The Thingwall Time Slip

Time slip Thingwall

Thingwall is a village on the Wirral Peninsula in Merseyside, England and it was once an area for several small quarries of yellow sandstone, and traditional buildings in that area were made with this sandstone.

*This time slip happened in the 1970's and it was experienced by a Mrs. Damson (not her real name). She had not long moved to the village so when her 4 year old daughter was unwell, Mrs. Damson took her out in her pushchair to give them both some fresh air. It was a sunny day so also a good time to get to know her local area better too.

Mrs. Damson proceeded up Mill Lane, which was opposite the primary school. The lane was tarmacked for a portion then there were cobble stones beyond the tarmac.

She walked along the cobbled lane and saw a cottage on her right hand side. There was an old man leaning on a front garden gate whilst he smoked a pipe. Mrs. Damson noticed he had his shirt sleeves rolled up and his shirt was collarless. She nodded towards him, and he responded in like. Past this cottage, Mrs. Damson noticed a row of whitewashed cottages with hanging baskets on their frontage. She also noticed on the left hand side of this lane, there was a circle of country cottage flowers, along with other typical flowers found in these types of cottages. She noticed to the side of these flowers was a very large heap of sandstone, a stable block with an archway and further along there were more cottages, some built with the local sandstone, and some were of a typical orange/red house brick.

She continued further along and saw a lady wearing a high neck blouse, black skirt and a shawl. This lady appeared to be going into her house so there was no interaction between the two women. As Mrs. Damson passed the cottage the lady had entered, she could feel the warmth of the open fire in the front room of the cottage. It all looked very cosy. At the end of Mill Lane, there stood a 5 bar gate with fields and meadows beyond it. On this gate, sat a young girl, who was dressed in a dress, pinafore, and button boots. Mrs. Damson remembered thinking the girl was dressed in a rather old fashioned way. The girl gave Mrs. Damson a funny look then jumped off the gate and ran into one of the cottages. Mrs. Damson decided it was time to turn back down the lane to get her and her daughter back home. She again, passed the old man on her way back. Both acknowledged each other with a nod. Mrs. Damson later told her mother of seeing the old quaint part of the village and how pretty it was, and she would take her mother to see it.

Within several months, Mrs. Damson took her mother to see Mill Lane. As they proceeded down the lane, to Mrs. Damson's surprise, there were no cobbles to be seen, it was all tarmac and paving slabs. The cottage where she had seen the old man was now derelict and all boarded up. The stable block and archway were also gone, and the row of cottages now had 2 semi-detached houses on that land. The 5 bar gate was not there either and the field and meadow beyond it was now a site for several bungalows.

Mrs. Damson remarked in how quickly the new properties had been built on Mill Lane but was shocked to see just how different it looked, given it had only been a few months since she had last seen it. It wasn't until many years later that Mrs. Damson was involved in a dispute over a footpath. Her solicitor recommended Mrs. Damson get an 1830 map of the area to check the legitimacy of the footpath. It was a difficult map to read as many things had changed in the village since 1830, but she was able to locate her village on it and saw that this map showed her the properties on Mill Street that she had seen all those years ago. She also found out that the large heap of sandstone had actually been where the Thingwall Mill had once stood but it had been destroyed in a hurricane!

Suh an interesting account and it must've shocked Mrs. Damson to find that these cottages she had seen, had actually stood there on Mill Lane. I find it very interesting that she and the old man interacted with each other and that the young girl who sat on the gate, gave Mrs. Damson a funny look. . 

*Credit for this experience being researched & documented to Dr Ann Winsper