How it all got started

The RichardWho 2003 UK road trip started as a question asked to Simon during one of our Internet voice conversations on yahoo back in May. A simple question, “Are you going to Longleat this year?”, I asked. To which he replied “Sure! Why do you ask?” “Oh, I was thinking of going myself”, my response. I have always wanted to visit the UK and the thought of a possible Dr Who prop auction thrilled me. (And terrified my wife Joyce) It would also be the perfect opportunity to meet some of the friends I have made through the web site. I was hoping Simon could recommend a good hotel in his area and we could drive to the event together with Matt and Sarah. The three being the founding members of the collectors section for the web site. I’m sure you know them but just in case you don’t. Matt and Sarah are a husband and wife team along with Simon, Sarah’s brother, who pool their resources together and have built a most impressive collection.

So how long were you thinking of staying in the UK then?”, Simon asked me. “Just the weekend”, I said. “How many are coming with you?” was the quick response. “Just Me” I replied. “Then you must stay with me!”, Simon proposed. Having never meet Simon face to face I was a bit reluctant to impose. After a bit of insisting by Simon, I relented and agreed. Finishing up the conversation with me affirming I would check into airline reservations and Simon would see if Matt and Sarah could go to Longleat with us.

A day later I received an email from Simon saying Matt and Sarah insist that I stay with them, as they have a spare bedroom and have offered it many times before. Also would I consider staying longer? "If you could stay longer, say a week, we could see a few Dr Who locations and the Dapol Dr Who Exhibit in Llangollen". A week? Dapol? Shooting Locations? Oh my! Oh yes! I checked with work to see if I could get the time off. Checked with the wife to see if I could get the money (ya ya ya) and the time off. “All the lights on the indicator board are green so it’s a go” I reported back a day later. Matt and Sarah volunteered to put together an itinerary and arrange for lodging when we were out of the area and Simon to looking into renting a car.

The Schedule that Matt, Sarah and Simon assembled was magnificent. Fifteen Dr Who Shooting locations, Longleat, Dapol and the 10th planet store in Barking. In a week trip this was an ambitious schedule for even the most fit of people, but a monumental undertaking for someone that is gravity challenged as I. Being six foot tall and nearly as round, with a sedentary lifestyle, this would put my size 10 1/2 double wide Doctor Shoals corrective shoes to the test.

Click to see the photoOh yes, the car rental (“hire” for you that insist). My requirements. A BIG four door with Air Conditioning. “Air Conditioning! what do you need with “Air Conditioning?” I heard this many times from Simon. “We don’t need Air Con here in the UK, it’s never hot” he would insist. “A/C please! I just want us to be comfortable.” I won in the end and boy were we glad I did. With some conversations about the trip on the web site several collectors said they might be able to see us at Longleat. Gary in Sussex, Maduncledai to those that know him, even arranged for free tickets to the Dapol exhibition.

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