ALMONDBURY isn't the first place you would think of when setting off on a journey through time and space.

But sci-fi fans could soon be flocking to the area in their droves - to catch a glimpse of one of the country's last real Tardises

The police-box on Northgate dates back to the post-Second World War era - and we managed to secure a viewing of the interior to see whether it really was bigger inside than out.

The first sight that greets you when you approach the blue police- box is that it's not really that large.

Doctor Who's Type 40 Tardis appears as a police-box through an engineering fault.

The ``chameleon" circuit which allows the Tardis to appear in any form got jammed on Earth in 1963. The reason given by producers of the hit sci-fi show for the internal dimensions for the time machine is that it occupies a different set of dimensions to the world outside

Unfortunately for we non- Timelords we are stuck with just the three dimensions - so we have to take what we see.

Slipping off the busy main road into our box is a bit of a shock.

I was hoping to find Billie Piper. Unfortunately all I found was a box 5ft square.

Inside boasts a sink in the corner, a stool and a desk - all an intergalactic traveller setting off from Almondbury needs you may think.

It's pretty light inside, due to four small windows which light up the box. It's bright enough to knock a Cyberman's block off if the situation demanded it.

It's a bit different to the one in the TV series, which has swimming pools, a garden and even a cricket pavilion.

Pcs Paul Jackson and Angie Lister who showed me round the box said they had used it a number of times.

Paul said: "It's good for its original purpose - which was to give police officers a place to speak to the main station before we used radios - and also provide a space to catch up on paperwork or notes."

Some doubters may say that it's just a bit of wood rather than a time-travelling craft.

But I think they're wrong.

When I stepped in there with the smell and the design and the whole ambience I felt like I'd stepped back 40 years.