Friday 22 April 2011

Swincon II: The Aldbourne Adventure

Regular readers will know that I'm a Transformers fan. (Reviews at and Every so often a group of us from one of the forum's I use (The TMUK Forum) have a bit of a meet up, and the last few years we've gathered in Swindon where I live. This year we decided to go to Aldbourne for the afternoon. Aldbourne is the major location for the 1971 Doctor Who story The Daemons. It used to be a right of passage for Doctor Who fans to visit Aldbourne, but despite living in Swindon for seven years I'd never been. So following an excellent lunch at Bottelinos in Swindon we took the bus over to Aldbourne intending to spend an afternoon wandering round the village & church and then a few drinks in The Blue Boar.

The first sign of trouble with this plan occurred when we got off the bus and looked up the road to see a crowd of people outside the pub. So we wandered up to the green and spotted a number of people milling around there..... including a couple we recognised. An older gentleman wearing a hat looked familiar: I turned to Burns and said "Isn't that Chris Barry who directed the Daemons?" Sure enough it was. Seeing Bok sitting on the green and then Bessie driving round confirmed that we had gatecrashed a Doctor Who event that we knew nothing about. Now I knew that the 40th anniversary of the filming of the Daemons was imminent, but hadn't seen that there was anything on!

We then encountered Katy Manning wandering the green, John Levene & Richard Franklin signing autographs in school hall and numerous other members of the cast. We didn't get anywhere near the pub - apparently a beer festival was underway at the same time - which is a shame because apparently the great Terrance Dicks was ensconsed within and of all the people involved in Doctor Who he's someone I really want to meet.

The event was organised by Fantom Films

The complete guest list was
Katy Manning (Jo Grant)
Richard Franklin (Captain Mike Yates)
John Levene (Sergeant Benton)
Damaris Hayman (Miss Hawthorne)
Stephen Thorne (Azal)
Alec Linstead (Sergeant Osgood)
John Owens (Thorpe)
David Simeon (Alistair Fergus - TV Journalist)
James Snell (Garvin the Verger)
Christopher Barry (Director)
Terrance Dicks (Script Editor)
I've got some photos of us at Aldbourne at while Chuck Foster, of the Doctor Who News Page has some photos on his Facebook page.

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