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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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The mother of all engineers

Dspite being the reason for the Brunel’s unusual middle name, the contribution of his mother, Sophia Kingdom is often overlooked. Changed that today in our fantastic blog. Let our Finance Manager Sarah Kuklewicz put that right:   Early Life Sophia Kingdom was the 16th child of William Kingdom and Joan Spry. William was a Plymouth …

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Opening crowd

Difficult as it may currently be to imagine happily joining a crowd, that is what I am asking you to envision: On Saturday 25th March 1843, the Thames Tunnel finally opened, eighteen years after the start of the project. Visitors eagerly arrived in Rotherhithe on foot, coach, horseback or by boat. A printing press had …

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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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1828 Tunnel Flood

12th January 1828. Near shift change. Isambard was in the shield, helping workers at the face itself. “Suddenly a torrent of water swept in, knocked them out of the frame and extinguished all the lights. A fallen timber trapped Isambard’s leg” (The Brunels’ Tunnel, pg41). On this day in 1828, the Thames Tunnel flooded for …

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