning to the "Fleur De Lys", we take a few more photos and call it another successful shooting location Visit.
A bit ahead of schedule we look at the maps and decide to add another location to the day's itinerary. Not a Dr Who shooting location, purely a tourist site for me. The Avebury stone circles and the Silbury Hill pyramid with maybe a crop circle thrown in for good measure. We take our positions in the car and off we go. "Hungerford is coming up, the Kennet river will be on the right. Straight through to the A4" is announced from the navigator. "Cheers" replies the pilot.
We tooled along admiring the sights until towering above us on the right side is a great green hill. "That's it!!", shouts Simon. "That's What?" I returned. "The Pyramid!!", Simon snaps back. "Where? Under the hill?", my query. "Yes under the hill", the final answer. We pulled over and started a quick hike in the knee-high grass toward the base of the great, green hill. Silbury Hill is an impressive sight but boy was I relieved to find out that you were not allowed to go up it. We made our way back to the car and noticed that we had stopped a bit soon because there was a proper parking lot and observation point just up the road a bit. We made the quick drive to the lot and parked, walked to the posted information and read a bit about the site. Off we went again to find the Stone Circles of Avebury.
"Look! Look a crop circle!", screamed Simon. We all start scouring the hillsides to find the mystical object. "Where!! Where!!" seemed to echo from all parts of the car. "Just over there", Simon points in the direction of his discovery. "You mean the field over there with the tractor trails?", I asked. "I don't think it was a tractor", Simon responded. "Look the tractor is still there", my comeback. Just then a huge rock standing on its end whips past the car left side windows. Sarah cheerfully announces, "We are here!".
The Avebury Stone Circles are a sight to see. Miles of green grass, Sheep dotted everywhere and the bus size stones sitting up and arranged in huge circles. We were all gaping at the sights and missed the turn for the main tourist area so we had to double back and find a spot to park. With a quick look in the gift shop and a photo of me in a red phone box, we made our way to the first fenced area and walked among the ancient stones. Matt having a bit of extra energy raced down to the bottom of the great ditch that encircled the site. The rest of us content to take a photo of him doing it. We made our way to the second fenced area where the stones are picturesquely surrounded by herds of white fluffy sheep. Picturesque, yes. What do herds of picturesque sheep make? Lots of sheep Doo Doo. It was everywhere! Look at stone. Look at ground. Step. Look at Stone. Look at ground. Step. Look at Stone. Check Shoes. Get in car. Oh yes the stones were quite interesting and the story is a fascinating one. The photos are great. I bought two books on the place and will get more acquainted later. Does anyone smell something? Check your shoes!
On the road again to the third and final Doctor Who shooting location for the day, Hurley. The manor house location used in the Peter Davison story "The Visitation". "Hungerford is coming up, the river will be on your left, Strait on to the A4" We hear again from the navigator.
Hurley was a bit of a drive and when we got there we really didn't know where exactly we were headed. Tithe Barn, Hurley High Street was all we knew. We didn't have any reference material on this location so we started driving around and peering through fences. The house and circular barn were found at the end of the road where a footpath continues to the Thames River. Not able to do more then photograph it from the driveway we got our souvenir shots, satisfied with the successful completion of our quest. With a little daylight left we strolled down the footpath to watch the sunset over the Thames River from a country footbridge.
After a successful day at location hunting and we are on our way back to Dorking for a nice dinner. It was going to be a bit late when we arrived so we called ahead to see what would still be open. After some debates it was decided we would do a curry at the "New Curry Garden". We were all a bit tired so the drive back to home base was a little quiet and we made it to Dorking in no time at all. Strangely without going through Hungerford. I was beginning to think you had to go through Hungerford to get anywhere in England.
The New Curry Garden was a small but noisy joint on the main drag in Dorking. So noisy in fact that we asked to move to a table we saw tucked around a corner out of the way. We ordered our food and noshed on some pompadums. Quickly the table was filled with plates and plates of food. We recapped the day's events and discussed what was on for tomorrow as the portions of exotic cuisine dwindled away. Dessert (Pudding) anyone! "Oh no I couldn't", rang about the table. "Well… show us the menu then". I glanced at it for a moment. At the bottom of the page was a frozen Dalek. Well a Dalek with all of it's sticky-outee bits missing. After years of collecting Dr Who toys you know what a Dalek with no Eyestalk, gun and plunger looks like. It was fate. "I'll have that", I shouted, pointing at the Dalek. Simon pipes up with "Well if you are having something I'll have this", pointing at an Ice Cream Sunday affair. Moments later the dishes arrived. Simon's was unimpressive, looking to be made hours ago but the Dalek was splendid. A frozen almond gelato kind of thing that did look just like a Dalek. A sad looking Dalek he was. Matt disappeared and returned with several toothpicks on a plate and Simon tossed a couple of peanut halves in as well. We began adding the missing Dalek body parts to my frozen delight. Quite a nice likeness it was of the evil race. We were all laughing so hard by now that we were all red faced and my side was splitting. It didn't taste as good as it looked though. It was like eating frozen sand with a bit of almond stuck in. The entertainment value was well worth the cost of the dessert and the meal was a great end to a great day of Doctor Who.
Simon dropped the three of us off at Matt and Sarah's and took the
Vectra on to his house. We all fell to bed exhausted from the wonderful
events of Day 2.
|| Back to Day 1|||||On to Day 3 ||
|Photos from the days events|
|Aldbourne (Daemons location)|
|East Hagbourne (Android Invasion location)|
|Hurley (Visitation location)|
|Avebury and Silbury Hill|
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