Daleks doing good

From left, Dean Stoner, Chris Mayhew and Adrian Goff, watched by the Daleks. Picture: Liz Pearce 14/08/2017
From left, Dean Stoner, Chris Mayhew and Adrian Goff, watched by the Daleks. Picture: Liz Pearce 14/08/2017

Daleks looked on as Sons of Skaro squad owner Dean Stoner and Adrian Goff presented Chris Mayhew with a cheque for Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust.

The £2,852.56 total was raised by raffling off a full-size, working Dalek, at conventions throughout the year and the draw took place at London Film and Comic Con.

Dean said: “We chose Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance as our nominated charity for this year’s fundraising as I own Whiteways Café on Bury Hill. Being a predominantly bikers café, I felt the air ambulance was something that was close to me and my customers.”

Dean, who lives in Arundel, set up Sons of Skaro with a small group of Dr Who fans who also own Daleks.

He met up with Robert Phillips, who built his first Dalek, last year and it was then that the charity work started.

Dean explained: “We decided it was silly having these Daleks and not to do anything with them, so we formed the group the Sons of Skaro to raise money for charity at the events we attend.

“The line-up consists of my boys, Dalek Dean, Dalek Dacien, Dalek Ignatius, Dalek Bob - he’s pink and the only one in the village, Dalek AD and Dalek Muto. Then Robert Phillips has Dalek Jast, Raymond Hyde has Dalek Dolly and Robert Cowley has Dalek Skaros. Rob P. lives in Laceby, Ray Lives in Barnsley and Rob C. lives in South Cerney, so we cover a wide area of the country.”

The full-size, working Dalek squad is used to raise funds for charity by attending conventions and selling merchandise.

Dean said: “My first-ever memory as a child is Doctor Who. I remember being petrified of this hand crawling across the floor. The episode was a Tom Baker story called The Hand of Fear. That was broadcast in 1976, meaning I was four years old. I blame this for my life-long arachnophobia, which I’m sure stems from seeing that hand crawl across the floor.

“I spent my whole life following Dr Who back in the days when it wasn’t cool - unlike now. I remember in, I think, 1989 or 1990, getting my month’s wages and spending the whole lot on the first-ever video releases of Dr Who. Back then they cost about £40 each but I didn’t care. I had to have them.

“That then led to me buying every single episode of Dr Who on video over the years. Even when they re released some with different covers but the same story, I still had to have them. I think I had four or five copies of the same story, just because the covers were different.

“I used to have a Dr Who room but I’m now relegated to a Dr Who shed. I have all kinds of memorabilia, from signed photos to a copy of a newspaper from the day Dr Who was first aired back on November 23, 1963. Obviously, growing up with him for many years, Tom Baker was my ‘Dr’ and always will be.

“I had the pleasure of being in the same room as him many times but I’ve always been in such awe of him that I could never bring myself to talk to him. So much so that I went to a book signing once in Worthing and ended up buying a pre-signed copy of his book as I couldn’t face asking him myself.”

Watch Tom Baker’s reaction to Dean’s life-long arachnophobia here:- vimeo.com/153494529

Dean has met many of the Dr Who actors since he started out on the Comic Con circuit.

In September, the Sons of Skaro have been invited to a convention in Europe for the first time, for Antwerp Comic Con.