by Jo Clarke, Marketing and Communications Officer
with thanks to Melissa Pickering

One of the key moments we’ve marked this year as part of our ‘On Tour’ programme is the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Plymouth is home to a number of feats of civil engineering – from historic landmarks such as the breakwater and Smeaton’s Tower, to more modern but vitally important structures like the Tamar Bridge.

During discussions with us and other partner organisations earlier this year, ICE announced they were thinking about commissioning a new video as part of their 200th anniversary activities. The finished film would celebrate how civil engineers have helped shape Plymouth over the last 500 years.

Engineering Plymouth film graphic

A few months on, and many hours of research, filming and editing later, ‘Engineering Plymouth’ is now complete and ready to view!

Engineering Plymouth launch at Plymouth Arts Centre, 5 November 2018It premiered earlier this week at Plymouth Arts Centre to an audience of over 200 people.

Featuring a range of iconic locations, it’s a project that has brought together 14 regional partners and over 30 contributors. The finished film takes viewers on a breath taking tour of Plymouth, outlining its evolution into a 21st century city as it goes.

The film was produced by Wind and Foster productions who are also responsible for ICE’s ‘Engineering the London Underground’ and the unforgettable ‘Engineering Happiness’. It’s narrated by actress, comedian and writer Dawn French and features music by West Devon’s acclaimed singer, songwriter and musician, Seth Lakeman.

A number of images in the film come from our collections – you may recognise some of them when you watch it!

Members of staff from our curatorial, business support and marketing teams have provided a range of support including access to the collections and archives, digitisation and photography of content, as well as undertaking complex image and film licensing, script editing and advice. We hope to use the film in The Box when it opens and are really proud to have been involved. Here are some of our staff at the launch.

Stacey Anderson, Lisa Coombes, Nigel Overton and Nicki Thomas at the 'Engineering Plymouth' film launch, 5 November 2018 at Plymouth Arts Centre

Miranda Housden, ICE Regional Director South West, said: “‘Engineering Plymouth’ is a truly collaborative production which explores the role of civil engineers in designing, building and creating this city that we all love – both in the past and into the future. It also aims to highlight that civil engineering is a rewarding and creative career and hopes to encourage the next generation to join the profession.”

Watch the video now to see for yourself just how good it is. It has a running time of just over 17 minutes. You can also access it by following this link.

ICE are really keen to hear peoples’ feedback, so let them know what you think on Twitter or Facebook  using the hashtag #EngineeringPlymouth.

If you’d be interested in screening the film, you can email [email protected]. A microsite will also be available soon with film information, extra content and supporting resources at