Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Page last updated at 10:10 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 11:10 UK
Winspit Quarry's water gun fight

Winspit Quarry is the home of what could be Dorset's most unusual event - a sci-fi themed water pistol fight.

Every August, dedicated fans of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy face up to devotees of Blake's 7 in the day-long water gun fight.

The site was chosen as it has been a location for Doctor Who and Blake's 7.

Sci-fi fan Bob Fischer was excited at visiting the same place as the Doctor's TARDIS, and says he plans to return again this year.

Bob where the TARDIS once landed
Bob travelled 330 miles to see the water fight at Winspit Quarry

He says: "It was the insanity of the whole event. I love oddness and eccentricity, and when I heard there was an annual water pistol fight I really couldn't resist.

"It was in the middle of a year when science fiction conventions had completely taken over my life, and I read about this lunatic venture by chance on the website of ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha, the Hitchhiker's Appreciation Society."

From Bob's home in Teeside he travelled exactly 330 miles for the experience, but he says nobody involved can remember how it started or how long it has been going, but he is planning on going back again.

He says: "This year's event is on Saturday 15 August and I'm hoping to make a glorious return to action. Failing that, I'll just do what I did before - fall over a lot and get wet."

Tom Baker and Lalla Ward - Doctor Who
Doctor Who had filmed in the quarry where the pistol fight took place

Where the Doctor once landed

Winspit Quarry was chosen as the place for the water pistol fight because it has been used as an alien landscape in episodes of several science fiction TV programmes.

In Doctor Who, the 1979 Tom Baker story Destiny of the Daleks used the quarry to represent the Dalek's home planet of Skaro, and Blake's 7 shot an episode there called Games in 1981 - facts which came to a surprise to Bob.

He says: "I didn't know that Doctor Who had been filmed in Winspit Quarry until I got there!

"The first Doctor Who story that I watched all the way through was called Destiny of the Daleks, and I saw it in 1979, when I was seven.

"The Doctor and Romana fight the Daleks on their strange, rocky, windswept home planet Skaro, and for months afterwards I used to have vivid, life-like dreams set in this very location.

"I'd been in Winspit Quarry for at least an hour before my friend Kelvin casually pointed into the distance, and said, 'Oh look, there's the rock that the TARDIS lands on in Destiny of the Daleks'.

"At which point I realised that I was actually standing in the location for at least six months' worth of my childhood dreams, and I had to sit down for five minutes while my head went all swimmy."

Some of the fans 'gun up'
Bob still dreams about his day at the sci-fi water pistol fight

'The best place imaginable'

So is a quarry in Dorset a good place for a sci-fi themed water pistol fight?

Bob says: "It's the best place imaginable. I sometimes wake up dreaming of the beautiful blue English Channel winking back at me as I jump off a rock firing a feeble jet of water at a man wearing in a Doctor Who T-Shirt."

"Dorset was undoubtedly the most picturesque place I visited on all of my travels.

"I got there on the hottest, sunniest day imaginable, and I remember driving from Wareham to Worth Matravers being utterly seduced by the countryside around me.

"And I can't recommend Winspit Quarry highly enough!"

Bob has written about his year of convention-going and sci-fi fandom exploration in a new book, called Wiffle Lever To Full!, which includes more on his experiences in Dorset.




OTHER RELATED BBC LINKS


BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific