Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Level Crossing Closure

Sandhurst’s local level crossing has been closed. It’s quite likely that a majority of local residents didn’t even know that there was a level crossing being that it was on a footpath in the woods. Indeed until last year neither did I until I spotted on a map that a footpath crossed the railway near Ambarrow Wood and went to take a look. I found that it was fenced off and temporary closure notices were in place. A walk up that way yesterday evening to see if it had reopened revealed that the closure was made permanent in January 2020
Harveys Public Level Crossing crosses (or rather crossed) the Reading to Guildford railway line south of Crowthorne Station on the West side of Ambarrow Court
Map of Harveys CrossingMap copyright OpenStreetMap contributors
The crossing carried Sandhurst Footpath 9A across the two railway tracks on wooden boards and was protected only by iron “kissing gates” and signage warning to stop look and listen for trains. Around 80 trains pass this point each day at up to 70mph, although most will be going slower due to the closeness of Crowthorne Station. There is good visibility up and down the line in both directions.
I can’t find any record online of any incidents at the location but Network Rail seem to have a policy of seeking to close as many level crossings as they can anyway.
Footpath 9A and its crossing also formed part of the long distance Three Castles Path between Windsor Castle and Winchester Castle (the third being Odiham).
3 Counties Path sign
As a result this path is now half a mile longer, it being necessary to walk up one side of the line, cross over on Kiln Bridge, and walk back down the other side to regain the route. It’s not an unpleasant diversion but probably not as interesting as a pedestrian level crossing.
Harveys Crossing from Kiln Bridge
The crossing from Kiln Bridge to the north.
Harveys Crossing Ambarrow Court gateway
The crossing from the Ambarrow Court side.
Closure Notice
Official closure notice.
Diversion route
Footpath diversion route.
So now we no longer have a level crossing. Few will miss it I suppose. 
I wonder how long it will take the council to remove the Public Footpath fingerpost sign that still points through the chainlink fence across the railway tracks on the eastern side?

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Interesting times.

I’ve been avoiding writing about COVID19 like the plague. But here goes my ha'porth.
While others have produced many pages of words on their lockdown activities, how many books they’ve read, video conferences they’ve attended, or new skills they’ve learnt I’ve mostly been at work. Being declared a key worker right from the outset has meant the changes to my daily routine haven’t been that great. I still need to visit and interact with customers - albeit while trying to observe strict social distancing - and I already worked largely from home anyway. I haven’t needed to visit the main office, or rather I’ve avoided doing so even though most of the desk based people normally there have been despatched off to work from their kitchen tables but occasionally I’ve needed to visit a nearby site to access a printer. (Using my own printer at home being verboten for security reasons.) So work wise not so different from normal.
My planned trip to the far north of Scotland by rail was due to start on March 20th, so that didn’t happen. I’ve got most of the money refunded now and made a note of the companies who took a “tough luck, we’ve got your money now fuck off” approach to the situation for future consideration when trip planning. (Yes, I’m looking at you Caledonian Sleeper.)
That left me with a week off and nowhere to go, which has been my only real period of lockdown. In those early days of bog roll and other shortages I was glad I had previously stocked up for Brexit. Although I haven’t needed to use much of that stockpile since shop supply lines have since adapted. Shop once a week, Monday or Tuesday after 1400 hrs seems to be the way to avoid the worst crowds (though not necessarily the worst people) and still get most of what you want.
Signpost in the woodsFor my daily (well some days anyway) permitted exercise outing I’ve mostly headed to the nearby woods, scrub, and swamp of Wildmoor Heath or on a couple of occasions down by the Blackwater River.
I live in a built up area so it should be no surprise that with a lot of people needing to escape the confines of their four walls the open spaces will have more people in them than usual. It has apparently come as a surprise to the usual vociferous half-wits on social media though, encouraged by our appalling fourth estate (and in some cases Chief Constables). 
I’ve left it until 1830 or 1900 hrs before going out for a walk, avoiding most of the families with loud unruly kids and bikes. There have still been a few of the usual arrogant mountain bikers to try to avoid though. I think having a saddle stuck up your arse must do something to your brain chemistry. At least the weather has been conducive to outside activities. Although maybe if it had been pissing down we would’ve minded less about not being allowed out.
I did try going out very early one morning instead. It was bloody cold. And there were nearly as many walkers out as in the evening.
In spite of the generally good weather I’ve managed to get drenched at work a couple of times, just so I don’t forget what rain is I suppose. The joys of working outside. Now compounded by people who have no idea what 2 metres looks like and having to be alert to the possibility of attack by 5G conspiracy fuckwits.
I already lacked a social life before all this but evenings in have proved that there’s still very little worth watching on TV. I managed to stand about 3 days of government Corona-briefings before deciding I didn’t need to be depressed any further. Youtube has remained my channel of choice and Saturday evenings have been enlivened by the weekly Don’t Panic! livestreams from All The Stations. Also an epic and unintended 3h 10m livestream from Martin Zero the live comments section of which turned into a fantastic childhood TV nostalgia-fest 😊
Odette MichellIn other news I’ve read quite a lot of eBooks, although not as much as I expected. Where does all the time go?
I’ve spent too much time on Twitter. I’ve had to temporarily restrict my tweets to confirmed followers to get a break from the wilfully ignorant and terminally stupid who always seem to be looking for a fight. I’m so glad I don’t do Facebook as well. That particular plague seems to be infecting Cix as well unfortunately😞
I’ve had my first adventure into Zoom land. The talented and generally lovely Odette Michell did a “live” gig via Silsoe’s NAF Club. An award-winning artist live in your own front room can’t be bad, even on an 8” tablet πŸ˜€ Gotta love the technology.
Steve Knightley and Show of Hands youtube channel has whiled a way a few evenings with musical entertainment as well.
I eschewed the VE Day 75th anniversary bollocks. I was unsurprised when it was inappropriately used to whip up some jingoistic nationalism. Did the virus take a day off so that the Daily Mail could celebrate what it referred to as “Victory over Europe” day? πŸ™„
That’s “sort of lockdown” so far, I wonder what’s next?
We await the buffoon in 10 Downing Street's widely-leaked announcement that restrictions are to be eased from tomorrow. I have no doubt this will result in a fiasco, will make things more difficult at work, and quite likely unflatten the curve as well. Still the elite are hurting in the pocket and hoi polloi need to be sacrificed to ease their pain.
We are to stay alert apparently.
Good luck to you all.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Avoiding Steep Hills where possible

A recent Twitter post by Paul Whitewick about an early road atlas reminded me that on my map shelf (What? Don't you have one?) are some AA "prepared routes" made for my parents in the early 1960s.

AA Prepared Route Maps
While not as old as the one Paul's looking at they do provide a reminder of road travel in a time before sat-nav, largely before motorways, and when the performance of cars required careful route planning to help ensure a trouble-free journey.

The earliest from 1960 goes from Kingston-upon-Thames to Sidmouth in Devon, a journey of 158¼ miles according to the front cover, Google maps suggests 154 miles today. A year later they were off to another favourite holiday haunt, Hayle in Cornwall - probably to join Mum's parents who rarely went elsewhere - a much longer 267¼ miles. Although the AA route starts at Harrow & Wealdstone Station and they lived at Heston so you can knock about 7 miles off that.

This route has on the cover the endorsement "(Avoiding Steep Hills where possible)". This isn't some thing that we often need to think about now with most modern cars having ample power to tackle any hill in this country excepting the few exceptional steep mountain passes.

It was a factor in 1961 however, particularly if your "sports car" only had a 328cc motorcycle engine (and only three wheels). Failure to plan ahead might result in your passenger having to get out and carry the suitcases!

Having said which the photo here was taken in Wales where nothing is flat except sometimes the beer.
The prepared route maps are a little odd to look at at first.

 The list of instructions on the left of the page run from top to bottom.

The strip map on the right of the page runs from bottom to top so that you are looking at the map in the direction of travel, which is logical once you've thought about it but a little confusing at first.

A North-pointing arrow is included in the map for orientation purposes and at the top of the page a brief description of the terrain through which you;ll be travelling is given.

The return trip is printed on the reverse of the pages so when you want to come home you simply open the booklet at the back cover and follow the instructions and maps as you did on the outward trip.

For 1963 the destination was Skegness, the Berkeley had been replaced by a Ford Popular 100E and the passenger count was increased by one. For 1965 it was Skeggy again though by then an Austin A35 Countryman (like Wallace and Gromit's van but with side windows) had replaced the Ford. Steep hills were less of a concern and something else had appeared on the maps.

Section Mill Hill to Baldock
North of Hatfield was  Welwyn "The Clock" Motorway Terminal. The southern end of the A1(M) motorway section between Welwyn and Stevenage had opened in 1962. (This is now Junctions 6 to 8.)

If you didn't fancy driving on this new-fangled invention a footnote gave an alternative:

"If all purpose roads are preferred take 3rd exit B197 & proceed via Knebworth, Broadwater & Stevenage where bear rt to rejoin old road at Graveley".

I like the distinction between Motorways and "all purpose roads". If you had been letting rip on the new motorway, which you might well have been doing given that until just before Christmas 1965 there was no speed limit, you are cautioned in the route notes to "watch your speed" on rejoining the A1 at Graveley. Even if the 70mph limit had been in force I'm not sure either of Dad's cars could have broken it though I'm sure he'd have tried to find out πŸ˜€



Images: Route to Hayle and route to Sidmouth:

Scans of the outward trips to Hayle and to Sidmouth, 1960 and 1961.

If you wanted to try and follow the 1961 route to Hayle and back avoiding steep hills where possible (and once the COVID-19 lockdown has been lifted obviously) there's a PDF of the document here although I rather think 59 years of changes in the road system might turn that into a bigger challenge than the original trip regardless of how many cc your car's engine has πŸ˜ƒ

Friday, 3 April 2020

Hidden London - Moorgate Station

4th March 2020

In a previous era when we were able to leave home without the risk of catching the plague, having our shopping examined by the police, or being abused by self-appointed guardians of society on Twitter, I paid a visit to the disused parts of Moorgate Underground station by means of a Hidden London Tour by the London Transport Museum. Was it really only a month ago? For anyone old enough to remember 1975 Moorgate is synonymous with one terrible thing but there's more to the station than that.


Moorgate Station - Metropolitan Line

 Moorgate station in the City of London opened in 1865 as the terminus of the first extension of the Metropolitan Railway, intended to bring the line closer to the financial heart of the city. A year later extra platforms were added for the Metropolitan Widened Lines, a.k.a City Widened Lines, which gave more capacity in peak times. In 1868 these lines were extended to King's Cross and used by the Great Northern, London Chatham & Dover, and Midland Railways for services to that station. The Metropolitan Railway altered their terminal platforms in 1875 when they extended the line to Liverpool Street and Moorgate became a through station.

 

Moorgate Station - Northern Line

 Moving forward 25 years a second Moorgate Station was built when the City & South London Railway (now part of the Northern Line) arrived in 1900. This tube station on the other side of the road also incorporated a fancy 6 storey office building which became the company headquarters. Four lifts took passengers to the platforms deep below the ticket hall. In 1904 the Great Northern & City Railway joined the C&SLR at Moorgate, bringing main line trains through larger than normal tube tunnels from Finsbury Park direct to the city, relieving congestion at King's Cross. This meant there were two separate Moorgate stations (actually both called Moorgate Street at the time) and passengers wishing to change lines had to come up to the surface and cross the road. 

 

Old signage in subway tunnel

 Since this was a pain in the neck the three railway companies built a passenger subway to link the stations. This opened in 1912 and contained ticket offices for the three underground lines and mainline trains running over the City Widened Lines.

These subway tunnels form the first part of the Hidden London tour, (Were you wondering when I'd get to that?) where the guides explained much of the above history in the now very grubby tunnels after descending the spiral staircase - no lifts any more. As always the presentation given was excellent, pitched at the right level for "tube nerds" and "normal" visitors both.

 

Greathead Shield

The next section of the tour took us to Moorgate's "unique selling point" as far as station tours go. The Great Northern & City had always intended to extend it's line to Lothbury, further into the heart of the city and so a Greathead Shield was installed at the southern end of the tunnel ready to excavate the new line southwards. This required supporting money from the Great Northern Railway but they pulled out of the project and the tunnel went no further. The GN&C, heavily reliant on peak hour traffic was bought by the Metropolitan Railway in 1913. The Greathead Shield however was left in place and over 100 years later it's still there. After  being strongly warned against taking photos of the trains - the shield is located just beyond the live platform, ducking through a narrow service tunnel, and waiting until the platform is empty a raised walkway takes us to something you really won't see anywhere else on the network. (Though if you've walked through the pedestrian tunnel between the DLR and Waterloo & City at Bank station you'll have passed through the remains of a Greathead shield left in place after the line was completed and rediscovered when the DLR was built, look for the red metal ring partly embedded in the tunnel walls.)

 

Moorgate "catacombs"

During the Blitz the Metropolitan station at Moorgate was very heavily damaged being a subsurface station with open platforms not a deep tube. (So this is one Hidden London station tour where "used as an air raid shelter" isn't a theme.) Temporary repairs were carried out post-war pending the area's redevelopment. That redevelopment was part of the Barbican and entailed re-aligning the Metropolitan tracks between Barbican station and Moorgate. Between 1962 & 1967 a steel and concrete raft was built over the Metropolitan platforms and Moorgate Underground station actually became an underground station. Three seven storey office blocks were then built above. As part of the Thameslink project the City Widened Lines platforms were closed in 2009. Sometimes humorously referred to as the Moorgate Catacombs these are intended to be re-used as storage sidings for the Hammersmith & City and Circle line trains in 2020. The tour takes us through the working platforms and into the construction site to the end of the Widened Lines platforms where on the day I went we were lucky that the builders had left the lights on, affording a good view down the lines under the Barbican.

 

Metropolitan Railway "Diamond & Bar"

Moorgate station will be joined to Liverpool Street by the platforms of the new Crossrail* station - whenever that eventually opens, adding another chapter to the history and complexity of a station which I hitherto had rarely thought about except in connection with that terrible accident on 28th February 1975 when a train from Drayton Park failed to stop at the terminal platform, hitting the tunnel end wall at about 35mph and resulting in the deaths of 43 people. This was the Underground's worst peacetime accident but was the catalyst for the introduction of the automatic safety system, sometimes called the Moorgate System, that will stop a train entering a station too fast and that has been adopted on railways across the world.




(*Cross/Eliz/Purple/rail/train/Line πŸ˜‰ )


 

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Hayling Billy

Sunday March 1st 2020
Hayling Island, east of Portsmouth doesn’t have a railway but it used to have one. A four and a half mile long single track branch line ran from Havant on the mainland, to Langston Station on the north east corner of Langstone Harbour (the railway never used the ‘e’), across a wooden swing bridge onto Hayling Island then via North Hayling station down the western shore of the island to the terminus at Hayling Island station near the popular beaches on the island’s south coast. 
What became known as the “Hayling Billy” was opened by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) for goods on 19 January 1865, and for passengers on 16 July 1867. The delay for passenger operation being a result of problems with the quality of the line’s construction meaning the Board of Trade inspector initially refused to certify the line as fit to carry passengers. Because of the weight restriction on the bridge over Langstone Harbour it was worked, from late Victorian times to closure in 1963 by small LB&SCR A1/A1X Class locomotives.
Remains of the railway bridge 
Heavily used in the summer by holidaymakers visiting the beaches of Hayling Island in the winter the trains were mostly empty.Nevertheless the line was able to run at a small profit. By 1962 however the bridge across Langstone Harbour needed replacement and British Railways decided this was not a reasonable investment. The decision was taken to close the line and the last scheduled passenger train ran on the evening of 2 November 1963. With hindsight this was probably a poor decision. Anyone who has sat in the interminable summer traffic queues getting on and off the island over the single road bridge would probably consider that keeping the railway would have been worth the required investment. Too late now, the bridge was dismantled and the track lifted in spring 1966.
Restored signal post
So you can’t ride on a train on Hayling island but you can walk the route (the part on the island at least) so that’s what I did on a dry but very windy Sunday afternoon. The island section is now a combined footpath, bridleway and cycleway. It has recently become part of route 2 of the National Cycle Network and called the Hayling Billy Trail. Just after the road bridge on the right is a small, busy car park with a tight entrance which serves as the trail starting point. Fortunately there was one space left.
A path from the car park leads to the south end of the bridge to the mainland, the remains of which are visible looking back towards the site of Langston Station. Here also is a restored semaphore signal post reinforcing that this is a disused railway line. You then back-track and follow the course of the line south.

Site of North Hayling Station
You can as I did take the detour via the former oyster beds which returns to the trackbed at the site North Hayling Station, nothing of which is now apparent. Here there was a sign saying that the next section was currently unsuitable for cycles due to drainage problems and indeed there was a fair sized part of the track that was flooded but as everyone knows cyclists cannot read - or choose not to. Walkers could pick their way around the flood on the raised bank on the seaward side. 
The route hugs the water side so there are good views across Langstone Harbour to Southsea and Portsmouth with the Spinnaker Tower being clearly visible. This also means it’s exposed to the elements which today meant a strong southwesterly wind. There isn’t much obvious in the way of railway “remains” though. The trail ends in West Town about 750 metres from the sea front where Station Road runs into Sinah Lane. Hayling Island Station was demolished but the former goods shed survives as part of the Station Theatre and is quite clearly a bit of railway architecture.
Former goods shed, Hayling Island station
If I could have worked out if, when, and from where the buses ran I’d have ridden back but instead I walked under a darkening sky that shortly unloaded a squall of horizontal rain and hail. This eventually passed and I was treated to an impressive rainbow. Which ws a little compensation for still being rather damp when I got back to the car park. At least the nearby petrol station has a Costa - a proper one with a counter and attractive baristas rather than a self service machine. It also has cheap fuel which is against the usual trend of anything on an island being more expensive. I filled up with flat white and unleaded before heading home.


Here's a Flickr Album of photos from Hayling Island
Hayling Island

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Norwich, Norfolk 'n good.

7th February 2020
Hmm, seems to have taken me a couple of weeks to get around to writing about my quick trip to the unofficial capital of East Anglia.Probably because it was something of a curate’s egg.

I had hoped to get a ride on one of Greater Anglia’s shiny new Stadler trains but this was not to be and my 1st Class (only because I had some compensatory vouchers to use up) off-peak return only got me a seat behind a Class 90 on a train with no working toilets, a lot of rattles, and an internal carriage end door that wouldn’t shut, resulting in a fresh breeze at each station stop. On the way back it was two mis-matched 4 car Class 321s with no catering. For my first experience of GA this wasn’t impressive.
At least the sun was shining when I arrived.
The Premier Inn is handily just across the River Wensum from the station although getting to the entrance entails finding your way around the back and through a car park and drop-off area. If there’s a segregated pedestrian route I saw no sign of it. Comfortable room with a river view across to the station, shame the free Wi-Fi was buggered. I went out to find something to eat.

I have as a solo traveller been into pubs in a lot of cities in the UK and never had a bad experience or been made to feel unwelcome. Norwich, or at least the Woolpack Inn on Golden Ball St. proved to be an exception. It started off ok, I had fish and chips and a pint both of which were more than acceptable and having eaten I was considering getting another pint but it wasn’t to be. Mrs Chatham-face-lift and family entered, removed the reserved after 6pm sign from a nearby table planted themselves down and ordered food. Shortly the musicians arrived to set up, which is why the tables were “reserved”, they were to be moved to provide a stage area. Good, I like live music in pubs. This gave Mrs CFL a problem though, she couldn’t find another table so she marched up to me and rudely asked “how long do you expect to be sitting there?”. She regarded my reply as “fucking uncooperative” apparently and wandered away only to return, plant her two Midwich Cuckoo look-a-like kids and inbred husband at my table and informed me that "we’re going to sit here now and have our meal”. I pointed out that this was rather rude so she shouted in my face “yes it is, so what?”. As the Woolpack staff didn’t seem interested I fucked off to find a decent pub. That she didn’t get the remains of my pint in her nail-hard face is only because I hate to waste beer but it was a close run thing. I was reminded of the expression “Normal for Norfolk” but that might be unkind, she looked more like she was from a couple of counties further south. This incident slightly overshadowed my mood for the rest of the trip.
The Ribs Of Beef on Wensum Street however was much more welcoming and had a terrific range of beers and ciders. If you’re in Norwich go there instead.
Returning to the hotel it was obvious that it was in the nightclub and late night kebab-house centre of Norwich but in spite of that I had an undisturbed night’s sleep.

The next morning I eschewed Premier’s overpriced breakfast, checked out, and headed to the market. There are few better markets than the one in the middle of Norwich and few better sausage and bacon baps than the one I got from Debs, which I ate sitting in front of city hall watching the activity in the market below and fending off the feral pigeons.






Suitably fed and watered I spent the next few hours exploring Norwich city centre’s ancient streets, which I’d previously only done briefly, being then accompanied by family and dogs who weren’t up for such aimless wandering.


After visiting the really impressive Cathedral I took a walk in the unseasonal sunshine - good timing as Storm Ciara arrived the next day - along the riverside and had enough time for a cheeky pint on the riverside terrace of the Compleat Angler before crossing the road to get the train home.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Clifton Rocks Railway

Sunday 12th January 2020
While looking at the map around Clifton Suspension Bridge something else of interest sprang off the page. In Sion Hill a little south of the suspension bridge was marked “Clifton Rocks Railway”. Searching the web revealed a disused funicular railway. In a tunnel. I had to go and have a look obviously.
The former top station is next to the Avon Gorge Hotel and is where there is most to see from the street. There were two entrances for passengers which lead down to the ticket hall and platforms below street level and you can look down through the iron railings into this area. A gap in the old awning of glass and iron pavement lights allows you to throw donations into a dustbin with a bell in. These donations go to the Clifton Rocks Railway Trust which has been formed by a group of volunteers to restore the Railway. Not as a working railway unfortunately as subsequent re-use of the tunnels since the railway closed in 1934 make that an impractical proposition.
The railway opened in 1893 it had taken two years to build and cost £30,000 -twice as long and three times as much as originally planned. (Sound familiar?)
The tunnel is 500 feet long rising 240 feet at a gradient of 1:2.2. Semi-elliptical and lined with bricks it is 27 feet 6 inches wide andv18 feet high with two pairs of tracks allowing operation of four cars, in pairs connected by steel cables.
The cars were raised and lowered by means of adding or removing water from tanks under the car floors to balance the weight of car, passengers, and water tank so that the upper car going down pulled the lower car up the incline.
The railway was very popular on opening but that didn’t last and in 1908 it went into receivership, being purchased by the Bristol Tramway and Carriage Co.
In 1922 The Portway road (now the A4 Hotwell Road) was widened. This required the closure and demolition of the Bristol Port and Pier Railway from Sneyd Park junction up to and including the Hotwells terminus, leaving the Rocks Railway somewhat isolated. Also having a major road placed only inches from the bottom station made, and still makes, access difficult.
That rather heralded or at least hastened the end for the operation of the Clifton Rocks Railway and in 1934 it ceased operations.
This wasn’t the end of the line for the tunnel though. Well it was the end of the line as a railway obviously but five years later the tunnel, like so many others, got a new use.
At the outbreak of the Second World War the Ministry of Works and Buildings leased the tunnel from the Tramways Company. In March, 1940. British Overseas Airways built an office suite and used part of the upper tunnel for storage. The ARP (Air Raid Precaution) Committee established air raid shelter number 1898.
In 1941 the four cars which had remained at the bottom of the tunnel since the railway closed were removed and the BBC moved in. They built a complex in the tunnel of four main chambers and three smaller rooms in the bottom station. From the top these contained transmitters, a studio for creating programmes, a recording room to record programmes which also contained enough recorded material for several weeks’ broadcasting, and a control room where eighty GPO land lines to other BBC sites could be switched. 
The three small rooms contained generators, ventilation plant, and of course a canteen because you can’t fight against Lord Haw-Haw without plenty of tea.
In the event the main BBC Bristol studios were never put out of action by the German bombing so the emergency studio at Clifton was never needed but the useful control room alone made the tunnel conversion worthwhile. The BBC continued to make use of the site until 1960 when advances in radio technology rendered it redundant.
In the late 1950s it became apparent that the facia of the bottom station was beginning to part company with the cliff face, a four inch wide crack having appeared between it and the rock face.As a result a series of tied buttresses were constructed along the face of the tunnel in Hotwell Road. These steel sections encased in concrete were anchored to the cliff using inclined anchors connecting the top of the assembly down into the rock behind. This has rather defaced the original facia of the bottom station.
The information above is just a brief summary of that supplied by Richard Hope-Hawkins on the excellent Cliff Rocks Railway website which is well worth visiting if you want to know more. You can also book tours via that site when they are running. I do hope they manage to open the site properly as a tourist attraction, given its proximity to the suspension bridge it surely has great potential.