FEATURE: Doctor Who fan's bid to make his museum dream real

A lifelong sci-fi fan from Lincolnshire has turned to online crowdfunding in the hope of seeing his Doctor Who museum dream materialise.

David Howe hopes crowdfunding will help his Dr Who merchandise museum materialise. EMN-160811-110103001 EMN-160811-110103001

Historian and writer David Howe moved to the county two years ago and professes to watching the Timelord’s antics from behind the sofa since the age of six in the 1960s.

Since the 1970s, the 55-year-old has been an avid collector of the TV series merchandise, magazines, costumes, artwork and props and holds arguably the biggest collection of merchandise and memorabilia of the show in the world. His dream now is to display and share his collection in a private museum and is looking to raise about £30,000 towards his goal, with the help of some TV celebrity endorsement.

David has published more than 30 titles on the show and worked with Jon Pertwee on his autobiography ‘I Am The Doctor!’.

David Howe with some of his huge collection of Dr Who memorabilia being stored in the unit he plans to turn into a museum. EMN-161011-105034001

He said: “If you contribute to this campaign, you allow me to achieve this dream. It will also mean that all of these magnificent pieces can be shared with other people instead of being packed away in boxes and file cabinets.”

David managed to find and buy a 3,360 sq ft business unit two years ago, moving from North Wales to the countryside just outside Sleaford to help make his vision a reality.

“The plan was always to adapt the building, and make it a suitable home for the collection,” he said.

Unfortunately, David unexpectedly suffered a major heart attack in May 2015, which meant that he was unable to do his IT job for several months, and since then work has been hard to find. So of course, with no income, work and plans on the museum ground to a halt.

David Howe with some of his huge collection of Dr Who memorabilia being stored in the unit he plans to turn into a museum. EMN-161011-105034001

David said: “Without the finances to finish this project, I may never see my collection displayed in the way I always wanted. I think this would be a terrible shame. I want people to see it. I want to share it. I also want to be able to see my lifelong ambition become a reality.”

He then came up with the idea of fundraising to make it a reality and raised £2,000 in just the first two days.

The museum would be open by prior arrangement for tours, viewings and open days, for groups, school trips and anyone interested.

David said: “We are aiming for an opening in the summer of 2018 with a web page for people to book. Entry would be by donation only.”

Commenting on his collection he said: “It is an amazing treasure trove. A celebration of merchandise – all the old toys, figures, games, books, DVDs, jigsaws and clothing. We even have the original Doctor Who underpants produced by Marks and Spencer in the 1980s with Tom Baker’s face on them – they are meant for nine-year-olds, not grown-ups!”

For varying sizes of donations people will receive a variety of ‘perks’ ranging from a ‘shout out’ by David and his wife, the novelist, Sam Stone, to free visits, credits displayed in the museum, books and special dinner parties.

David has also enlisted the help of friend and actor Frazer Hines, who played the Doctor’s helper Jamie in the show, who will join a donor for a private dinner, while another friend, Chase Masterson, who was a regular character in Star Trek Deep Space Nine is offering two opportunities to have lunch with her in Los Angeles during the major Doctor Who convention – Gallifrey.

l Visit the Indiegogo crowdfunding site for more details at: www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-doctor-who-merchandise-museum#/

What you get for your support

David has a whole list of perks that any ‘Doctor Who’ Fan would love to have.

Perk 1 - any amount

A personal ‘shout out’ on Facebook and Twitter from David Howe.

Perk 2 - £10

A shout out on social media by both David Howe and his wife, the novelist, Sam Stone.

Perk 3 - £20

Your name displayed on a permanent official Thank You banner in the museum. As well as a shout out on social media by David and Sam.

Perk 4 £40

The chance to have a pre-arranged visit to the private museum once a year for five years. Your name will also be on the Thank You banner and you will get your well-deserved thank yous on social media by David and Sam.

Perk 5 - £50

A signed full colour proof sheet from the new hardback print run of David’s popular title, The Target Book, ready for framing. (A rare and valuable piece for any serious collector – and you can choose which page you want.)

Perk 6 - £150

Be among the first to see the museum in its finished glory, provisionally planned for summer 2018. There are only 80 of these perks. This entitles you to one free entrance ticket to the official open day. With one free autograph from David J Howe and planned Guest of Honour Frazer Hines (who played Jamie McCrimmon in the Classic era of the show). Also attending - Doctor Who writer Richard Dinnick. There will be a buffet dinner, free entry for you once a year for the next four years. There will be the shout outs on social media and you will get your name on the permanent Thank You banner.

Perk 7 - £130

This will be three dinner parties of four people, joining David and Sam for dinner at home. Sam loves to cook and will be making a selection of her and David’s favourite foods. Allergies can be catered for. There will be dinner, wine and conversation from 6pm-10.30pm. As well as the shout out, a photo with David, Sam or both, and your name listed on the Thank You banner in the Museum.

Perk 8 - £200

Just 20 people are offered a special sponsors’ day extra bundle. As above you will be one of the lucky people who attend the museum on its first official open day. You’ll be entitled to your autograph from David and Frazer, wine (or beer if you prefer) with your buffet, and the opportunity to pose with David and Frazer for a picture. The digital version will be emailed to you and a copy will be placed on the special Honorary Sponsors’ Board in the museum along with your name. You will also be the very first to enter the museum an hour before everyone else.

Perk 9 - £500

Four couples only - a private dinner with Frazer Hines will be organised at the home of David and Sam. Wine, food, and candlelight. A photograph with Frazer to commemorate the day. Your picture and name will be on the Honorary Sponsors’ Board, you will get social media shout outs and a free visit to the museum - your own private viewing - before dinner. A perfect Valentine’s or anniversary gift for you and your loved one.

Perk 10 - £500

There are two of these perks up for grabs. Lunch for two with Chase Masterson in Los Angeles during the Gallifrey Convention for Dr Who fans. Maximum of $50 per head for food and wine. You will need to make your own way/accomodation plans.

Perk 11 - £250

Richard Dinnick is offering signed goodies. With only six of these perks available you will receive ‘Underwater War’ - 11th Doctor Book, ‘The Wanderer’ - 1st Dr Audio, ‘The Rings of Ikiria’ - 3rd Dr Audio - some surprise and secret forthcoming books and comics, an original comic script and an A4 poster of ‘Underwater War’. All signed by Richard Dinnick. Price includes shipping anywhere in the world.

Perk 12 and 13 - £250 and £400

Sponsors’ Open Day perks similar to number eight but for friends and family and couples.