Constructing a rail ferry across the Severn: 1845-68

"In the 1800s the pursuit of profit resulted in better wharves and plans for bridges and tunnels to bring coal from Wales. Adam Mead reminds us of the failures and financial losses involved in constructing Victorian marvels of engineering which we take for granted today".

Engineering Work, Politics and Industrial Relations

The research discussed in this article is about 'work, society, and politics with a focus on engineering from the mid-1920s to the mid-1970s. Its starting point is earlier research on the 'labour process' specifically the influence of Taylorism and 'scientific management' in Britain. The broader aim is now to connect what Burawoy called 'the politics of production' with the politics of the wider society. It also deals with some integral research questions and key themes'.

‘Reconciled to modern Taste?’: the mysterious disappearance of William Blathwayt’s grand cascade at Dyrham Park’

Outside of their contemporary depictions, few of the Baroque gardens that were typical of the seventeenth century survive today. The Georgians preferred a more naturalistic style, and so the anachronistic gardens of the Stuart era faded away into the past. Such is the case with William Blathwayt’s spectacular gardens at Durham Park; but these gardens were home to an impressive piece of engineering which has long been puzzling historians. The jewel of the gardens was an ostentatious water feature which, from an engineering perspective, was ahead of its time. The mechanics that powered the feature remain a mystery. Based on a report by Hyla Holden, Steve Poole addresses the question of how the cascade was powered, and whether changing fashion was the sole cause for such a spectacle to fall into disuse.

Looking for James: science and bridge-building in eighteenth century Bristol

James Bridges was clearly a versatile and talented character; it seems that talent ran in his family. Following on from his father, the creator of a marvellous invention which is celebrated today at the British Museum, James Bridges was a skilled surveyor, architect and travelling showman with a keen interest in science. Bridges took on many projects throughout his lifetime, including the Bristol bridge, to name but one. In this article, Barb Drummond follows the story of this intriguing character - although the end of his story remains elusive.