The Forth Road Bridge was opened on 4 September 1964, which helps me to date my last visit to South Queensferry because somewhere in the house there is a photograph of me sitting on the railings at the car park and in the background is an incomplete Forth Road Bridge. Only the middle section was missing so it was near completion and I am assuming the photograph was taken just a few weeks before the bridge was opened. For a seven year old it was a day out and it’s only now when you look back you realise how lucky you were to have gone on these trips and to have a dad with a camera who was keeping a record of these days out. My father enjoyed photography and I often wonder what he would have made of the equipment I am lucky to have.
Sometimes it’s nice just to jump in the car and arrive somewhere simply because that’s where the road took you but on this occasion it was a planned trip, so with the destination details entered into Tom Tom we set off. Having looked at various websites and OS maps I knew I was hoping to park in the car park next to Hawes Pier on Newhalls Road but as we made our way down the B924, Hawes Brae, which was nose to tail with parked cars it was obvious this was going to be a busy place. Undeterred by the sight of these parked cars we continued down to the car park only to have a quick look before heading back out the town to join the parked cars on the roadside telling yourself it was a nice day and walking is good for you.
It’s not until you walk under the rail bridge you actually realise the size of this feat of engineering that was completed in 1890 and understand why it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will also see a small road heading out of the town and we found a limited number of rough parking spaces along here, so it might be worth checking this out if you are looking for a parking place closer to the bridge.
It was a reasonably short walk along Newhalls Road, onto Farquhar Terrace, under the Forth Road Bridge before ending up on Shore Road and Port Edgar Marina where you could get a good view of the new crossing which was after all one of the reasons for our visit.
A day out is not complete unless you have something to eat and in my opinion there is nothing better than a chippie. There were several places to choose from including the newly opened Harry Ramsden's at The 3 Bridges but on this occasion we went to Maurizio’s on Farquhar Terrace, the staff were very friendly and made you feel welcome which always makes a big difference, I remember one day Janice and I were in a chip shop in Keswick, the Old Keswickian, when I ordered the food I could hear a lad working in the back shop area say "I don't like the Scottish" unfortunately I had already paid for the food. Food in hand, Janice and I walked back to where we had earlier seen a set of steps which leads down to the shore and gave a good view of the rail bridge. Eating a sausage supper outside without being attacked by seagulls, what more could you ask for, perhaps not everyones idea of the high life but for me it's ideal. The food was great but perhaps the next time I’ll ask for some sauce in the corner and not all over. Visitors to Edinburgh chippies will know all about salt and sauce tradition.
We were very lucky with the weather and although we only saw what I suppose is the tourist part of Queensferry we found it to be an interesting place and we’ll worth a visit and I would certainly make the trip again. Next time I would definitely take one of the boat trips out to Inchcolm Island and perhaps get a train at Dalmeny station and cross the Firth of Forth by the rail bridge.