Oamaru’s Time Travellers Experience has closed its doors to the public so the owner can have a “fresh start”.
Stephen Murray opened the collection of more than 3000 popular culture items in Oamaru in October last year but decided to close the doors yesterday.
Mr Murray moved to Oamaru from Oxford, Canterbury, in May last year where he some of his collection, which spans more than 20 years, was in a private museum.
“I’ve been collecting all my life, off and on.
“But I’ve been seriously collecting for about 20 years.
“I guess it just stemmed from my love of popular culture.”
Mr Murray said he decided to close up shop because everything was starting to click into place with his life in Oamaru and he may have found a new full-time job.
“My life here is finally coming together.”
But another big factor for this decision was that he was tired of people not being willing to pay to view the collection.
Time Travellers Experience suffered from what he called “museum syndrome”, because while a lot of people were interested in seeing the collection, once they realised they needed to pay, they left, Mr Murray said.
People did not see it as a business and expected to be able to view a collection for free, he said.
He hopes to be able to keep the collection, which includes a time machine, classic movie posters and cabinets full of figurines, together by selling it as a whole.
However, if necessary, he would sell items separately, he said.
“I would like to see the collection kept as a collection so the public can enjoy it.
“All I care about is the collection and keeping it as a whole.
“It’s always been about the public enjoying what we’ve got.”
Although he was parting with the collection, he would always be buying things and there were some items he could never part with, Mr Murray said.
He will keep his FA Cup centenary medals because they were among the first items he collected, along with two figurines his wife gave him for his 50th birthday.
Mr Murray will also hold onto a police helmet, so he can always be reminded of his father, who was a policeman.
If he has room, a life-size Dalek, a character from Dr Who that he built himself, will also stay in his possession because his children used to play in it and when he was younger he always dreamed of being able to make a Dalek.
The rest of the collection, minus a few other items, will be stored until he knows what he will be doing with it.
The Time Travellers Experience’s last day of business was on Sunday.
By RUBY HARFIELD
PHOTO: RUBY HARFIELD
CLOSING DOWN: Time Travellers Experience owner Stephen Murray has decided to close up shop for a fresh start.