Brunel’s SS Great Britain in photo’s

We spent around 3hrs visiting the ship and the photographer did a good job of getting the atmosphere. As you venture round there are smells in the different area’s of the ship to add to the ambience of the experience. Also the engine drones along. Imagine 10 weeks on board this ship; obviously 1st class gave better food, but accomodation was cramped for everyone. In steerage (where us minions would have been), it was share and share alike, and if you didn’t get on with your neighbour, it would be  long journey! The cost for this experience was 15 guineas per person in steerage.

Stern of the ship

Elaborate decoration 

The iron hull that is kept at a constant humidity to preserve it (the same as the Arizona desert apparently). You can walk around the hull and above is a glass sheet covered in water to give the illusion the ship is floating

propeller and rudder. Revolutionary in it’s time; cutting down the time it took to do these long voyages

model of the ship under sail

top deck or weather deck. 1st class passengers had their own area toward the stern. Minions not to stand over the white line!!

1st class accommodation

Captains quarters

no explanation needed!

Galley. All food had to be taken along on the voyage; even livestock for milk and eggs. 1st class ate 3 course meals whilst steerage passengers gruel and ship’s biscuits.

chef cooking

Steerage accomodation; where we would have been.

The ticket allows 12mths free admission, so we decided to take another visit later.

1843 ship was launched as a cruise ship to New York ; 1845 arrived in New York from Liverpool in 14 days and 21 hours; 1846 ship runs aground in Dundrum Bay, NI, and it’s a year before she is rescued; 1850 Great  Western Steam Ship Co sells the ship to Gibbs,Bright and co; 1852 ship carries hundreds of emigrants from Liverpool to Melbourne (gold rush); 1855 carries troops to the Crimean War; 1857 modifications made to the propeller to make it easier under sail; 1861 England’s first cricket team travel to Melbourne on the ship; 1875 she makes her last voyage as a passenger ship; 1881 Anthony Gibbs and partners buy the ship and remove her engines and convert her entirely to sail (windjammer), making 3 voyages to San Francisco; 1914 her coal stores supply British warships in WW1; 1933 ship’s working life ends; 1937 ship scuttled in Sparrow Cove, Falkland Isles; 1939 British servicemen raise funds for Spitfires by auctioning souvenirs they make from ship’s timbers. Iron plates are used to repair HMS Exeter.; 1969 salvage planning starts. 1970 ship returns to Bristol; 1998 ship at serious risk from corrosion; 2001 Heritage lottery fund gives 10 million to save the ship; 2005 glass plate is finished and the ship is relaunched on her 162nd birthday


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