STRING vest-wearing layabout Rab C Nesbitt, action movie star Chuck Norris and comic patriarch Paw Broon are vying with William Wallace and Robert the Bruce to give their names to the new Forth crossing.
More than 3,000 entries ranging from Scotland’s greatest icons to the utterly bizarre have been submitted in the public competition to find a name for the new bridge.
Breakfast television host Lorraine Kelly is a surprise entry, while the Duchess of Cambridge has received a string of nominations. Indeed, the royalist lobby is strong – with the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Bridge among the more popular suggestions so far.
Nominations will remain open until 31 January, when a shortlist will be drafted. The list will then be put to a public vote.
Yesterday, transport minister Keith Brown said: “There have, of course, been countless globally renowned Scots and it is interesting to see the suggested names and comments put forward by the public in favour of these noteworthy figures, past and present.
“It is great to hear that people would like to honour our most famous sons and daughters by naming the new Forth crossing after them. The advisory panel will consider them and all other suggestions.”
Names from history, sport, film, music and literature dominate the suggestions.
William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Mary, Queen of Scots and Andrew Carnegie are among those nominated.
Sir Chris Hoy and Andy Murray have proven popular in the sporting realm, along with Scottish Grand Prix legends Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart.
Billy Connolly, Sir Sean Connery and Sir Jimmy Shand are also in there, along with novelists Muriel Spark and Robert Louis Stevenson.
Scotland’s food and drink heritage isn’t forgotten, with the Haggis Highway, Shortbread Bridge and Irn-Bru Bridge (made in Scotland from girders) among the nominations, as well as the Bagpipe Bridge.
Despite no recent reports of monsters in the Firth of Forth, the Nessiebridge has also been suggested, along with the Midge Bridge.
The Sherlock Holmes Bridge is suggested, after the fictional detective’s Edinburgh-born creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. But Glasgow isn’t forgotten, with the Rab C Nesbridge and Kevin “Forth” Bridges among the contenders.
The first section forming the central foundation of the bridge was put in place last month. Around 1,200 workers are involved in the building project and the crossing is scheduled to open in 2016.
Earlier this week, the Scottish Government launched a schools competition, with the chance to attend the official opening ceremony for the new crossing in 2016.
When providing a bridge name or comment on the ww.namethebridge.co.uk website, pupils from Scottish schools – along with their parents and teachers – can add their school name.
The school which nominates or comments on the winning name will then be entered into a prize draw for the chance to attend the bridge opening ceremony as VIP guests of Transport Scotland and to visit the construction site in 2013-14, also as VIP guests.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “This is a great opportunity for teachers, pupils and parents to get involved in the search to find the name for Scotland’s largest infrastructure project in a generation. I’m keen that the Scottish public have their say on the name and, of course, that includes our young people.
“I would encourage all teachers and pupils to enter the name of their school in the competition for a chance to be part of the official bridge opening event in 2016.”
Nessie and Kate Middleton among submissions in competition
500 Miles Bridge
Lorraine Kelly Bridge
Irn-Bru Bridge (made in Scotland from girders)
The Paw Broon Crossing
Rab C Nesbridge
Kevin “Forth” Bridges
Jim Leishman Bridge
MORE SERIOUS NAMES
The William Wallace Bridge
Sir Jackie Stewart
Queen Elizabeth Jubilee
Robert the Bruce
Sir Chris Hoy
Sir Sean Connery
Sir Jimmy Shand
Mary, Queen of Scots
Kate Middleton Bridge