Crossing the Saltash Bridge
(also known as the Royal Albert Bridge, and
The Brunel Bridge)
The Saltash Bridge is actually one of the reasons I visit Cornwall. I read about the bridge in Rosamunde Pilcher's novel, Coming Home. Her description of a young girl named Judith, sitting on the Cornish Riviera and gazing down at the British warships gathering below, made me want to see what she was seeing.
My mother gave me Coming Home for Christmas in the year 2000. I opened it and could hardly wait to start reading. But there was the Christmas dinner to get, guests to welcome, and numerous other details that could not wait for novel-reading. So I placed it beneath the tree, and savored the anticipation of the treat ahead of me. In the late afternoon with the house quiet, I crept upstairs, book in hand, and lay propped in my cozy bed, soon lost in the year 1935.
From the train windowIt was the final novel Rosamunde penned. She retired from writing, then, and we have all sadly missed her unique style and development of characters. No one does it like Ros.
It isn't just me who likes the Saltash Bridge. Today as we approached it, the same thing happened that always happens then. People who had been sitting quietly and pondering their lives, begin to stir. It's almost like a ripple effect, a whispered noticing of something special coming your way. People get up and move to where they can see better. They take out their cameras. Children call out, "Grandma! It's the SALT-ASH BRIDGE!" (My grandchild, of course).
So you can see why the Saltash Bridge is such a key moment in any trip to, or from, St Ives. There are others, such as passing by the White Horse, etched into the green country hill; the spires of Truro Cathedral moving past your window, if you are on the proper side for it; the fascinating little train stations where people stand and watch your speedy train whizzing past. It is all the most enormous treat. And I like treats.
In London, we prepare for a departure that will take us to an arrival on the far side of the Pond. I can already feel the ripple effect, as we send and receive text messages cheering the coming day; the 'whispered noticing' of something special coming our way. Tomorrow.
That is the key moment.
See you along the way!