In response to “composite joe’s” query “Have you ever experienced a time slip?,” one Britisher shared the following Back to the Past TWIDDER. (See posting at http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=650886.)
My uncle was filming a documentary in Cornwall sometime back in the 80s. At the end of a day’s shooting, he and the rest of the small crew packed up and went looking for a pub so they could unwind and sink a few pints. It was a fine summer evening, with the light just beginning to fade and they came across a pub at the side of a small B road.
To their surprise when they entered, the place was heaving with people all seemingly having a great time, although there were no cars parked outside and the pub was in an isolated spot with no other buildings in the immediate vicinity. There was someone playing the piano with people singing along to it, others playing darts and cards and uncle and the crew were warmly greeted, “Hello there! Come on in!” all that kind of thing.
The landlord pulled their pints for them and refused to accept payment, saying they were on the house. They all went to sit down and got into an involved discussion about the day’s filming and so forth, all the while people kept stopping by their table and greeting them, bringing drinks and offering cigarettes etc. Every time any member of the group tried to buy any of the customers a drink back, it was waved away with a, “No, no, there’s no need to do that!” Obviously they were all well impressed with this level of friendliness to a group of total strangers and they left to return to their hotel after a very convivial couple of hours.
Filming resumed the next day and when lunchtime arrived, uncle suggested that everyone return to the friendly roadside pub in the hope of a pint, a sandwich and returning some of the hospitality given the previous evening. There was one problem though ….. they couldn’t find the pub – it simply wasn’t there.
They drove around and around the location, up and down little roads and lanes in the area where it had been and it had gone. Completely baffled, they retired to a restaurant in a small town and began to talk about the previous evening. They soon began to realise that there had been something ‘not quite right’ about the pub and its customers. They realised that they had not had any actual physical contact with anyone there as you would expect in a crowded place, bumping into people, brushing past them, inadvertently touching hands and so on. There had also been a distinct lack of any modern trimmings such as fruit machines, electric pumps, a television, a jukebox and …. almost everyone had been in some kind of military uniform. Once filming had ended and uncle returned to Scotland, he did a bit of research and discovered there had been a number of airbases in the general area during WW2.
He’s returned to Cornwall on and off in the intervening years and has tried several times since to find the mysterious pub and its friendly customers, all to no avail. He can’t to this day explain exactly what it was they experienced that summer evening.