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Fall from Suspension Bridge

The following article was published in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal on the 23rd of October 1913. “Last Wednesday a well-known rabbit trapper named Thomas David met with a serious accident while crossing Clancy’s suspension bridge on the Toomuc Valley road, falling a depth of some 12 feet. His cries for help were ultimately heard by a passer by who rescued him and conveyed him to Dr. Oliver’s. On examination, besides severe bruises to different parts of his body, it was discovered he had a compound fracture to the ankle. He was sent to the Warragul Hospital.”

Despite searching for information for years I have not been able to locate the position of “Clancy’s Suspension Bridge”.  Suspension bridges were somewhat unusual in the 1890’s and you would think that the site of this bridge would be known today. A suspension bridge took a fair amount of engineering as opposed to most bridges of that era which usually comprised of long logs rolled into place with a timber decking attached.

In the 1890’s a Mr. E. Clancy owned Mt. Pleasant (the property between Toomuc Valley road, Brown road, Thewlis road and the Pakenham Cemetery). From the reports, the bridge seemed to be close to “Old Pakenham” (or the Princes Highway). There was, at one time, a bridge that crossed the Toomuc between Purton road and Toomuc Valley near Syme road and this may have been the bridge, although we may never know.

Mr. E. Clancy was an interesting character as in 1896 it was reported in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal that he was one of the fortunate prospectors in the famed “Black Flag” gold find near Coolgardie/ Kalgoolie in Western Australia.