Thursday, June 06, 2013

Only one day left to Name the Bridge

The Forth Replacement Crossing is due to open in 2016 and the public are getting a chance to vote for its name. Voting has been open for a while now, but closes tomorrow - so if you want to have your say, you'd better get on with it. 

I finally got around to casting my vote yesterday. I have to say that I'm not in any way impressed with the shortlist, although I'm not sure one Twitter correspondent's suggestion of Unnecessary Bridge should have made it, funny though it was. The list of five names is too samey and incredibly boring.

It wasn't too difficult for me to make my choice between the five options:

A Caledonia Bridge: If it were at the Border, maybe, but it doesn't represent the whole of Scotland, it's about crossing between Fife and Edinburgh.

B Firth of Forth Crossing: Honest to god, how boring can you get? Next to the Forth Road Bridge and the Forth Bridge (I'm with Billy Connolly on that one, it's not the Forth Rail Bridge, it was there first), you end up with a Holy Trinity of Bland. Underlining in thick red sharpie that the water is called the Forth. I think we know that. Let's do something different.

C Queensferry Crossing: Slightly better than the Firth of Forth crossing, but still too functional.

D Saltire Crossing: Same as Caledonia Crossing, but why would you name a bridge after a flag? I suppose it was good enough for a tv programme, Blue Peter, but still...But we don't have Union Jack Street, or Stars and Stripes Square, do we?

E St Margaret's Crossing. Now you're talking. Women are rarely recognised and even if you're not religious, patron saints are, I guess, part of our culture. St Andrew is everywhere, from cathedrals to a central square in our capital city to schools, to the seat of Government. I really liked what Kate Higgins wrote about her a couple of years ago - and you know a blog post must be good when you can remember it after all that time.
Today we trip the light fantastic to celebrate Scotland’s Patron Saint, Andrew.  Sadly, the heavy snow put paid to many of the planned festivities but it’s clear that we Scots are growing to love our national day and to indulge in ostentatious displays of patriotism.  Hurrah!
But Scotland is a male dominated culture, so it will come as no surprise that in whipping up a ceilidh for Andrew, our other patron saint languishes unloved and unacknowledged.   But actually she – and yes, it is a she – has much more claim to Scotland’s hearts than he does. 
I might have preferred Queen Margaret's Crossing rather than St Margaret's, but my inner feminist won out here. It's important to recognise this woman who, after all, set up the first Forth Crossing as well as doing many charitable works and looking after the poor.

If you feel the same way, go and vote for her here. If you don't agree, vote anyway.

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