Galloway Girl: Dorothée Pullinger, Engineer

Tony Grace (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products


"Galloway Girl - Dorothee Pulinger, Engineer" focuses on pioneering female engineer and car manufacturer Dorothée Pullinger and the ground-breaking training facility for women engineers she helped establish in South-west Scotland. The project combines archival research, site visits, elements of oral history and documentary and song with with a connection to pedagogy. The research engages with community and bridging time and place invoking Freire:

Every thematic investigation which deepens historical awareness is this really educational, while all authentic education investigates thinking. (1993:90)

The Tongland factory was powered by hydro-electricity and promoted as a modern environment suited to women workers with enhanced recreation facilities. The disused factory and the derelict hydro-electric facility encapsulate the ambition, the partially realised aims and the forgotten endeavour of Galloway enterprise. As Bachelard notes:

Often it is from the very fact of concentration in the most restricted intimate space that the dialectics of inside and outside draws its strength. (1994:229)

The research has brought these forgotten stories to new and diverse audiences. It goes beyond the idea that “in history and in nature one can only know what exists” (Althusser, 2008: 89) considering what might have been or even what should have existed, illustrates unrealised potential and significant achievement in the face of patriarchal resistance. The Galloway Car presents an intriguing moment in the advance of gender equality, conflating industrial production and cultural production (Bourdieu P. 1993: 82) .

The documentary is around twenty minutes in duration and features interviews with members of Dorothées family including her son and daughter and grandchildren and sequences of the Galloway car both in the Riverside Museum in Glasgow as an exhibit and on the road with National Museums of Scotland Curator Louise Innes who owns one of the few Galloway cars which still survive. Songs written by Masters students on the MA Music:Songwriting at UWS provide part of the soundtrack and a reengagement with Dorothee's story by a new generation.

Althusser, L. (2008) On Ideology, London: Verso.

Bourdieu, P. (1993) The Field of Cultural Production, Cambridge: Polity Press

Bachelard, G. (1994). The Poetics of Space, Boston: Beacon Press

Freire, P (1993) The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, London: Penguin
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of the West of Scotland
Media of outputFilm
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2019


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