Dalek Faces Ultimate Enemy in Northumberland County Council

By Gary Cutlack on at

A man who built a sizeable science fiction museum in a cellar in Northumberland is currently in a battle with his regional equivalent of Thanos, thanks to the local council demanding he removes a wooden shed built to protect a Dalek from the elements.

Neil Cole's Museum of Classic Sci-Fi is based on his recollections of the Doctor Who Blackpool Museum he visited as a child, with the basement housing collections of Doctor Who, Alien, Star Wars and Star Trek memorabilia, trivia and props. But it is mostly about Doctor Who, with Cole saying his rooms house one of the largest collections of artifacts from classic-era Who in the UK, including numerous on-screen props and some actual monster costumes. And more importantly, it's a thing to do in Allendale.

The main entrance is guarded by a sentinel Dalek, a replica Cole built with the assistance of schoolchildren – he's stuck being an art teacher in this timeline – to pull in the passers-by. This is protected from the Northumberland elements by a homemade wooden shed, a shed that must be destroyed according to Northumberland County Council, because it was built without planning permission, despite only being Dalek-sized and clearly not even concreted in to anything.

Cole has put in a retrospective planning app for the Dalek shelter that is filled with positive letters of support from locals, and said: "If it hadn't been for the amazing local support we probably would've packed up by now. Hopefully the council will see how loved it is – I've just gone out on a limb and tried to create something unique." [Guardian]