Neil Gillespie of Reiach and Hall reminisces upon a short lived masterpiece: “I travel regularly back and forth across the Forth Bridge to my hometown of Dunfermline. I have joked that for many years I have been engaged in missionary work in Edinburgh. To pay to enter the Kingdom of Fife always seemed right to me. Seriously though it did seem correct in these days of sustainability and accountability that to pay a price for my gas guzzling was entirely appropriate.
“The estuary scene is magnificent with two memorable engineering wonders spanning the Firth. It was a great challenge to add another, albeit wee, addition to this setting.
“We thought very hard about our response. The canopy took the form of a distorted crystal inclined to the rail bridge with a more than a nod to the North. We then fought very hard to see it realised well.
“Less than a year old, the canopy sadly became a very early and easy casualty of politics through tolls being scrapped by a new SNP administration. We are pretty sanguine about what we do as architects buildings are there to be useful. An unimaginative government felt it was useful to them at that moment that the canopy vanished.
“The canopy is featured in a Dutch publication, A10 New European Architecture, of current European works, a first for us. The canopy had actually gone by the time the publication came out who knows others may be bemused by its absence.
“They say that if you lose a leg that your senses tell you that it is still there. Now as I approach the Bridges I still smile as I travel under the spectre of its pure form. It’s even better at night when the lighting invades the crystal!!”