Daleks invade an English village to save a sci-fi museum

A home-made Dalek looked set to be exterminated in Allendale, Northumberland – until some of the locals started displaying their own Doctor Who villains in support

Neil Cole and his Dalek (BBC, screenshot)

A Dalek invasion of an English village wouldn’t normally be cause for celebration – but for art teacher Neil Cole, it’s just the support he needed.

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You see, the Daleks – a ragtag collection of toys, homemade models, posters and stickers (see below video) scattered around the Northumberland village of Allendale – are being displayed by locals in support of Cole’s Museum of Classic Sci-Fi, which has run into trouble with the council for its own homemade Dalek model.

“The community have been incredible,” Cole told the BBC. “This story has touched the hearts of many sci-fi fans and people beyond.”

The Dalek, constructed by Cole and his students, currently sits in a shed outside Cole’s home, which contains many other sci-fi props and memorabilia from Doctor Who, Marvel movies and the like.

However, the building is also Grade II listed, and the council have said the shed the Dalek is displayed in outside does not fit in with the character of the building so must be removed.

Cole and his wife Lisa have argued that the Dalek can’t fit inside their home, has brought many visitors to the village and is shut up when the museum is closed anyway – and now some of their neighbours have come out in support with their own Dalek displays.


“This is a silly thing,” Cole, who previously explained he hadn’t even considered getting planning permission to build a shed, said of the council position.

“It’s absurd and people think it’s absurd. And it’s a symbol, I think, for some of the stupid decisions that are being made.

“That’s what this has become – a symbolic fight. It’s not just about a shed and a Dalek.”

And the support for the so-called “Allendalek” (with some locals subtly changing road signs to create the name) appears to have had some impact on the council, who say they’re hoping to discuss the issue further with the Coles.

“We wish to work with the owners to try to resolve [the issue], and have arranged to meet with them to discuss it in the next few weeks,” the council said in a statement.

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Fingers crossed we don’t have another Time War on our hands…