to the Barrier by David Convery
Thirty-two years apart
When I first joined the Timeslip site, little did
I know I was to achieve one of those many childhood dreams.
It all started with the sending of an E-mail applying to be considered
for invitation. Bearing in mind how long the website had been
in existence and how many members there were, I did not expect
to be invited. The reply came with the invitation to attend. My
immediate thought was initial disbelief followed very quickly
with “I suppose I am working that day” and guess what……
Getting time off from work is at best difficult and at worse
impossible, however a colleague was prepared to swap a day for
me once I had explained the importance of having that day off.
So came 21st Sept 2003… it seemed like an eternity from
the initial confirmation and now it had arrived. I woke to glorious
sunshine at 0630hrs, too excited to sleep well the night before
in any case. Got my map, badge, video covers for autographs, camera
and camcorder and it was only 0730hrs.
I drove off from home waving and smiling at my wife like a schoolchild
as my journey commenced. I pulled up on the Goff,s Oak pub forecourt
at 1255hrs having had a delay free journey down the A1 onto the
M25 then to Cuffley. As I approached the entrance, I saw a group
of people standing to the right of it and only at the last minute
did I see someone wearing the label that had accompanied the map
of Goff,s Oak supplied by Steve……….. I HAD ARRIVED.
I approached the group not having met anybody before and very
quickly was introduced to Steve. Hands shook as introductions
were made to all present and then it happened, Steve said to me
“I’m sure you recognise this lady” and there
I was staring straight into the eyes of Cheryl Burfield. Her smile
was as warm as the day itself and she still looked the same albeit
her hair was shorter and lighter. Frozen in a momentary lapse
of concentration I took her right hand and kissed it like gentlemen
should when in the presence of a lady. Steve then said “You
know this man” I looked across and was greeted by another
warm and friendly smile. I replied, “I don’t think
we have met before… wait… must be the glasses.”
Spencer Banks approached and we shook hands. By that time we had
all been introduced and were enjoying a sociable drink. I was
handed a copy of an old script and also an artwork folder to look
“Yeeees, Miss Burfield!” Cheryl admires David’s
I remember having weekly issues of “Look-In” bought
for me by my mum and could still remember certain images from
the animated stories, but to see them again after all this time
was superb. I spoke briefly with Spencer only to find out we had
something in common….Harpenden. My cousin and family lived
there for years and Sunday nights as a child were spent visiting
them. Then to top it all I spoke with Cheryl only to find out
her husband and I were in the same job albeit different parts
of the country. This day was just getting better all the time.
Cars were chosen and we set off to the nearby “Ministry
Field” just a few minutes down the road. We entered a new
housing development and very nice it was too. As we began our
walk in to the site a brief stop was made at the sales office.
The tone of the day was set as Spencer and I suggested names for
the houses e.g. “Deveraux house” and “Traynor
mews” but to name but 2. The site lady emerged with Steve
and we were led to a large metal gate. She opened it up and we
all walked through and began to walk along a dirt track and I
saw “old” and derelict buildings around me shrouded
by new houses. As we continued on we approached two concrete posts……………………
we had reached “THE TIME BARRIER.”
Cheryl and Spencer encounter an
As any football fanatic will tell you, when you approach the
sadly no longer “Twin towers” of Wembley stadium,
you get a feeling only a passionate fan could experience…well
I got just that upon looking at the posts. We actually approached
them from behind (when seen on TV) but all gathered around and
faced towards them. Sadly the inverted “Y” post to
the right was no longer but that in no way took anything away.
We stood in silence and looked around and then Steve pressed his
tape recorder and the sound of the “Time barrier”
filled the air. Personally I got little “shivers”
on my neck upon hearing this sound but then again always did when
I watched it on TV. I spoke with Cheryl who stated that this was
the first time she had returned to the site since filming the
series so was extra special.
Looking back to the past
We all started to walk around, soaking up the sun, atmosphere
and memories of what it meant to be here at last. I watched Cheryl
and Spencer as they wandered around together exchanging memories.
I felt a great proudness at being present and seeing them walk
around together as if it were all only yesterday. Both of them
had a very good recollection not only of the site but also of
the programme. It was difficult not to want to ask them both lots
of questions but they both made you feel so at ease it became
very natural. Cheryl and Spencer began standing in “poses”
to recreate images that Steve had shown them. Cameras clicked
and camcorders recorded, now was not the time for batteries to
run out. And so we returned back to the posts for some final pictures
both as a group and individually. My turn came and I stood in
between Cheryl and Spencer by one of the posts. Felt good????
Yeah…. felt fantastic.
We returned back to the Goff,s Oak pub and took up two outside
tables where we again enjoyed food and drink in the sun. We talked
with Cheryl and Spencer for hours and in turn were interviewed
by Steve on camera about our memories of the programme. Sadly
it was time for all to leave but not before getting my 4 video
sleeves autographed. I had already obtained Denis Quilley’s
autograph on the sleeve for “The wrong end of time”
and smiled as Cheryl shouted out “Great” upon seeing
his autograph already there. We all wished each other a safe journey
home and again farewell kisses and handshakes were made between
us all. Cars departed and the day came to a close.
I drove away not only having met Cheryl and Spencer but I hope
also having made new friends that will keep in contact and meet
To go back to the “Time barrier”, feel for its gap
and crawl through wishing it were all real and that I could re-live
the whole day again was sorely tempting….. very sorely tempting.
Thank you to everybody who was there…… a day I shall
remember until its time for me to cross over to another time,
another place maybe???
^ back to the top