Forth Bridge

Bright blue sky behind the lattice construction of the forth rail bridge

Forth Bridge.

Over the Firth of Forth in the short run at Queensferry there’s three bridges. They are three different designs, from three different centuries. Forth Bridge – 1890. Forth Road Bridge – 1964 and the Queensferry Crossing – 2017. It opened to traffic on August 30th, and officially opened by the Queen on September 4th, exactly 53 years after she opened the Forth Road Bridge.

sunset sky looking towards South Queensferry from the first cantilever of the forth rail bridge
observation deck on the forth rail bridge
looking down onto the tracks of the forth rail bridge
looking down the cantilever span towards Inchgarvie island in the Firth of Forth
Sunset behind the road bridges in the Firth of Forth

The rail bridge is the oldest and depending on who you ask also the prettiest. The world agrees with me and in 2015 UNESCO recognised it as “an extraordinary and impressive milestone in bridge design and construction during the period when railways came to dominate long-distance land travel”. It completed in 1890 and is a cantilever design.

6.5 million rivets hold the steel plates together and the final rivet used in construction was gold plated and recorded with a special inscription.

Often known as the Forth Rail Bridge, its name is the Forth Bridge. Rail is often added to prevent confusion with it’s neighbour the Forth Road Bridge.

Last weekend I got to go up to the highest point on the first cantilever on the North Queensferry side, and spent 30 minutes basking in the views.

It takes a couple of minutes in an access lift to rise the 110m to the observation deck. Eventually the lift stops, the driver opens the door then the view floods in and you step out onto the platform. Unbelievable.

Completely unobstructed views of Edinburgh, the Firth and the road bridges. All while stood on top of the bridge 110m above the Firth with surprisingly little wind.

We were on top for about 30 minutes during out time atop, three or four trains passed under us. Our host encouraged us to hold onto the railings when the first train passed. I held the railing and you feel the bridge move with the train, as William Arrol designed it to.

The photo’s don’t do the view, the bridge or the sense of scale justice. I went up on what felt like was the goldilocks trip. The sky was interesting, the weather was kind – calm and warm, and four trains passed under us.

The talk beforehand run by the Briggers was interesting. The guide & driver who took us up were great.

It is an unforgettable experience.

Get your own Your View at Your View at the Forth Bridge | Barnardo’s (

Barnardo's sign atop the Forth rail bridge
Days Out

Truckfest NW 2022

Blue R T Keedwell trucks against a blue sky
Keedwell Trucks
Swamp Thing monster truck in mid air after jumping 4 crushed cars
Swamp Thing
Templeton super heroes truck showing its intricate brightly coloured paint job of super heroes
Templeton Super Heroes truck
Broke FMX motorcycle display rider in mid air between two large ramps
Broke FMX

Truckfest North West 2022. Went along with the family, had a belting day. Trucks of every shape, size and type. Swamp Thing monster truck, Broke FMX display. Truck related show stalls selling everything from LED lights and air horns to air fresheners and waterless wash.

Little fun fair for the kids with lorry delivered rides, a giant inflatable slide and even mini trucks for the little ones to drive. This years truckfest must have was a cowboy hat. Fin is still wearing his today!

My brother is a truck mechanic & it was him that first put us on to truckfest. We missed a couple of years (thanks covid) but went again this year and it was as good as the pre plague times. We keep threatening to go to the Peterborough one but have never yet made it. Maybe next year.

My brother was there as an exhibitor in his truck repair / recovery van which he had spent a good while shining up to make sure it was looking it’s best! He was next to one of his trucks. He camped for the weekend and said it was brilliant to see everywhere all lit up in the evening. If we do go to Peterborough next year, we’ll be camping.

The broke FMX display was great, one of the team riders misjudged the gap between the two ramps on his first jump and ended up landing way too long and came off his bike. Being a double hard northern lad from Preston, he jumped back up, brushed himself off and did the rest of the show without missing a beat.

Swamp thing monster truck was as entertaining as you would think, many cars were crushed and much noise was generated!

Live music all day long from a trailer stage and food stalls selling hot goodies.


50th Wedding Anniversary

50th wedding anniversary balloons filled with balloon gas and showing reflections of a window.

50th Wedding Anniversary. Nicky’s (my wife) parents (the in laws) got married 50 years ago today (11th September 1972).

We went over to their house to help them celebrate, had a nice lunch in a pub they like and then round to theirs for the grandkids to run about the place. Nicky’s mum loves a party game, so after cake we had a couple of rounds of pass the parcel, musical statues and finished with a couple of black lace 80s party favourites, I am the music man, Agadoo. It was a blast from the past!

The kids (and Nicky’s Mum) had a whale of a time!

When Nicky tried to get 50th wedding anniversary related gifts they were pretty thin on the ground. A couple of the people she spoke to said so few marriages last this long that there isn’t much in the way of gifts. 50 years is a long time.


Thunder and Lightning

1 minute 25 seconds of thunder.wav
1 minute 25 seconds of thunder.mp3

Thunder and Lightning. On Wednesday 7th September we had a cracking Thunder and Lightning (I know it should be lightning and thunder, but it just doesn’t read right!) storm.

I wandered about from roof window to roof window trying to get the best audio view of it. Just as it was coming to an end I thought “ooo I should record this” so I grabbed my phone and recorded some of the claps as best I could

Image of the lighting strikes during the height of the storm

Baitings reservoir

Baitings reservoir close to Ripponden in the Pennies supplies water to Wakefield.

We’ve had a hot dry summer and the reservoir is unusually low. The old packhorse bridge is normally under 3 million cubic metres of water.


Ride the lights

Every year before the illuminations are switched on Blackpool Council like to test them. They usually do this the Tuesday before switch on. The same night they close the prom to traffic all the way from Starr Gate to Bispham. They open it up to bikes and call it ride the lights.

First time we’ve done it with the kids, we wrapped Mitch’s bike with some LEDs and off we went. A lap is just under 12 miles and takes about 90 minutes to complete.

There were thousands of people and two mobile disco bikes. Get yourself along next time. It was a blast.


North Wales

The coast of North Wales around Towyn, Pensarn & Abergele is an interesting place. Caravans as far as the eye can see, sea wall and then beautiful beaches. Golden sand at Rhyl to pebbles at Pensarn.

Every now and again there’s splashes of LED light bringing colour to the sea of caravan roofs, here it’s the fair at Tir Prince, Towyn.

Further along you get Colwyn Bay and Llandudno, classic victorian seaside towns.

In land, Snowdonia is a stunning region to explore bay car, bike or on foot.

North Wales is beautiful, go check it out for yourself.

Pictures Radios


Boxes of fun



What’s not to love about a sky?

First post, some pictures of the sky.

Filler post to test things.

Lancaster canal
From the playroom (office) at home
Llandudno east shore
Looking back towards Lytham