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Creator of Daleks

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1991-01-02 Uxbridge and West Drayton Gazette.jpg


THE creator of one of television's most menacing characters, the Dalek, has died aged 73.

Model maker Bill Roberts, of Swallow Street, Ives, begat his career in 1945 at a firm in Heston. He set up Shawcraft Models Ltd in 1947.

Originally established in Bill's back garden at Southall, the company rapidly expanded to premises in Rockingham Road, Uxbridge. Its proximity to leading film and television studios meant the firm's expertise was often in demand.

It was responsible for creating a 40ft model of the Titanic for Night To Remember, as well as all the 30ft nine-ton ships in Sink The Bismarck. It was not long before the BBC was interestedin Bill's services. When the Dr Who series started, Shawcraft was respoosible for every detail, from the largest explosion to the smallest star. Props such as the Tardis and the Daleks were also created by Bill and his team.

Dr Who writer Terry Nation asked for "unearthly creatures, probably robots" to grapple with the doctor. One of the BBC's chief designers, Raymond Cusick, designed the Dalek, which was then "brought to life" by Bill.

Bill retired three years ago but remained very active.

Victor Bowden, who now runs the company. said: "To Bill, retirement was just another word, and it was back to his garage again, this time working for pleasure and enjoyment."

He and his wife, Anne, were married in 1939. She died in June.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1991-01-02). Creator of Daleks. Uxbridge and West Drayton Gazette p. 3.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Creator of Daleks." Uxbridge and West Drayton Gazette [add city] 1991-01-02, 3. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Creator of Daleks." Uxbridge and West Drayton Gazette, edition, sec., 1991-01-02
  • Turabian: "Creator of Daleks." Uxbridge and West Drayton Gazette, 1991-01-02, section, 3 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Creator of Daleks | url= | work=Uxbridge and West Drayton Gazette | pages=3 | date=1991-01-02 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=16 April 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Creator of Daleks | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=16 April 2024}}</ref>