There are some amazing little places tucked away in far flung corners of the UK and I got to visit one of these last weekend – the Museum of Classic Sci-Fi in Allendale.
Allendale in Northumberland is a tiny place of about 2,000 people and yet there, in the ground floor of a house, is a small collection of TV science fiction memorabilia. The museum holds the private collection of Neil Cole who ran a Kickstarter campaign in 2018 to help fund the work needed to turn his house into the museum.
As you crest the hill into Allendale the first thing you see is a garden shed which houses a Dalek (more on the shed later). To the other side of the shed is an old Volvo to which has been appended the top of a TARDIS and sitting forlornly in the front passenger seat is K9.
The museum itself is tiny comprising of just the ground floor of an old terraced house. and is made up of three areas the largest of which is turned over to Dr Who. It is narrow and cramped and if a minibus of visitors turned up all at once they would fill the place. But it is incredibly well done.
Each item on display comes with a detailed description and some background to it. All the items are well presented. It is not just old costumes and rubber masks (although there are plenty of those) there are art works, old Target novels and some interesting props too.
There is a lot crammed into a small space but you are soon back at the end of the tour although they man manning the till was happy for us to go round for a second go.
And so back to the shed…
It seems that the local council didn’t feel that the garden shed used to house the Dalek was in keeping with the character of the house and town and decreed that it had to go. That there is a car right next to the shed with a Tardis out of the top seems to have been missed by the councillors.
It turns out the the local community spotted something that the council perhaps hadn’t – that this might attract tourists to the town who might conceivably then go on and spend money in places such as the cafe immediately opposite. So the locals rallied around as you can see from the poster below.
At the time of writing the shed has had a stay of execution with the decision being delayed for a year. I do hope that the council see sense or else they could be Ex-terminated!