Tuesday 22 Mar 2005
LOCAL WOMAN GOES FORTH
- Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
SHE has trundled over it on a train, passed under it on a boat and hovered over it in a helicopter.
But for June Grant her abiding dream has always been to walk over the historic Forth Bridge.
Thirty years ago she went to the trouble of writing to the legendary Jimmy Saville on ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ to ask if he could.
Sadly Jim couldn’t, but now thanks to radio station FORTH2 and Network Rail, pensioner June has fulfilled her lifelong ambition.
June was one of the lucky winners from hundreds of entries in FORTH2’s ‘Dreams Come True’ competition where listeners were asked to share their biggest dream.
Network Rail offered to give June the once in a lifetime chance of walking over the iconic structure. She was able to access special walkways from South Queensferry to the north cantilever, was taken to the top of the structure and finished her trip by returning to the south side of the estuary by boat. A thrilled June also received a presentation pack as a souvenir of her day.
June, 67, from Craigshill, Livingston, West Lothian, said: “I just adore the Forth Bridge and it goes way back to when I was a child. There is something about it which is so appealing and I’ve had a fascination with it for a long time.
June grew up in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, and she first fell in love with the brick-red structure when she traveled by train to Edinburgh on family breaks.
During the 1960s June’s ex-husband was in the Royal Navy and based in Rosyth and she became a regular visitor to the local landmark, which is Scotland’s biggest ‘listed’ building.
She said: “I know this sounds a bit stupid but if I felt stressed, I would take myself along to the bridge and just sit for hours. Back then there was a ferry to Edinburgh and I would often make the crossing because you got such wonderful views.”
Voluntary worker June’s home boasts many Forth Bridge pictures and bric-a-brac and for her 60th birthday her family paid for a helicopter trip over the River Forth so she could enjoy a birds’ eye view of the bridge.
Afterwards a delighted June said: “Until now I had done everything but walk along the bridge and it was worth the wait. It is such a beautiful structure and I loved every minute I was up there.
“I would like to thank Radio Forth and Network Rail for making my dream come true. There is only one other thing I want to do and I have arranged that – to have my ashes scattered under the bridge.”
FORTH2 breakfast show host Scott Wilson, said: “We are delighted to have been able to fulfill June’s big dream and to fix what Jim couldn’t all those years ago.”
Ian Heigh, Project Manager of the Forth Bridge said: “The bridge is a wonderful structure, known across the world, for its engineering excellence and I can understand why it means so much to June. Although I’m involved in overseeing the refurbishment of the bridge and spend a great deal of my time on it, I never tire of looking at it.
“Members of the public are not normally allowed to access the bridge, but we have made a special allowance in June’s case.”
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
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