The Ove Arup Foundation has announced support for a new play about an inspirational female engineer from the 19th century.
The new play, written by Sheila Hannon and performed in November by the Show of Strength theatre company is about an extraordinary female engineer who lived in Bristol and patented a bridge in 1811 and an ‘exercise bed’ in 1831.
Sarah Guppy (1770-1852) seems to have been the first woman to patent a bridge, and was possibly the first to formally design one. Yet Hannon contends her achievements have been ignored, marginalised, patronised and dismissed as the lowly efforts of a mother-of-six who happened not to design the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The Show of Strength theatre company believe this the time to set the record straight and has chosen 2018 – Year of Engineering and the centenary of Women’s Suffrage – is the year to do it.