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.
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.