The SS Great Britain and Being Brunel – Why You Should Take the Kids!
Hi there peeps and welcome. We hope you are doing awesome. Things are OK here. Life has thrown us some downs recently but we’re plodding on – making the best of it. We were really lucky to be invited back to the SS Great Britain in Bristol last weekend. And for the opening weekend of their brand new, super-shiny Being Brunel museum. It was so new, I felt anxious every time B put his sticky mitts all over the exhibit glass.
The museum documents the life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, bringing together a huge collection of treasures.
The SS Great Britain
We were lucky to have stepped aboard the SS Great Britain at Christmas for their Victorian event. It was wonderful and you can take a peek at the photos in this blog post.
This time we knew what to expect and I must say, I was really excited to be stepping back onto this majestic boat. Since visiting last year, the hubby and I have actively looked for TV programs and books that document the life of Brunel.
Brunel – Bloody Amazing!
Before visiting last year, I really didn’t realise to what extent Brunel had shaped the UK. When I think of him, I think of a guy who built the bridge (Clifton Suspension Bridge), built a ship, and built a railway. And even when I think about building a railway, I’d never really given it much thought. Here is a view from the bridge, overlooking the Avonmouth Gorge – beautiful.
If you head down to the museum, you’ll learn that he built bloody loads of things. Stuff we use now. Railways, bridges, hospitals, stations. His engineering lies all around us. He built numerous ships with little experience in terms of ship building.
Not a “Ship” Person…
To be honest I’m not a huge “ship” person. What is a ship person anyway. I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t overly like ships or boats. I’m not a fan of the sea and I spend too much time feeling anxious about sea sickness and whatnot to appreciate a good journey out on the ocean. I am however, very interested in what Brunel achieved, and getting to walk aboard the SS Great Britain is a really wonderful experience.
The SS Great Britain didn’t come back to Bristol until the 1970s. She was stranded down near the Falkland Islands and then pulled back home. You can learn more about the journey before you board the ship. We saw the photos of her being pulled up the Avon gorge – it must have been an incredible moment to have watched.
Our trip this weekend was to take a look around the brand new Being Brunel museum. It literally just opened and as you walk in, you’ll meet a huge Brunel. There are loads of exhibits, letters, documents and treasures to explore. There was plenty to keep B entertained too, especially the moving train carriages. It’s a rubbish shot but here is B trying to draw his circle:
When you head upstairs, your journey continues through a six minute film about Brunel. We were told that it might not be suitable for B but I figured we could just leave if he was scared. There was some steam that shot out during the film, and there is a scene where Brunel nearly drowns. B was fine though and I personally didn’t find any of it too much for him.
Have you visited the SS Great Britain in Bristol? If not, why not?! Head on down and checkout the new museum. It really is fascinating and a fab addition to an already great attraction.
I recently joined our local library (I know, I know, late to the party) and added a couple of books about Brunel to our reading list. See what I think in my next reading round up – you can catch up on March here!
Disclaimer: We were invited to Being Brunel and the SS Great Britain. All opinions and photos are my own.