The “Bridge” The Official Gateway to the Village”



The bridge seen in this picture is located on the main road to the village. Whenever one enters the village from Gutters, this is the only crossing point. It crosses one of the major tributaries of the Rio Cobre River known as the Colburns Gully. The Coleburns Gully is sometimes called the Spring Garden River since it flows through that region.


The unofficial name of the bridge is “Kilby Bridge”. The Bridge was first located about a half mile away in Grove, where it was probably used on the Old Harbor road as the main crossing point since the Coleburns gully also runs across the Old Harbor road. It was removed from Grove in 1921, according to Mr. Alban Whyte and replaces an old Arch Bridge. The Arch Bridge was located about 50 yards to the left of Kilby Bridge (as shown in this picture). There is not much that is known about the origin of the Arch Bridge but further research may reveal this.  


The Coleburns Gully is usually quite active throughout the year but sometimes goes dormant during the prolonged dry season. It can become quite violent however during the rainy season, where, on many occasions it has been known to overflow its banks and create havoc for farmers and residents in close proximity. Most times however, it is a welcomed source of irrigation for farmers as well as recreational activities such as boys swimming in its waters playing “lickings”, a game where the swimmer emerges from the deep full force, with one leg in the air aimed precisely at their opponents head. The object is to submerge the opponent with a crushing blow to the head, tempered with waves created by the action. A “splitting” headache is a reminder of the encounter and that the victim should be careful the next time.


Although the old arch bridge is long gone, the one above (which is still old) is still going strong though constantly being battered by trucks from Jamaica Broilers and general day-to-day traffic.


Another feature of this location (to the far right of this picture, beside second car) is a huge mango tree fondly called “Bellyful”. This tree got its name due to the size and effect of the mangoes, which it bore. Not only was it a famous landmark, but also the source of many duppy stories and various other legends. It was also a favorite stop for those traveling on foot, especially when it is bearing ripe mangoes. No matter what time of the year one passes by old Bellyful, they are always tempted to look up to see if there were mangoes present. It is not clear how old Bellyful is; its presence however, is an enduring link to the past. It is said that many years ago the tree was once cut down considerably but has grown back to what is seen in the picture below.

Bellyful Mango Tree






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