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Daleks to steam ahead on fundraiser
9:12pm Friday 27th July 2007 in News
MOTORISTS around the town will come face to face with Dr Who's greatest enemy.
The Daleks are invading Swindon on Monday before embarking on a 106-mile trek from Steam to Cardiff - where the series is currently filmed - to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
The unusual fundraising venture has been organised by the South West Dalek Crew and will see motorised replicas of the Time Traveller's' nemesis taking to the town's roads before passing through Wootton Bassett on their way to south Wales.
The crew, which is made up of Nythe resident Jeff Palmer and his two Dr Who-mad chums Dave Smith and Brian Jackson, will make themselves comfortable inside their electric creations and drive them on main roads closely followed by the group's converted library bus, which has been painted blue to look like the Tardis.
And the team say the challenge is by far their toughest to date.
"We all met through being members of the Dalek Builders' Guild and that was when we decided to set up the south west group," explained Jeff, 47.
"We got involved with Marie Curie when we were invited down to one of the charity's ladies' driving challenges because the organisers wanted us to lend our Daleks for the ladies to drive.
"We have been raising money for Marie Curie ever since, but this is by far the toughest thing we have attempted."
Jeff spent three years creating his Dalek and decided to build his replica after finding plans in a copy of the Radio Times from 1973.
He said: "When I was a kid I was a big Dr Who fan and I kept the Radio Times with plans on how to build a Dalek.
"I did a bit more research on the internet and found a better version of the plans. I've not counted up how much it's cost me over the years as I cut up all the bills.
"My family think I'm mad, but a bloke's got to have a hobby."
Jeff and his two friends are aiming to raise £10,000 for Marie Curie.
Jeff will see his mates off and join them on their way for the first part of their journey. He has not been able to commit himself to the rest of the week-long fundraiser as he has to go back to work at Tyco Electronics.
The crew aim to complete about 20 or 25 miles a day on their way to the Marie Curie Hospice in Penarth and will exterminate passers-by with water-filled guns if they don't contribute to their collection buckets.
The Daleks can reach speeds of 11mph and will alternate whenever they run out of battery power.
The crew will be at Steam this Saturday from 2pm to raise funds before they set off at 9.30am on Monday and will aim to arrive in time for the hospice's garden party a week today.
If you would like to make a donation to the fundraising appeal, log on to www.justgiving.com/ thesouthwestdalekcrew.