Plaque 8 is in the pavement on Market Street outside the Himalaya store
This plaque is sponsored by
Cherished sparkling beck
Degraded to a midden
You are now in Market Street, a major thoroughfare since the town began to grow. You are standing at a plaque opposite the former Tarapaca Bank building, formed to foster Anglo-Chilean trade in fleece of the alpaca camelid. Alpaca fibre is like wool, but silky and is used to make suits of the highest quality.
The Beck is contained beneath your feet, but in 1947, heavy rain fell and water levels in Bradford Beck rose. Pressure built up in the culvert below you and Market Street distorted. The Beck exploded through the road surface, sending hundreds of wooden cobbles high into the air to land close-by. Local schools closed for the safety of the children, many of whom made their way into the city to gawp at the flood and the damage it had caused.
Beneath your feet