"Thought for today:
"Throughout my life there has always been a bridge somewhere in the background beckoning me to cross it. In the town of Portlaw, Ireland where I was born, there is a bridge which marks the entrance in and out of the village. It belongs to my earliest memory.
Just off the Leeds and Huddersfield Road which runs through the centre of Mirfield where I lived for forty years can be found Halfpenny Bridge, so called according to old timers, because a hundred years ago, a depressed villager who got himself drunk in the pub said that he was so unhappy and life had treated him so unjust that for a halfpenny he'd jump off the bridge into the River Calder and end it all. Another drinker reportedly gave the poor man a halfpenny and being either fool or man of his word, he jumped!
I once came across a bridge in Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland that simply had 'bridge' crudely carved on the wooden sign which was reportedly over 100 years old. The story behind that sign was that being frugal, the people of the said Parish Council saw no point paying for the carving of two words identifying 'Enniskillen Bridge' where the word 'bridge' would suffice for locals and only cost half as much! They seemingly justified their decision by remarking that anyone who was a resident of Enniskillen knew the name of the bridge and as far as outsiders from the south were concerned, they could always ask a local person!
There is a wood near Kirklees which has a wooden bridge that crosses a stream. As a young boy during the long summer holidays we would play in the woods most of the day. This is reported to have been the place where Robin Hood died and now rests. We never did find his grave, but did occasionally come across a dead rabbit that a fox had partly eaten. When we played hide and seek in the woods, the person who was the seeker would count to one hundred from the bridge as the rest of the gang hid among the trees nearby. The aim was for the seeker to find you and touch you before you could race back and touch the bridge railings before the seeker, in order to 'get home' safe. Often, the gamekeeper on patrol with his shot gun full of pellets would see one of us in the distance and would fire without warning. The gamekeeper only had one eye as he'd reportedly lost his other during the Second World War. We often speculated that being half blind, were he ever to kill one of us with his shotgun, he'd probably get away with it on the grounds of his army service record and war wound!
In most of my published books, there is usually a bridge to be found somewhere in the story. Bridges have always fascinated me and always will. I think that the main reason I love all manner of bridge is my independent nature and spirit of adventure. You see, a bridge stands alone; it holds no allegiance to either side. I would prefer to build a bridge as opposed to a wall any day of the week. Bridges are structures which is open to all manner of possibility, whereas walls are constructed to confine and restrict those both inside and outside their perimeter!" William Forde: November 22nd, 2015.