To boldly go... in search of 'Spock' partner's lost ashes.
IT sounds highly illogical, but the home of a recently deceased Mr Spock lookalike is at the centre of a desperate mission to find his late partner's ashes.
The hunt to retrieve the remains of Valerie Dunkley follows the death of Roy Ives two weeks ago.
Matters have come to a head because Mr Ives, who spent two decades as the famous Star Trek Vulcan's lookalike, has given the Yardley flat to the Cats Protection League.
Family and friends are now desperate to collect the ashes which are somewhere in the back garden before the PS75,000 property changes hands.
They want them scattered somewhere more dignified, such as Yardley Crematorium where Miss Dunkley's funeral took place.
However, matters have now been complicated with the revelation that the ashes are in ground that also includes those of her two dogs.
Miss Dunkley died last year following a battle with cancer. She was 85. In her last months Mr Ives moved into her Yardley home. She bequeathed the flat to him and he in turn has presented the modest abode to the pet charity.
The couple had been together for 30 years. Mr Ives died of lung cancer, aged 73.
The pensioner - a double for Spock actor Leonard Nimoy - will be buried with his latex ears.
But a lifelong friend of Miss Dunkley's, and the co-executor of her will, admitted she was surprised the home was being given to Cats Protection, but could 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 Miss Dunkley'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. We'd like them scooped up and scattered at Yardley Crematorium."
Robert Powell, executor of Mr Ives' 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." 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."
"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've got nothing to hide."
<B Roy Ives and Valerie Dunkley, left
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|Publication:||The Birmingham Post (England)|
|Date:||Sep 14, 2017|
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