Slime’s the limit on our filthy bridge
It’s now just over four years since Ashford’s landmark Eureka Skyway Bridge finally opened to pedestrians and cyclists. After numerous delays, the public finally got the chance to start using the short-cut across the M20 between the Warren Retail Park and the Eureka Leisure Park back in October 2011.
Since then it’s been extremely well used and a familiar sight for traffic heading up or down the motorway.
But four and a bit years on – and perhaps because of the all the wet weather we’ve had this winter – the structure is definitely in need of a spring clean.
A Nuts and Bolter who walked across the bridge the other day on his way to and from Cineworld spotted a good deal of green slime on the formerly pristine white spans and supports.
And he also noticed on his return journey in the dark that the bridge could benefit from some extra lighting on the actual walk/cycleway itself.
There seem to be lights at either end but none on the actual bridge, unless they are not working.
But, and this is probably a very big but, perhaps the only way of cleaning the bridge would be to draft in abseilers to do the work as the bridge support pillars are so high and the exterior sidings overhang the motorway.
However, at some point the 140-metre-wide steel bridge is going to need a wash, so hopefully Kent County Council has some cash in its budget to pay for a hosedown this year.
The project was funded by £8.1 million from the Department for Transport, split with the junction 9 improvements and £2.5 million Growth Area Funding acquired by Ashford’s Future.
And although the bridge’s design was not to everyone’s taste and it took longer than hoped to open, it is now very much part of the Ashford skyline for those who live near it, walk or cycle across it or drive underneath it on the M20, so it needs to be kept looking nice and tidy.
Is there anything more irritating in life than going to the cinema to watch a film you’ve been dying to see and having your enjoyment ruined by being surrounded by a load of noisy eaters stuffing their faces with massive boxes of popcorn or slurping their way through a giant Coke?
That’s what happened to our man the other night when he went to see The Big Short at Ashford Cineworld.
He’d booked a back-row seat, but just as the adverts/ promo trailers started a woman came and sat two seats away and started sniffing every 30 seconds.
At first he thought she had a cold or had a sniffy laugh, but it soon became evident she had some kind of sniffing tic that appeared uncontrollable.
He felt there was no point in asking her to stop as she probably couldn’t if it was an affliction, so he got up and changed seats (luckily it was an early evening showing, so there were plenty of spare seats).
But it led to him subsequently categorising the most annoying cinema noise-makers, so here’s his list (all of which coincidentally could be Hollywood film titles). THE MUNCHERS Scoffers of giant popcorn boxes, who snort and grunt as they try to ram as big a handful of popcorn as possible into their mouth. THE GUZZLERS Quaffers of fizzy drinks who suck so passionately on the straw in their carton that it feels like they are inhaling all the available air in the cinema at the same time, too. THE RUSTLERS Those who insist on trying to unwrap sweets noiselessly but actually prolong the process for far longer than it should take. THE EXPLAINERS Those who can’t resist explaining the plot in full detail and very loudly to a thick partner. THE LATECOMERS Those who arrive 10 minutes into the film, who’ve booked seats at the end of the row, necessitating everyone in that row standing up to let them through. THE INCONTINENTS Those who can’t sit through a two-hour film without four visits to the toilets. THE PECKISH Those who can’t sit through a two-hour film without nipping out for more popcorn or another fizzy drink. THE DORITOS Those who insist on eating foul-smelling Doritos in your face. THE WRONG-SEATERS Those who don’t sit in their allocated numbered seats, thereby causing arguments with other cinema-goers because of their selfishness. THE CHUCKLER The only person in the cinema who finds a line of dialogue funny. THE GIANTS Massive men who, although they can’t help it, obscure your view of the screen. THE FIDGETERS People in front or beside you who can’t sit still for more than a minute.
And talking of movies, Ashford-born actor Mark Rylance has been nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in Stephen Spielberg’s excellent Cold War drama Bridge of Spies.
The film, which has also been nominated for best picture, tells the story of American lawyer James B Donovan (Tom Hanks), who is recruited to defend the arrested Soviet spy Rudolf Abe (Rylance).
Mark will find out if he’s a winner when the 88th Academy Awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, February 28, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.
Good luck, Mark!
The Eureka Skyway Bridge is looking green, slimy and in need of a clean; right, the noise of gluttons munching and drinking can spoil cinema
Ashford-born actor Mark Rylance has been nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in Stephen Spielberg’s excellent Cold War drama Bridge of Spies