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WE live our lives by the clock.

Byline: Tom Slemen

WE live our lives by the clock. We work by the clock, eat by the clock, sleep by the clock, drink by the clock. We even speak of 'leisure time' - in other words, we even 'relax' to the clock, and yet no one questions just what the clock is.

We imagine that the clock measures time, and our perception of clocks and time begin at childhood.

Digital watches were once all the rage, but nowadays most people have analogue watches with three 'hands'. Trying to explain these hands to a child is a semantic nightmare - 'The hour hand is the first hand, the second hand is the minute hand, and the third hand is the second hand...' and so on.

Back in February I told you about the Large Hadron Collider, the world's biggest particle accelerator, which is 17 miles long and lies beneath the Franco-Swiss border. This colossal piece of hardware may ultimately unravel the mystery of time, but there is a large body of evidence I have collected over the years which supports my view that the past and future can be as accessible as the present under circumstances that aren't fully understood at the moment.

I have collected reports of dozens of time warp incidents in the northwest and there is a high concentration of these baffling episodes on Bold Street.

I am convinced that these slippages in time are responsible for the high incidence of haunted shops there. Peter (pictured) the owner of the Victorian Tea Rooms at 80 Bold Street, has heard the sounds of a phantom walker on his premises, but he was unaware that number 80was also haunted by the ghost of a woman (carrying a bucket)who has been seen coming out of the floor, as well as the spectre of a tormented man who was possibly murdered in the building in Edwardian times.

The woman with the bucket was seen to emerge from the floor years before a 240-year-old well was discovered in the foundations of the building.

That well has now been renovated.

One drizzly afternoon in 2002, a 55-year-old woman named Bonnie left the Victorian Tea Rooms and turned right, towards the direction of St Luke's 'bombed-out' church. As Bonnie walked along, an eerie silence invaded the busy thoroughfare, and the entire street suddenly changed so it looked the way it had been 40 years before.

The cars and fashion gave confused Bonnie the impression it was the late 1950s, and she even saw a friend named Anne who had died years before in her 50s,walking on the other side of Bold Street, but Bonniewas too afraid to shout to her. Anne looked as if shewas 12 or 13, and walked along with a relative.

On the corner of Colquitt Street and Bold Street a crowd stood and stared at a 12-foot-tall statue of an armless, naked man.

As Bonnie glanced up at this figure, the 21st century Bold Street gradually reappeared, and Bonnie found herself in tears, as she wanted to stay in the past.

I researched this case and discovered that a statue of an armless, naked man stood exactly where Bonnie saw it in September 1960.

It was the work of young artist Robin Riley, but it was removed after complaints from local shop-owners.

More time warps next week.


Slips in time
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 27, 2008
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