Oh we do like to be beside the seaside - with Dale the Dalek

December 22 2014

WHILE many local residents are bearing the brunt of winter, one Horfield inhabitant is enjoying warmer climes - in the comfort of his front garden.

WHILE many local residents are bearing the brunt of winter, one Horfield inhabitant is enjoying warmer climes - in the comfort of his front garden.
Dale the Dalek, created by Keith Walker, can be found in Thornleigh Road, basking in the ambiance of a sand-covered garden with inflatable dolphins swimming at his feet and seagulls flying above.
Propped up in the background is an ice cream seller, a Punch and Judy stand and a 'Dale's Den' beach hut - all hand-made by Keith using old wooden pallets, props and a lick of paint.
Among the beach scene is a deck chair, and Keith is calling on locals to brave the chill and have their photo taken - while wearing swimwear.
Those partaking in the brave act will then donate money to Children's Hospice South West, which cared for Keith's nephew who suffered from muscle dystrophy.
His nephew, who loved Daleks, was the inspiration behind Keith's creation, which was built 10 years ago using an old Bristol City Council compost bin, a wok, sink plunger, egg whisk and other objects.
Dale has also been fitted with its own voice, which according to Keith took months to install. To fit in with this year's theme, he sings 'I do like to be beside the seaside', and makes the occasional seagull noise.
Keith has been putting on his themed garden every winter, from November to February, for the past four years. Come spring, the garden is transformed into a seasonal vegetable patch.
Previous themes have included the Horfield 'anything grows' tree, where people were invited to leave anything of non-value on its branches, the 'Tate really modern Bristol' where Keith displayed a series of satirical pieces of art work, and a Bristol City Council office.
Keith, a Horfield resident of 30 years, says that his themed gardens have drawn much attention, and this year is the first year that he has decided to raise money for a charity close to his heart.
Keith said: "I read something in the Guardian a few years ago, and the article said that if your garden can make someone smile, then it's worth doing - so I thought I'd give it a go.
"My wife Carol supports me all the way - she has a few queries, but other than that, it's fine. The neighbours love it too!"
To take part in the challenge, and to donate to the Children's Hospice South West, visit Dale the Dalek at 48 Thornleigh Road, off Gloucester Road. Also, follow @DaletheDalek on Twitter.

Keith Walker sunbathing with Dale the Dalek