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To boldly go... and search for ashes of Spock's partner Val; Family desperate to locate remains 'dumped in garden' by late lookalike Roy.

Byline: EXCLUSIVE MIKE LOCKLEY Staff Reporter mike.lockley@trinitymirror.com

T'S a last resting place, Jim, but not as we know it...

It sounds highly illogical, but the home of top Mr Spock lookalike Roy Ives is at the centre of a desperate mission to find his late partner's ashes.

And the hunt to retrieve the remains has hit Warp Factor nine following news that Roy, who died last Monday, has given the Yardley flat to the Cats Protection League.

Family and friends are desperate to collect the ashes - believed to be in a heap in the back garden - before the PS75,000 property changes hands.

They want them scattered somewhere more dignified, such as Yardley Crematorium where Val's funeral took place.

But there's one problem, the Sunday Mercury has discovered. Val's ashes are in a mound that also includes those of her two dogs, Danny and Mickey. That makes filling an urn problematic.

Those close to Val fear the crematorium kanna take it, captain.

Val, a prolific letter writer to our sister newspaper, Birmingham Mail, died last year following a brave battle with cancer. She was 85.

In the latter months of Val's illness, Roy - the star turn at Star Trek conventions - moved into her Yardley home. She bequeathed the flat to him and he, in turn, has presented the modest abode to a cats care charity.

Roy's brother said the couple had been together for 30 years. When Valerie was diagnosed, the oneman tribute act became her carer.

I don't know why he put them there then, he was Mr Spock, was a Vulcan Relatives have been attempting to catch four moggies left behind when Roy died of lung cancer, at the age of 73. There are fears that the pets have boldly gone where no cats have gone before. They've simply disappeared.

Final details of Roy's last wishes and his funeral have yet to be finalised.

This week it was revealed that the service will take place at Lodge Hill Crematorium, Birmingham, on September 28.

but, he The pensioner - a double for Spock actor Leonard Nimoy - will be buried with his latex ears.

His Star Trek wardrobe, including phasers, tunics and communicators, is to be handed to Trek fans.

The USS Ranger Star Trek and Sci-Fi Club, based in Netherton, Dudley, has expressed an interest in the items.

A club spokesman said: "The club is always glad for donations and would be grateful if that's what the family would like to do."

A life-long friend of Val's, and the co-executor of her will, admitted she was surprised the home is being given to Cats Protection, but can understand the decision.

"Val wanted to make sure Roy had a roof over his head. So be it," she said.

But the friend, who asked not to be named, is deeply concerned that Val's ashes may be lost forever.

"Why Roy simply dumped them in the back garden, I do not know," she said. "I think that was wholly inappropriate.

At first, I thought it was an act of naivety, but as time goes on, your viewpoint changes.

"In the Sunday Mercury he described himself as a devout Catholic. To me, those are not the actions of a devout Catholic "It's a difficult one, but we'd like them scooped up and scattered at Yardley Crematorium."

She is also desperate to locate a gold fob chain and silver bracelet - items of Val's jewellery that are missing.

In her will, Val left the chain to her niece, the bracelet to the daughter of a friend.

"I asked Roy about the bracelet," she said. "He told me 'I don't know why you're bothered, it's only worth PS50'. To me, that said everything."

She fears the Brummie Vulcan may have flogged the watch chain.

Roy's brother Robert Powell and cousin Robert Hanna, currently clearing the home, are faced with the task of untangling the complexities of Roy's estate.

It's an unenviable Enterprise and they have asked the Mercury's help in doling out the many Star Trek accessories.

They do not want to Klingon to them.

Robert Powell, executor of Roy's will, confirmed the ashes are in the back garden and are marked with a small plaque.

"I don't know why he put them there but, then, he was Mr Spock, he was a Vulcan," he said.

"They are welcome to dig them up - there's no-one else buried there."

He added: "He knew what he wanted to do.

"He's left the house to Cats Protection, that's his wish. I'm not going to fight it. He was always looking after stray cats.

"Yesterday, I took his passport to register his death and they couldn't get over how much he looked like Leonard Nimoy.

"Being Mr Spock was his hobby, then he started to make money out of it, with the appearances and adverts."

Robert Hanna feared locating the ashes may prove extremely difficult.

"We've found the urn in his workshop," he said.

"Unless he buried them in a plastic bag, I think they're going to be very hard to find. Plus, I think the dogs' are there, too.

"But if they want to search, we'll be back at the address on Saturday. We've got nothing to hide.

"What's surprising is there are very few photographs of Roy in the house, but plenty of Valerie."

By Thursday, members of Roy's family had found three of the AWOL moggies.

They have also uncovered a gold chain, but it does not match the description of the trinket bequeathed to Valerie's niece.

Nimoy's spitting image was offered role in Star Trek porn film ROY Ives made a number of commercials abroad and was even offered a part in a vulgar Vulcan porn movie.

He declined a prominent part in a Star Trek: The X Generation film on religious grounds.

He also pointed out to the Sunday Mercury that Vulcans are not supposed to show emotion.

Such a role would make that nigh on impossible.

In fact, the Kitts Green lookalike always believed his startling resemblance to Nimoy, who died in 2015, hindered his progress as an actor.

Popular series such as The Bill turned him away because he looked too much like Spock.

The similarities went beyond mere appearance. Both men succumbed to their heavy smoking habits. Nimoy lost his life to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the age of 83. Thirty-a-day Roy died from lung cancer.

Roy insisted the ghost of Nimoy had visited him, and warned him to quit cigarettes if he wanted to live long and prosper.

Sadly, he failed to heed the advice. He faced the disease, diagnosed only months ago, with courage, telling the Sunday Mercury: "It's cancer, Jim, but not as we know it."

|| Leonard " It was typically, detached Vulcan response and one expected from a man who had no peers when it came to playing Spock. "I have no competition," he insisted. "Anyone can don a black wig, stick-on latex ears and pointy eyebrows, but I even sound like him.

Fan: I'd cherish Roy's Spock stock forever...

THE family's offer to give away Roy's wardrobe has caused something of a stir among Trekkers.

On a website dedicated to the cult sci-fi franchise, "Irish Fitzgibbon", who refers to himself as a USS Enterprise cadet, posted: "I would be honoured to receive the Star Trek wear and props that he left behind. Every single piece of it would be cherished forever. Never sold!

"Such things should not be made frivolous by selling them to a collector who just collects to stock something away or sell it for profit later.

"Such things should be had, worn and cherished by a true fan.

"I have been one the entirety of my 39 years of life, so much so that I can't even put it into proper words. I am unfortunately not someone who has the money to go to conventions or buy the memorabilia, but I live for Trek.

"I am confident no-one would cherish these pieces more than I! If you truly want them to go to someone who will respect them as something more than dollar signs ching-chinging in their eyes, I'm your megafan!" He is one of many Trek fans hoping for a slice of the Spock stock.

I don't know why he put them there but, then, he was Mr Spock, he was a Vulcan

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Sep 10, 2017
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