History - The Bridge
Since 1848, the coastal road from Maryport to Silloth had crossed the beck at Allonby on a fine cast-iron bridge, seen in this postcard view.
On November 28th, 1905 the beck was very swollen due to heavy rain when a traction engine approached from the Maryport side, hauling three large wagons containing Caris and Foxe's Venetian Gondolas - a steam powered fairground ride.
The first part of the engine was almost over the bridge when it collapsed beneath the weight.
The engine fell over sideways, crashing through the railings and into the beck.. The driver and his mate were able to 'let off steam' and jump clear.
P.C. Richardson was soon in command of affairs and directed other vehicles through the swollen waters. Mr Twentyman brought some planks from an old ship, which was being broken-up on the shore, to provide a temporary walkway over the remains of the bridge.
Work began quickly to recover the damaged vehicles but the bridge was beyond repair.
It was replaced with a fine stone built hump back structure which still remains in use today.