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Celebrate the engineers' secrets


I was interested in Dave Parker's Comment (NCE 9/30 December). As a participant in one of the programmes in the series Secrets of the Ancients I would disagree with his views most strongly, for a number of reasons.

First, the deadlines for the programmes were not 'meaningless'. The BBC, like all of us, have tight budgetsto work to and good camera crews have busy schedules

so that work has to be completed to tight schedules, even where there wasno deadline for historical reasons.

Secondly, while some technically qualified people would have enjoyed the problem solving for its own sake, the programmes were targeted at a wider audience. The programmes needed to offer interest and excitement beyond the technical issues, which included injecting such dramatic devices as time deadlines. In this they succeeded, resulting in more people seeing engineers at work and conveying at least some of the challenge of our work.

Engineers appear on television all too infrequently. What a shame Mr Parker could not celebrate the appearance of a whole series about engineering feats in a rather more positive way.

Jo Parker

Three Valleys Water, Clay Lane, Bushey, Heath, Herts WD2 3RE

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