Abbeyhill Railway Bridge

Ah, foolish traveller! You have been ensnared by the Beast, and now you must hear his sad story, for the Beast was not always so. Once upon a time, it was a man called Mr Jeremy Clegg who worked in advertising, selling poster sites to local businesses. One afternoon during a particularly sluggish sales period, he was just passing by the arch when his eye was caught by the very poster site you can see in the picture. `If I can see that, so can my customers!' thought Mr Clegg (mildly disorientated by the sudden overhead rumbling of a large train bound for Berwick-upon-Tweed) which was a great victory for the power of suggestion, because the poster at the time read `If you can see this, so can your customers!'. `I know!' he continued to think, `I can revive my advertising sales by advertising advertising on poster sites on poster sites!' and in a fit of enthusiasm, he whipped out his mobile phone and dialled the number at the bottom of the poster.

Unfortunately, the number he was dialling was engaged. `Someone might be trying to nab this spot before me.' he conjectured, and resolved to stand there on guard staring at the poster, questioning the passers-by and all the time waiting for the engaged tone to stop. And he waited and he stared and he stared and he waited and gradually he began to change, in the way that single-minded people do. His legs merged together from lack of being separated, his arms became a frame around his neck for holding a phone from lack of being used for gesticulation, affection or veterinary science, his eyes went blind from lack of seeing anything other than what was in front of his nose, and his mouth became stuck in an open position because his mind was stuck in a closed one. Eventually, all that was left was an intestinal tract with a strange rectangular ruff, its original purpose ground down to an unthinking hostile instinct, and that's how it remains today. Wise and brave locals have longsince blanked out the poster and removed the mobile phone in order to prevent this tragedy recurring.

The irony of the whole story is that the poster site was, in fact, the property of a company which had been taken over several years previously by Mr Clegg's employers and had been sitting there unsold for so long that nobody knew about it, mergers and staff turnover in advertising being the way they are. The enquiries number at the bottom of the poster was consequently redirected to the new company and subsequently reredirected to the mobile phone of that afternoon's duty salesman...

Today, the beast's round wide mouth is always open, hoping to find prey in the form of unwary pilgrims blithely wandering under the archway, whistling merrily and heading for Tytler Gardens. Actually, it's the whistling that's the big mistake, because the poor old Beast is blind as a bat and not at all hard to dodge.

You can wander along Abbeyhill towards Spring Gardens if you like, though keep an eye out for footballs flying at you over the school fence and be careful not to be mistaken for a rusty old banger, otherwise you'll end up being resprayed and retuned in one of the many car workshops run by retired superheroes that you'll be passing.

On the right, you can see a road climbing away eastward from the bridge. If you follow it, you can reach the top of Easter Road.

You can even nip up the steps and hop over the fence if you fancy playing on the railway line, but watch out for the trains, rumbling electrically to the Big Smoke or click-clacking their diesel way to Musselburgh, Wallyford, Prestonpans, Longniddry, Drem and North Berwick. Watch out for grumpy Railtrack executives too, because the penalty for not being run over is a £200 fine.