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Forth Rail Bridge engineer celebrated

Victorian engineer Benjamin Baker, who designed the Forth Rail Bridge is being celebrated at his home town of Frome with the first exhibition exploring his work

Baker also designed the the metal cylinder in which Cleopatra’s Needle was transported from Egypt to London, tunneling systems for London Underground and the Hudson River Tunnel into New York. The exhibition from 13 June to 24 July, will show photos of Baker’s most  famous achievement, the mile long Forth Rail Bridge under construction as well as rarely seen vintage prints, of two of Baker’s other remarkable projects, the transportation of Cleopatra’s Needle and the Aswan Dam.

“The exhibition will show the character and dynamism of Baker’s extraordinary life,” said Outreach Co-ordinator, Pippa Goldfinger. “We are also using this opportunity to show young people in Frome the creative excitement of engineering, past and present, at a time when there is a  national shortage of young people choosing engineering as a career option.”

There will be a series of events as well as an education programme running alongside the exhibition.

- On 26 June Ramboll Whitbybird design director Mark Whitby, Anthony Hunt SKM founder Anthony Hunt and Acanthus Ferguson Mann Architects director George Ferguson will debate Bejamin Baker and the birth of structural expressionism

- Graduate engineers from the Institution of Civil Engineers will mentor local college students through the construction and load-testing of cantilevered bridges, whilst more than 2,000 First and Middle School children will learn the rudiments of bridge building, with sugar cubes and straws instead of steel.

- A local arts centre and architecture firm will be running workshops for families providing hands-on opportunities to explore simple architecture and engineering and make a den in the process.

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