London

Waterloo Bridge's WW2 women recognised for first time

Dorothy, a female welder at Waterloo Bridge Image copyright PA
Image caption Dorothy, a female welder at Waterloo Bridge, was one of the women recognised

The role by women in building Waterloo Bridge during World War Two has been officially recognised for the first time as part of its listed status.

Waterloo Bridge, built between 1937 and 1945, has Grade II listed status.

Historian Christine Wall uncovered new evidence of the largely forgotten contribution by women.

Information about how women worked on the design and build is now included on the bridge's listing on the National Heritage List for England.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Historian Christine Wall made the findings leading to the relisting

A campaign by heritage minster Tracey Crouch, to recognise the role of women in building historic places, led to the recognition as part of her #builtbywomen push.

The move could lead to further recognition of the role of women on the 400,000-strong list of England's protected buildings and sites.

Ms Crouch said: "This is a wonderful opportunity to ensure our great female engineers are properly recognised.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Women's roles have historically been overlooked said Historic England

"This project will show the remarkable achievements of the women who broke conventions to help build Britain and inspire the next generation of female engineers, architects and builders."

Emily Gee at Historic England said women had "always" been involved in engineering, through patronage, design, labour, craftsmanship, alteration and decoration.

She said: "These roles have historically been overlooked, but as important research, understanding and awareness reveals their hands, it can illuminate many fascinating and inspiring stories."

The move marks National Women in Engineering Day.

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