Neil is 54 years old and lives with his wife Mary in the North-East
of England in the Tyne-Valley in a small rural town called Corbridge,
near Hexham. He has a stepdaughter Sarah who lives close by. Neil
is becoming increasingly known as the local 'Who-nut' since he has
had some press while running a Doctor Who club at the school where
he teaches. The only teacher we know that has a full sized Dalek and
half size Tardis in his classroom!
Neil's first 'Who' memory is of Lynx, watching the Time Warrior in
a Lake District pub (age 4!). Perhaps this is why the Sontarans are
still his favorite monster. He also recalls seeing (hazily) Alpha
Centauri and the Ghost of Aggedor. Neil has extremely vivid memories
of Tom's first season, especially Noah's transformation at the end
of the Ark in Space part 3. Around this time Neils parents took him
twice to the Blackpool exhibition where again he has a lasting memory
of being bloody terrified by someone dressed up as a Zygon and Dalek
During the 1990's being skint and going through university Neil's
collection was extremely modest although he never threw what little
he had out. The biggest coup personally for Neil was collecting the
Sevan kits and getting a nice letter from Stuart Evans with an offer
to purchase a fiber-glass cyber-helmet which had come direct from
the moulds used in 'Attack'. Quite a rare item at the time. Neil use
to produce a fanzine, which got a lovely review in DWB, and another
fanzine cover he drew appeared in DWM.
Having started teaching in 1998 Neil was just about able to begin
collecting seriously in a modest teacher kind of way. He had religiously
collected the videos (which kept him going through the lean years)
but realized he had grown weary of the merchandise scene, endless
repeats of subtle color variants just wasn't where he was any longer.
Neil's last attempt at collecting commercially produced items was
the Harlequin range simply because they finally went beyond producing
Daleks, Cybermen and the fourth Doctor. With a desire to own more
full size stuff he started building his accurate Dalek and sculpting
a Davros bust.
Neil has always dreamt of having his own tiny version of the 'Blackpool
Exhibition' that had so entranced him as a child. Attending a Bonhams
auction not expecting to be able to afford anything but the catalog.
He simply couldn't believe it when he left with a helmet from Revelation.
Neil has been collecting TV stage used props and costumes and good
quality replicas ever since. He frames all his collection items himself
and has been trying to get a good coherent display area together for
some time. Mary is very understanding and thankfully enjoys Doctor
Who herself and gave the green light to make a mini-exhibition area
from the recently available spare room now that Sarah has moved out
on her own.
Some highlights of Neil's
- Tranquil Repose Guards helmet: Neil's first original
- Ohica's Gown: Neil never thought he would own
a costume from such a classic as Morbius. He bought it as a 'Sisterhood
Gown'. To his absolute delight when he looked inside the garment
the collar was inscribed with 'Gill Brown'. It came complete with
Bonhams auction tag. Neil would love any other parts of a sisterhood
costume if anyone has any multiples (like the tabard or hat).
- Pirate Planet Guard under-jacket: The basic tunic
for the black guards, sadly without the waistcoat top part. Neil
is thrilled to own an item from Tom's tenure, The doctor when he
was a kid.
- Terry Molloy's rehearsal mask from The Trial of
Davros. Neil won it in the auction after the play. Terry was the
auctioneer for this item and the Davros chair. The bidding was quite
fierce but Neil bought it on the condition Terry would sign it for
him (which he did after the auction, meeting me backstage to give
it to me personally). The mask was one of about three & was used
by Terry as the wear on the back around the pres-studs attests.
- Axon tentacle pieces: obtained from Mick Mall,
although Neil's stepdaughter refers to them as 'expensive turds'
Neil sealed the fragile pieces in resin and matt lacquer.
- Twin Dillema: Twins Room set Design: A very worn
document with allsorts of on set jottings.
- Field-Major Styre: a small and accurate model
of his favorite villain. Neil sculpted it in clay and resin (around