It spanned the River Eamont for over 250 years, then Storm Desmond swept it away. Now Pooley Bridge has been rebuilt – and a local delicacy must be updated
When Pooley Bridge lost its namesake crossing to the torrential floods of Storm Desmond in 2015, the picturesque Lake District village was robbed of more than just a route over the water. “It was like losing a well-loved relative,” says Miles MacInnes, chairman of the parish council. “Our community was split in two.” It was the symbol of the place, the essence of the community’s identity. As one local resident said: “We’ll have to call ourselves Pooley No Bridge now!”
At Granny Dowbekin’s Tearooms, which had overlooked the historic bridge for generations, there was another dilemma. What would become of their trademark hand-baked delicacy, the Pooley Gingerbridge biscuit? “We’ll have to sell it in bits,” said baker Sarah Fowler.