If you ever walk down Thornleigh Road in Horfield, you will not fail to notice local celebrity and wondrous creation, Dale the Dalek.
A resident of Thornleigh Road for 15 years, Dale is the creation of the marvellously imaginative Carol and Keith Walker.
Dale’s head is made out of a wok, sink plunger and whisk, and his body out of a Bristol City Council compost bin. Lights and a voice have also been added to Dale, perfecting the finished result.
Dale’s life has not been a dull one. He is the recipient for daily visitors, especially local children who come to marvel at him, plus, he has experienced a few unexpected adventures over the years as well.
Keith explains: “Dale was stolen from us once while we were away on holiday and was found badly damaged in the garden of a house backing on to Horfield Common; that adventure actually made it into the Bristol Evening Post. I restored him to full working order and he is now safely chained down in the garden!”
But more importantly, over the years Dale has helped Carol and Keith raise more than £4,000 for the charity, Children’s Hospice South West.
This is mainly around the time Bishopston Window Wanderland takes place every year (check out the Bishopston Mum What’s On page for dates and details of this event!) but also from passers-by generously giving donations throughout the year.
Carol and Keith often create fantastical displays for Dale, updating his surroundings so they are in-keeping with special themes, helping them to further fund-raise for the charity.
Past displays have included the “Deck-Chair Challenge” and “Anything Goes”; the latter involving a notice inviting passers-by to hang anything they wished on a branch of a tree which Carol and Keith had rescued from a neighbour’s garden.
This unique invitation was gratefully received by local residents and resulted in many weird and wonderful objects dangling from the branch, including spark plugs and baked bean cans!
There’s a personal reason behind Carol and Keith’s fundraising efforts over the years. Several years ago, their nephew received treatment from the hospice as he was dying.
Because of this, Keith and Carol want to use the Dale to raise as much money and awareness as possible to support the amazing work that Children’s Hospice South West do to support children with terminal illness and their families.
Despite lockdown, Carol and Keith are determined that 2021 should raise no less money for CHSW and currently have a rather relevant display in their garden.
Keith explains: “We’ve got a display in the garden at the moment depicting 2020 as a rubbish year! All of the items on display have been donated by friends and neighbours and all fall into the category of rubbish! You may be able to see Dale keeping an eye on things for us!”
If you would like to visit Dale the Dalek and revel in his latest display named “2020: Total Rubbish”, you can find him at 48 Thornleigh Road, Horfield, BS7.
If you would like to donate towards CHSW you can do so via Dale’s GoFundMe page or there is a collection box in Dale’s garden. For your information, Dale accepts notes, cheques and coins!