2019 report on #buildingpassions

2019 was an interesting year for me.

I wrote and self-published my first book!

I also managed to see through a four-year application for an English Heritage Blue Plaque for Sir John Wolfe Barry. On 19 November a plaque was finally put up on the London house where he died a little over a century ago. This coincided with 125 years since he completed the build of Tower Bridge with his partner Henry Marc Brunel (son of the great Isambard Brunel).

I also gave my first public lecture via the South East STEM Hub in Canterbury, to an audience ranging from primary school age to the retired. It was made interactive with help from an engineering contact, who demonstrated a scale version of a wooden arched bridge held up only by tension and cantilever action – and we managed to get three kids to stand on it!

Finally, I started scoping research looking at the development of Art Nouveau architecture in the UK, Belgium and France, to see how it was influenced by building standards.

I need to thank my wife Viktoriya for valiantly supporting me during the year. We had just moved to a new house out of London and are still adjusting to a different lifestyle away from the metropolis and close friends.

Oh and I did a bit of my own building. Just a garden decking area mind you, but it made me appreciate the skills needed to design, plan and complete a structure.

We should celebrate these passionately!

Author: Nick von Behr

I've been blogging since 2012 under different guises and on a range of topics mainly linked to education, but more recently focusing on the history of civil engineering and architecture as well as writing more generally. I have written a book on the 19th-century Brunel and Barry families of successful architects and civil engineers who built the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, Paddington Station and the Royal Opera House in London and the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. www.buildingpassions.co.uk