Most history starts with a find.
So what happens when you start with an urban myth?

Today the Thames riverboat pilots tell the story of Waterloo Bridge being built by women during the Second World War, they kept the story alive since the 1950s. However, no official  record of this history existed as historian Professor Christine Wall discovered after years of trawling through the archives.

In 2005, film-makers Karen Livesey and Jo Wiser joined the search, making an oral history film of the journey to find these women.

The Ladies Bridge documentary also explores why these bridge builders and many thousands of female construction workers had been written out of history.

It was not until 2015, with a crucial interview from the The Ladies Bridge documentary and Prof Wall’s find of three photographs, that Historic England officially acknowledged womens contribution to the building of the bridge with a listing.

The Ladies Bridge Documentary ( 30 minutes )

Director: Karen Livesey

Producers : Jo Wiser & Karen Livesey

It inspired me to go away and interview my Nan.

Marieke Evans   Education outreach at Manchester Science Museum


The LIGHT UP THE LADIES’ BRIDGE  event, the 2015 Historic England listing  and a petition have led to English Heritage considering the placement of a blue plaque on Waterloo Bridge.

Please sign our petition for the plaque: