Small beginnings

A new road bridge is taking shape across the River Forth.  Lots of word play about it being the 'second fo(u)rth bridge'.  We don't cross the Forth all that often - about once a month perhaps - so each time we do there's quite a bit of progress to be seen.  This past weekend we could see the support for what will be the carriageway taking shape.  And the pillars grow ever higher.

Down at water level there is a great bustle of supply boats, and at night the work continues and the pillars are lit up like purposeful Christmas trees.

A national competition was held to choose the name of the bridge.  From a selection that included the St Margaret crossing, the Saltire crossing and the Queensferry crossing, the Queensferry crossing was the most popular.  I am old enough to remember a time before the current bridge was built, when cars crossed the Forth by actual ferry. I'm only in my mid 50s, and it seems quite incredible that in my lifetime we have gone from a manageable queue of cars on a small stone slipway, to two bridges to cope with the weight of traffic.

I would be able to bring you a much clearer view of the new bridge's progress if I could bear to take photos from the footpath on the old bridge.  People merrily jog across the bridge, families take Sunday strolls across it, but such is my fear of heights that I wouldn't put myself through that suffering for the sake of a blog photo!


  1. Isn't it cool to watch bridges being built? Maybe it's the civil engineer in me, but I love stuff like this! They just finished a new suspension bridge here in Portland that spans the Willamette River. This bridge will carry a new light rail line, pedestrians and bikes, but no cars.

  2. Second time trying to post this - apologies if it appears twice...

    I recently crossed the Forth Road Bridge after many years and was very impressed by the size and scale. I'd love to walk over it with my camera. We did used to cross quite often when I was younger (I grew up in Angus and sometimes we'd bypass Dundee to head to Edinburgh for a city trip) but I'd forgotten just how big it is.

    Thanks for your comment about the film, I'll try to search it out. A film I enjoyed that I came across whilst researching medieval lives is one of scenes from the Luttrell Psalter set to music from the era. It's quite beautiful though I only used excerpts from it with my class as I didn't think they'd sit through the whole thing. Here's a link below, I'd be interested to know what you thought of it. It is all rather clean and pretty - similar to blogs in a way as they often only show the good parts of someone's life...

    1. Thanks for the link, Anne. I loved the film. Yes it's clean and pretty, but I saw the comment from someone involved in the making of it that they were aiming to show life as depicted in the psalter, and not the grimy reality of medieval life. The scene of stooking the grain brought back memories - again I'm old enough to remember the cut grain being stooked in upright sheaves, rather than the rectangular and now vast circular bales of today. The plainchant was beautiful but I was less enthralled by the recorder-like stuff!

      It reminded me of two series that I love - the original 1970s BBC 'Survivors', and the US series 'Frontier House'. Both are on YouTube. Survivors has a lot of elements that were in the film, although it isn't until series 3 that someone on the production team realised that if soap was in as short supply as it was the actors should all be looking a bit grimier than they had been! Frontier House is interesting because among other things it shows the effects of the diet of the time plus hard manual labour on the participants.

  3. I wouldn't walk across the old bridge either! I have only driven over the bridge twice, both times to go to the aquarium on "the other side". I quite like big construction sites, very interesting and sometimes amazing.

  4. I think I wouldn't be too comfortable out there either, Linda!

  5. How interesting! I used to walk across the bridges in Portland, Oregon - which are much smaller and lower to the water than the Forth Bridge. I'm interested to read in Linda W's comment that Portland is getting a bridge for everything but cars - a very Portland approach!

  6. So - is the "old bridge" going away then? That's the bridge I drove over the very first time I went to Scotland. I was SO glad to get into the countryside finally!

  7. Glad I'm not the only one not to like walking across high bridges!
    Marcheline - the 'old' bridge is staying, but will become a 'dedicated public transport corridor'.

  8. And what would you have called the bridge Linda?

  9. Hello Gary, my choice was 'St Margaret's crossing' - to celebrate a strong Scottish woman!


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