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Novel way to exterminate litter bugs

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The last time a Doctor Who baddie invaded the village of Aldbourne, they blew up the church in a scene so realistic the BBC was bombarded with complaints over the sacrilege.

And now, 41 years after the Wiltshire village was transformed into 'Devil's End' for the entire five-programme series, a menacing presence has once again taken over the village square.

But while the foe fought by Jon Pertwee back in 1971 was the evil Master, the Dalek now casting its beady eye over the village merely wants the local teenagers to make sure they throw their rubbish away properly.

The Dalek is, in fact, a wastebin - but no other receptacle threatens to 'Exterminate! Exterminate!' anyone who dares to push a button that warns: 'Do not press'.

At 5ft 5ins tall, the Dalek is taller than most of the youngsters, and in fact towers over a 4ft replica Tardis that was also installed as a bin in the centre of Aldbourne last year.

It is all from the fevered, and ale-assisted, imagination of local mechanic Tim Beattie, who said that although the village is rightly proud of its links with Doctor Who - and indeed still has the occasional Doctor Who fan visiting - there was nothing to show for their season in the limelight.

The village was taken over by the film crew for two weeks back in the spring of 1971. They made one story into five programmes for that year's series, broadcast a month later, called Doctor Who and the Daemons.

The climax saw the church being blown up - of course it was a model - but it looked so realistic that viewers bombarded the BBC with complaints that such a historic building was destroyed just to make a TV series.

The idea for the bins came out of a conversation one night in the Blue Boar pub - which was renamed the Cloven Hoof in Aldbourne's Devil's End - and the Dalek now stands sentry outside the pub itself.

"Everybody seems to like the Tardis and it has worked," said Mr Beattie. "It's kept that area of the square tidy.

"I hope that the teenagers like it. I got them involved in the creation of it, they helped with some aspects of the design."

"It's quite topical in the village but there was nothing here to suggest that Dr Who was filmed here.

"And I'd noticed that there always seemed to be a lot of rubbish around the seat in the square. So after a couple of pints in the pub - the idea was raised of putting a customised bin there, one that was a bit different.

"It has been extremely difficult to make," he added. "It took about 10 months to build and I had no idea what it was going to end up looking like but I'm very pleased with it.

"But I think that's it - I'm not going to make anymore Dr Who bins," he said.

AN EARLIER INVASION Some 28 years before the show business world of Doctor Who descended on Aldbourne it experienced a bigger and longerlasting invasion.

The famous Screaming Eagles of the US Army's fabled 101st Airborne division resided there for two years during World War II.

In 1943 and 1944 villagers played host to Company E - Easy Company - of the US 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. The unit's progress through the killing fields of Europe later formed the basis of Stephen Ambrose's classic war novel The Band of Brothers which was transformed by Steven Spielberg into an £80 million TV blockbuster. The Blue Boar pub became, effectively, the officers mess and was off-limits to the enlisted men. But when there were no officers around the enlisted men were allowed in by the owners. There were stables behind the pub where some of the men were billeted.

1971 When the Daleks first invaded Aldbourne, near Marlborough

GRAPHIC: The Dalek nestled outside The Crown pub in Aldbourne, where Jon Pertwee starred in Doctor Who in 1971. A Tardis-shaped bin was installed last year

The Dalek-shaped bin that plays an 'exterminate' message

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  • APA 6th ed.: Cork, Tristan (2012-11-09). Novel way to exterminate litter bugs. Western Daily Press p. 3.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Cork, Tristan. "Novel way to exterminate litter bugs." Western Daily Press [add city] 2012-11-09, 3. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Cork, Tristan. "Novel way to exterminate litter bugs." Western Daily Press, edition, sec., 2012-11-09
  • Turabian: Cork, Tristan. "Novel way to exterminate litter bugs." Western Daily Press, 2012-11-09, section, 3 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Novel way to exterminate litter bugs | url= | work=Western Daily Press | pages=3 | date=2012-11-09 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024 }}</ref>
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