Visiting 'Phil Rae's Loft'

Many years ago I received a phonecall from my friend Phil Rae, and he sounded very happy and excited. I knew this usually meant only one thing, but we exchanged the usual pleasantries before I had to ask him the obvious important question -
'So what have you bought this time?' to which he chuckled.
He explained that he had finally managed to meet the people running the Alton Towers amusement park in Staffordshire England. This was good news as we all knew that the Gerry Anderson Exhibition of mostly original studio puppets, models and props (that had originally been set up in Blackpool back in the mid 1970s) had ended up in a sideshow at this venue. Not seemingly cared for, maintained, or showcased properly by the site owners Phil had been trying to get them to allow him access to the collection, either by offering his 'specialised knowledge' to repair the aging valuable exhibits, or more hopefully to buy one or two of the items for himself.
'So have you managed to buy some models?' I asked.
'Yes' was the reply.
'What exactly, another Eagle, Captain Scarlet, more than one?
'I BOUGHT IT ALL' he said.
That was an unexpected shock and I had to immediately sit down, then I really had to visit his house!

When I drove up to his house I didn't quite know what to expect,
but I wasn't expecting the 'Space: 1999' moonbuggy and Command Center desks to be in his back garden!

See LINK HERE for more Moonbuggy photos

When he had gone to meet the Alton Towers representative Phil had asked to buy some items, but instead they said that they wanted it all gone ASAP. Apparently they believed that interest in Gerry Anderson programs was completely dead and that the general public were not interested anymore .... and this was a year or so before the BIG 1990s revival!
They also didn't want to waste time trying to sell it off piece by piece so instead offered the whole exhibit to Phil as a complete deal. This was an offer that he couldn't refuse and as soon as he said yes (without any payment or paperwork) they instantly told him to take it all home. So he loaded his car to the roof, drove home to break the news to his wife (that would have been interesting to see!), and then organised some local friends and van hire van for multiple trips to move the 'Gerry Anderson Exhibition' across the country and into his house. Obviously there was a serious problem with finding space for it all!
The 'Space: 1999' Moon sitting in Phil's Garage, and the Eagle viewscreen prop.
Various broken models had to be stored in the garage, like this Dorcon spaceship that was coming apart.
Moonbase Alpha storage containers and one of the illuminated 'Danger Nuclear Waste Area' signs.
The 8-foot tall by 4-foot wide (and very heavy) Command Center computer panels were also here (to the right of the Moon).
The impresive puppet-sized pink Rolls-Royce FAB 1 (built for the feature film 'Thunderbirds Are Go') took a lot of effort to to carry up the stairs to a back bedroom. I know as I helped do it twice myself for various public displays!
When you got past this you could go up the ladder and into the Loft.
From 'UFO' the original Jackson Jet (top) Moonbase Interceptor (far left), and Sky 1.
To the right 'Space: 1999' Mark IX Hawks -
The big table at one end of the room contained the large Swift, Superswift (only centre hull), big Ultraprobe, and Space Warp Derelict. Hanging above them was the small 22" Eagle and the first 44" Eagle (with Eagle 3 passenger pod).
See more old
I was offered the chance to buy the Superswift but it was quite expensive, very big, and there was a lot of missing parts, like the legs and engines, so I declinded - I wish I had bought it now.
Above: the interestingly painted Glider from 'Space: 1999's 'The Immunity Syndrome'. Some Alien buildings are on the right edge.
Original Moonbase Alpha Laser Tanks - SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE
The big original 'UFO' Moonbase Interceptor and Sky 1 miniatures
SEE MORE PHOTOS - Original big Angel Interceptor from 'Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons'

Above right: Dorcon Probe SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE - and Metamorph ship.

Above: Original Stingray prototype once owned by producer Reg Hill
Below: Original vehicles built for 'Thunderbirds' -
Above and below: Restored original & replica 1960s puppets with some more modern ones from the 'Jif' advert.
The small Ultraprobe ship from the classic 'Space: 1999' episode 'Dragons Domain'.
The Big Gun from 'Space: 1999' episode 'The Taybor'.
Below: The alien ship from 'Dragons Domain'.
Above right: Working medical monitor prop from 'Space: 1999'
Below: The Taybor's Starship SS Emporium. The rear was not completed, giving access to the internal lights.
Below right: Eagle 1 Passenger Pod with docking tube end piece. 22" and 44" freighter pods, with other assorted pieces like the gravity tower. Some bits, the winch section and booster pack are replicas I believe.
Above : The Altares (The Day after Tomorrow) and Spacehawk (Terrahawks) See SPACEHAWK LINK
Below: Both models of the Altares, which were built between seasons 1 & 2 of Space 1999. Martin Bower believed it was for use on the series and built it using the same Earth technology 'look' he always used for his spacecraft designs. The forward crew cabin was supposed to detach like Fireball XL5. See
44" Eagle 2 model next to the large moonbuggy
Above: The prison ship from 'Dorzak'
Below right: Various spacesuit bits, with one helmet from the film 'Moon Zero Two'(now mine) and a backpack from 'Outland'. Note that several items have been decorated with pieces of tape over the years to make them somehow 'look better' to the viewing public!
Above: A Gerry Anderson project that eventually only became an Airfix kit - The original Starcruiser model built by Martin Bower.

Below Left: Original small Hawkwing from 'Terrahawks'. Space police car and train models from the failed pilot for the proposed live-action and puppet series 'Space Police'. (Which eventually did lead to 'Space Precinct')
Below right: the Eagle hoist from 'Space: 1999'.

Various props from 'Space: 1999'.
I hope that you have enjoyed this photo-tour of Phil Rae's old loft space, a fantastic place for any Gerry Anderson fan to visit especially if you like 'Space: 1999'. It was certainly something to behold and I never got tired of visiting his home, especially as I didn't have to pay an entrance fee and got a cup of tea with the occasional bacon sandwich!
Many years have past since these photographs were taken, and this impressive collection has now slowly dwindled to almost nothing as Phil sold off items and did deals for other collectables. Many fans around the world now have these treasures in their own homes. I myself bought a couple from Phil, and one more from another fan as they occasionally come up for sale at ever increasing prices. I am sure that some of you reading this article will be saying 'I've got that one'


And finally some more photos of the Swift from 'Space: 1999'.
(I believe that the unpainted Eagle nosecone might be the repaired one from the episode 'Missing Link'.)

Photographs by David Sisson and Philip D Rae, which were taken at various times in the early 1990s.
Apologies for some poor image quality but lighting conditions inside the loft space were not ideal.

No infringement of copyright is intended. This is a non-profit making fan interest site only.
'Stingray', 'Thunderbirds', 'Captain Scarlet', 'Joe 90',
'UFO', & 'Space: 1999'
are copyright ITC Entertainment Group Ltd

Article by David Sisson 2020