Slime’s the limit on our filthy bridge

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kentish Express Time Capsule From Our Archives -

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!

Pic­ture: Paul Amos FM4200206

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

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