IN the summer of 1967, 17-year-old Terry Williams of Birkenhead wanted to work at the Vauxhall Motor factory at Hooton Park.

His older brother was already employed at the plant, manufacturing parts for the whole Vauxhall and Bedford range of cars and commercial vehicles, and told Terry that the pay was good.

Terry only wanted two things in life – a car and a girlfriend.

He often borrowed his Uncle's old Morris Minor and drove about uninsured and without a licence, oblivious to the laws he was breaking, and hoped he'd find a girlfriend.

"Girls always go for guys who have cars", Terry’s best friend Alfie had always maintained, and on this gloriously sunny day Terry was giving Alfie a lift to the offices of Birkenhead Municipal Transport on Laird Street, as the latter was due to be interviewed for the position of a bus driver.

The Morris Minor pulled up outside the building and Terry wished Alfie well then drove off towards the roundabout with the church of St James on it. Terry had decided to visit the beach on such a sunny day.

As he swung the car onto Hoylake Road, he turned the radio on and put a pair of sunglasses on in an effort to look cool.

A few minutes later Terry saw a very pretty girl who looked as if she was around his age, and she was lifting the bonnet of a Bentley.

He pulled over, got out and said to the young lady: "Can I be of any assistance?"

She looked beautiful close up and was very smartly dressed. When Terry heard her voice he realised she was definitely out of his class - and league.

"I doubt it," she said, "it looks like a job for the RAC."

"I have a friend who works in the garage over there," Terry said, taking off his sunglasses and pointing to the nearby Stavordale Garage.

"I think I'd rather telephone the RAC," said the girl. "If an unqualified mechanic messes this car up, Daddy will have a fit."

"No, John's not unqualified," Terry reassured the young lady. "He fixes Lotuses and Jags – I'll go and get him!"

Terry returned with John (a friend of the lad's older brother) and within minutes the trained car mechanic had discovered the source of the Bentley's trouble - a lady's woollen mitten had almost been ingested by the engine.

"Oh, I wondered what happened to that!" said the girl, who later told Terry her name was Julie.

She saw the funny side of the matter and offered to pay John but he smiled and shook his head and returned to work.

Terry plucked up the courage to ask Julie out, and got butterflies in his stomach as she got back into the Bentley.

She wound down the window and, with a slight smirk, said: "And where would you take me?

"Anywhere you wanted," replied Terry, his throat drying up with nerves, "the pictures, a pub, or Wales.

"Perhaps we should just enjoy a day out at the beach and get to know one another," Julie suggested and gave him her address - which turned out to be a Tudor-style mansion near Frankby.

He called there on the following afternoon at one in his uncle's Morris Minor, and 16-year-old Julie had a wickerwork hamper crammed with food and drink for the beach.

Terry had hardly slept the night before; this was his first girlfriend and she was everything he'd ever hoped for, but he was secretly worried about the class divide.

He kept trying to put a posh voice on and she told him to speak normally, so he did.

He couldn't understand what a girl as reserved and as beautiful as Julie actually saw in him.

They sunbathed side by side on the foreshore of West Kirby, and then got dressed when it got too hot and sat in the car drinking lemonade.

They hugged and kissed, and with the heat, the young couple dozed off in one another's arms.

The radio was playing Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks, a song that featured another Terry and Julie ...

When Julie awoke the sun was setting and she shrieked.

The car was sinking steadily into the sands.

She roused Terry and he panicked.

He tried to open the door of the Morris Minor but the vehicle was too deep into the sand and mud, so he climbed out the window onto the roof and told Julie to do the same.

She switched on the headlights of the vehicle, hoping to attract someone's attention, and then she climbed onto the roof of the car, helped up by Terry.

The tide was coming in.

He got onto the bonnet and tested the sands with his foot - and his leg went in as far as his knee.

The teens shouted for help but the beach was deserted – and the sands and water were almost up to the windscreen.

Terry saw her first as a black silhouette, walking in from the sea.

As she got nearer he and Julie saw that it was a woman with long red hair and a chalk-white face, dressed in a long green robe.

"Put your feet in my footprints," she said "and follow me to safety. Don't step outside of my footprints or you'll be sucked under."

The teenagers reluctantly did as she said, and reached dry land.

"I am Dwynwen, the patron saint of lovers.

"Cherish your love," the woman said and vanished into thin air.

Julie later researched the name given by the ghost - and discovered there was a patron saint for lovers called Dwynwen who had lived on Anglesey in the fifth century.

The couple did indeed cherish their love, and married four years later.

* All Tom's books are on Amazon.