On the sunny morning of Saturday 1 March 1975, 13-year-old Tony Drake had his usual weekend breakfast of eggs, bacon, black pudding and two rounds of Mother’s Pride bread fried in lard, and afterwards he watched The Flashing Blade and Mr Deeds Goes to Town on the telly - until he left his Huyton home around half-past noon to the strains of BBC1’s Grandstand theme. 

He ran all the way to Jubilee Park to meet up with his best friend Billy Fotheringay, who had a brand new football with him, and Billy was juggling and heading the ball with considerable expertise, until Tony sneaked up behind him, stooped down, and grabbed the back of Billy’s knee with a pinch of the finger and thumb, accompanied by Tony’s impersonation of a dog’s bark. 

Tony thought Billy would be annoyed but instead his friend said,  “Hey, guess what? I saw a big robot over there before!”’

“What?” asked a bemused Tony as he picked up the ball; he imagined he was a goalkeeper about to kick the football over the half-line. 

The ball was booted high in the air, but the March winds blew it into a tree - and it never came down.

“Oh, played you divvy!” moaned Billy, and Tony said, “Well, you’re a liar saying you saw a robot.”

“I did, honest to God, over there”, he pointed to the trees bordering the southern side of the park adjacent to Dinas Lane.

“It was like a big man in a metal suit and then he vanished.”

“Criss cross the Bible, never tell a lie, if you do your mother will die!” warned Tony Drake, and he spat to make the oath official, so Billy spat as well and said, “And me mam won’t die because I seen it!”

The two lads went bickering to the tree and Tony, being the tallest, gave Billy a bunk up before needlessly climbing up the tree himself.

“Stay down there, I’ll throw the ball down”, said Billy.

“Hey, I say we build a tree-house up here, like a secret den, and live up here!” said an excited Tony, when something strange happened. 

The blue skies became grey and overcast within seconds, and a thick fog rolled into Jubilee Park - and then the boys saw it - a weird figure wearing a helmet just like a policeman’s one, only this policeman had on some sort of suit of armour and carried a huge rifle. 

Under the peak of the helmet, the lad could see the weirdly-attired stranger wore a mask. 

He came marching out of the fog towards the tree.

“That’s it!”, said Billy excitedly, “That’s the robot I told you about!”

“Be quiet, he’s got a rifle,’ whispered Tony, hiding in the branches.”

A group of six grey silhouettes emerged from the fog, about thirty yards away, and Tony and Billy saw they were men dressed in very strange clothes - and some of them had guns. 

One of these figures shouted something and pointed a gun at the heavily-armed policeman and in a flash the latter dropped to one knee and trained his bulky rifle on the gunman. 

Five of the figures quickly turned around and tried to run and there was a muffled bang. 

The man pointing the gun seemed to explode into a red mist, and then there were five rapid bangs which echoed across the park as the five figures also exploded into bits. 
The boys in the tree were so traumatised by these unearthly deaths, they started to cry. 

The policeman swung around and a powerful light from his helmet blinded Tony and Billy, and when they regained their sight, they found the fog - and the policemen had vanished. 

No one believed Tony and Billy’s story, and years later I traced and interviewed them, and came to the conclusion that they had probably experienced a timeslip that day in 1975, and had seen some future era when armed police - and armed criminals - might sadly be very commonplace. 

I have the unsettling feeling that time is very near...

• Tom Slemen’s books are available from Amazon


  • Police appeal for information
    Merseyside Police have launched a urgent appeal for information after a man was stabbed to death on Broad Lane on Sunday lunchtime... Read more »
  • Dementia ward unveils new outdoor courtyard for patients
    A ward for adults with dementia in Knowsley unveiled its newly-refurbished courtyard and outdoor space for patients at a recent opening event.... Read more »
  • Ladies create history
    Prescot Ladies continued to create history as they represented Greater Manchester against the South Lancashire cup winners in a winner-takes-all Final held at Crosby... Read more »
- Share this page


Stephen shortlisted for the TES Schools Awards 2019

Stephen Johnson from Northwood Primary School in Kirkby has been shortlisted for the School Business Manager of the year award at the Tes Schools Awards 2019.

The Tes Schools Awards, celebrates the extraordinary commitment, quality and innovation... Read more »


CADWA Womens Friendship Club

We have different speakers, fun quiz nights, socials with entertainers, theatre visits, days out and weekends away just for £2.00, no other fee. So if you are lonely, fed up? Just come along, a warm welcome awaits you by Jean. For details telephone... Read more »


HEALTHY KNOWSLEY with Councillor Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

June is a busy month with Men’s Health Week running from 10-16 June and Clean Air Day on 20 June.

Men’s Health Week is a great opportunity to think about simple steps you can do to improve your health and feel good.

It’s... Read more »

Posted by

on May 31st, 2019

More features

This Weather Widget is provided by the Met Office