railway station is nothing if not traditional. There was a refit a couple of years back but the new canopy hardly disguises the bleak 1950s architecture and when it rains water still tumbles through the roof and puddles on to the floor. At the top of the stairs up from Platform 4 the post-war feel is reinforced by the glassed-in display cabinet containing notices from the obscure Twickenham Society (is it a hoax?).
They don't sell Oyster Cards.
At the entrance to the station is a little kiosk. For many years it was manned by a 'character' of the old school who glared out from behind a high counter and 'hello darlinged' the girls on their way to Putney High. He's long since gone and now the shop is run by two young Asian men who have gone some way to inject a 21st century-feel with bright lighting, a cappuccino machine and a selection of samosas, but their little slice of modernism is belied by their polite good mornings and the way they noticed when I switched my regular newspaper. Becasue, you see: Twickenham Station Time is set to 1958 and like the Torchwood Time Rift, it's compelling - it draws you in
Yesterday at the little kiosk the woman in front of me asked for the Manchester Guardian. The Guardian moved to London in 1964; I don't suppose I have heard it called that in twenty years, but the newspaper was handed over without hesitation, and just for a moment I seemed to catch a glimpse of the old masthead.
I bent down to take a Guardian of my own from the pile and, when I looked up, she was gone.