TARDIS—an acronym standing for ‘time and relative dimension in space’; Doctor Who’s own, personal time machine; and a blue-painted phone box said to be alive. But what—or who—brought this zenith of scientific fiction to The Hills?
In 2007, David Engwicht released a novel, Mental Speed Bumps – The smarter way to tame traffic, on an enlightening yet peculiar concept. Engwicht encouraged other urban planners like himself to create something in their neighbourhood interesting enough to make curious drivers slow down. Taking his own advice, he transformed his front yard into a public garden for his community to enjoy.
It was this concept, and this source of inspiration, that led local Tobias Volbert to construct a street library on his property at 59 Kingfisher Drive, Upper Kedron. Originally from Germany, Tobias grew up where Doctor Who was birthed—Europe—so it has always been close to his heart. Turns out, even here in Australia, he is not alone in adoring the series! Hence, his chosen theme for the street library.
By the hands of Tobias’s talented neighbour, Dwan Moore, a book-filled recreation of the infamous TARDIS was built—certainly interesting enough to catch any driver’s or passer-by’s eye. It is solar powered and can wholly light up under the night sky. However, arguably, its coolest feature is the small speaker within that plays the Doctor Who theme song and TARDIS sound effects.
Tobias tells of the already skyrocketing obsession with the structure amongst his neighbours, with one neighbour revealing they are now inspired to build a putt putt on their front lawn! The visionary also tells of his plans to paint a Doctor Who themed mural on the fence and create a 3D Dalek next to a bench behind the street library — the perfect setting for an afternoon read. Tobias has high hopes to have the rest of his passion-project completed by mid-2021 in time for his birthday.
In the meantime, shoot on over to Upper Kedron to feast your eyes upon this unique community library. My dearest fellow bookworms and Doctor Who fanatics, this blue-painted phone box is far bigger, far better than it may seem at first glance. Trust me.