The village of South Queensferry gathers around the iconic rust-red Forth Bridge spanning the brown waters of the Firth of Forth. Three enormous steel cantilever structures cross the inlet, superimposed against concrete supports of the newer suspension bridge. A constant stream of motorway traffic restricted to outer roads spares sleepy neighbourhoods and quiet, hedge-lined streets from excessive commercial development. Modest residences stamped by Victorian practicality follows function over form, plain rowhouses marching down the gentle slopes in waves. Working class families fill the parks and schools and pubs, a world away from the manic chaos of Edinburgh.
The Firth's watery lifeline still dominates village life despite the encroaching suburbs, and residents look to the sea rather than the city for wealth. Small fishing boats moor at the disused quays visited by seagulls more than sailors these days, a stream of heavy pilings punched into rocky beaches. Abandoned dockyards litter the far shore around the port of Rosyth, enormous red cranes awaiting the next freighter from the North Sea. The recommissioned naval base sits silent most of the time, grim superstructures and barbed wire fences studding the northern horizon. Economic recession leaves a gloomy pallor over the compact downtown core, a stream of blank windows and faded "for let" signs facing the narrow cobbled lanes. Life grinds on as it ever has in quaint pubs and unremarkable docks along the seaside.