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Civils on top: fifty years of reconstruction

ICE news

A MAJOR exhibition celebrating civil engineering in the mid20th Century is to be held at the ICE in January.

It will include hundreds of documents illustrating the role of civil engineers in rebuilding war-shattered infrastructure in the UK and abroad.

Documents on display will include original construction contracts, construction photographs and progress drawings of many national icons including London's Waterloo Bridge, the Central Line extension, the Tyne Bridge, the Mersey Tunnel and Battersea Power Station.

The exhibition will explain how engineers were at the forefront of the war effort between 1939 and 1945, fabricating the floating precast Mulberry Harbour used to aid the invasion of Normandy. It will also have information about the first Bailey bridges and air raid shelters.

After the war civil engineers took the lead in planning reconstruction, large scale home building, and harnessing the power of nature to develop hydroelectric schemes around the world. They also established Britain's motorway network.

The exhibition will be housed on the lower ground floor of the Institution, and the ICE library is producing a hefty catalogue.

A book, Visions of Reconstruction 1940-1944 - assets for a Britain 1950-2000: the view from Great George Street, will be on sale in the ICE library from January.

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