I’ve also published a couple of collections of short stories about growing up in South Queensferry – the Ferry, as we locals know it. Ferry Tales is set in the austere times of the 1950’s and early 1960’s. And Lost Between the Bridges continues the stories from the Swinging Sixties into the dark winter of 1970. Between those two collections, I penned The Bookie’s Runner, an account of the short and tragic life of my father, a true Ferry man.
“For a hundred years, the Forth Railway Bridge had straddled the banks of the estuary, a permanent bond between the ancient burgh of Queensferry to the south and its identically named neighbour across the river. A century of sunrises had woken the giant, beginning afresh its sovereignty of the landscape. Across the decades, it had looked down imperiously on the ebbs and flows of human development: unflinching in 1939 when the Luftwaffe came so very close to success; indifferent to the demise of the sturdy steam locomotives which had crawled, chugging and panting, through its massive belly; still defiant in 1964 when a rival road bridge sprang up on its horizon: a sleek, modern pretender to its vast kingdom. Now, in 1990, its centennial year, the old monarch remained aloof from the rush of activity along its mighty arches.”
Whatever you do about The Burrymen War, I can also announce that it’s probably the last time I write about the Ferry – at least for the foreseeable future. Having penned so much about the town, the old bridge and the landscape of my childhood, I’m sort of all Ferry-ed out now. There are other places and events and people to write about, other scores to settle, other wrongs to right. Watch this space for the next instalment!