Veteran retraces his footsteps along the Forth Bridge

Posted: 03/08/2018 | Scottish War Blinded

Living in South Queensferry for the vast majority of his life, Scottish War Blinded veteran Derek Marland has been well acquainted with the view of the iconic bridges which cross the Firth of the Forth, connecting Edinburgh to Fife. However, in 1957 Derek experienced a view only a handful of others have had the pleasure of enjoying. 

Scaling the enormous bridge in their suits and trench coats, Derek and 5 of his comrades decided to (with permission of course) climb up the bridge to enjoy the view. 

Back then health and safety was not what it is now, with the adventurous bunch climbing up with no helmets, harnesses or other safety equipment!

Recounting his exciting experience, Derek said:

“I’ll never forget it. It was a day of pure exhilaration! We never had any intention to go up to the top when we went for a visit, but away we went anyway! Back then people didn’t worry so much about the safety aspect, so the Rail Operators just gave us the thumbs up. It was quite something!” 

But now fast-forwarding to 2018, Derek has relived his experience from 60 years ago revisiting the bridge. Derek had floated the idea of going back to the bridge with Centre Officer Caroline, but Derek “never thought it would materialise”. 

Accompanied by his son, grandson, and daughter-in-law, Derek said the experience was quite different to his first visit.

“It was much safer this time. We couldn’t just walk up, we had to get a lift which took us to a walkway to look at the views. We also had to wear a hard hat and a high visibility jacket.”

However, nonetheless Derek still had a fantastic time adding:

“It was a truly excellent day out and lovely to reminisce with my family. I really never thought I’d do something quite like this again!”

Derek is very proud of the active life he has lead, but he feels that his time with Scottish War Blinded has come at time he needed it most.

“I truly believe that good things come to those who wait and I waited a long time to find a good thing, and that’s with Scottish War Blinded. I thoroughly enjoy being a member, coming to Linburn is the highlight of each week. I enjoy the people, the staff and the activities and support that comes with it.”