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#OTDH 10 November 1827 – Banquet Under the Thames

Today marks 195 years since the Banquet under the Thames – one of the strangest locations for a dinner party! Our volunteer Keith Turpin reflects on the event and the painting that depicts it!  Loud music, alcohol and food consumption may sometimes be intrusive companions on a journey using London’s underground, or part of a good …

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Guest Blog: Learning through Play with Alom Shaha

We love learning through play at the Brunel Museum! So we thought we’d get our good friend and science teacher Alom Shaha to help explain why its so beneficial!   Learning Through Play   My eldest daughter started in reception at primary school in September, and in a “getting to know you” type of exercise, …

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Sophia Macnamara Hawes (nee Brunel) #OTDH

During #WomensHistoryMonth we’re sharing the stories of women who made engineering history: from the lesser known Brunel women, trailblazing female engineers from the past or the women making history today. Today’s post is from our volunteer Gill Howard and is about Marc’s first child, Sophia Brunel  Sophia Macnamara Brunel (b. 30 April 1802, d. 17th …

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Guest blog: Picture the Docklands

To mark the final few weeks of Picture The City, Kirsty Parsons, Curator Bank of England Museum, reflects on what makes the Docklands so fascinating.  The Docklands is an often overlooked part of London’s history. Today it is the centre of London’s second financial district, with the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf dominating the skyline. Historically …

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Marc Brunel and the epidemic of 1793

As we come to the end of a second year of a global pandemic, it is interesting to look back at older epidemics and pandemics to see what elements of culture have been shaped by the effects of ravaging diseases. Sometimes the effects are direct and easily identifiable, such as the ending of serfdom in …

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Help us plan for 2022!

As we come to the end of 2021, we’re so grateful for all the support we’ve received in this strange year – whether it’s (visitors in person/online, volunteers, funders, awards, etc etc). We have one more thing to ask of you before the clock ticks over to 2022! As part of our Brunel Museum Reinvented …

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In defence of pests – Terredo Navalis

It is often suggested that Marc’s inspiration for his tunnelling shield was the humble shipworm, Terredo Navalis. This tiny creature bores into ships’ timbers. Marc saw first hand the impact of Terredo Navalis up close when he worked in Chatham Dockyard. It does its damage by using shell-like protrusions on either side of is head …

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Director’s Blog – September 2021

September’s been a very transitional month – and not just because the weather can’t seem to make up its mind! We’re looking ahead to being able to do more over the next couple of months, and we’re excited to share what we’ve got planned for you. October Half-Term  We’ve got lots of fun activities for …

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Memorials: #IKBAndMe

It’s the time of year where we honour the anniversary of the death of Isambard Kingdom Brunel by celebrating his life. He achieved many impressive feats of engineering and developed significant portions of England’s infrastructure (some of his structures are still in use today, 162 years after his death). Isambard died at 10:30pm on Thursday …

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Slavery Remembrance Day at the Brunel Museum

Today, 23 August, marks the UNESCO International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade. Below, our Director Katherine McAlpine, outlines how the museum is seeking to understand the impact of the slave trade on the construction of the tunnel, so we might better respond to its legacies today:    International slavery Remembrance day marks …

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