Tuesday, 1 September 2009

This old photo was taken from high up on the walkway of the under construction road bridge and shows the ferries which plied between North and South Queensferry with the rail bridge in the background. We didn't travel across to Edinburgh very often when I was a child and when we did it was usually by train as dad wasn't keen to drive in the city. In fact, when a motorway was built through our county of Kinross he avoided it like the plague and had no idea of how to drive on it. Sometimes we went to Edinburgh zoo by car but he drove no farther into the capital. When we went by train, we slept very little the preceding night, such was the excitement of rail travel and we always had to throw out a penny for luck while crossing the bridge. Most of the time it would strike a metal pillar as they were quite difficult to avoid! On arival in Edinburgh it was up the long flight of Waverley Steps, across Princes Street and into "Woolies" for something to eat, then down to the street again to catch a tram out to the zoo. This was all very exciting for us country kids.

Another view from near the top of the south end of the bridge. Both of these hawsers from which the bridge is suspended are composed of thousands of steel wires and in very recent years it has been discovered that some of them have rusted and snapped--a very comforting thought! There is now ongoing work to extract the moisture from the casing in which the wires are held to try to minimise the rusting. Here's hoping it works!

We eagerly watched the progress of the bridge in the early 1960s and couldn't wait to try it out. I still remember us piling into my brother's old car on the day it opened to traffic and heading for Edinburgh. We were there in about 30 minutes compared to about 2 hours waiting for the ferry and even longer if we went by train counting the time taken to drive to Kirkcaldy from the farm and wait for a train. This bridge was welcomed by all.

Another view from well up the walkway, showing the approach roads under construction.

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Mark Kreider said...

The old postcard photos are wonderful!

Sally in WA said...

Wow, these pics are wonderful. I wouldn't want to be the one taking the pictures from the top but it brings a unique perspective to it all.

I can imagine the bridge brought major changes for the area once it opened.

Mevely317 said...

Very interesting! I'd have SO enjoyed traversing those bridges. Thanks for allowing me a lovely daydream!


sallie said...

Oh I want to come to see Scotland!
What a change in the community those bridges made.

We were talking the other day about how the freeways in this country (built mostly in the 50s) changed travel -- we would be the last generation to remember what it was like before them.


Ruth said...

Love your stories! Old photos do evoke such interesting memories and emotions.

Pat said...

These are great old photos of the bridge and ferries. What excitement that was for you to take the train into Edinburgh! My husband is like your dad in that he hates driving in big cities (like San Francisco).

Sallie said...

Anne -- thank you for your comment on our blogpost on the Oregon Trail. I love blogging for the chance to read histories and experiences that we haven't had but wish we had!