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Temporary Exhibition: Tunnelling Today

Until 30 Sept 2024 | Friday - Monday, 10.30am to 3.30pm

10.30am to 3.30pm

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Tideway is building a 25km Super Sewer under the Thames to stop those nasty sewage spills and clean up our river for the good of the city, its wildlife and you.


Join us at the Brunel Museum to learn about the history of the ‘Great Stink, the Tideway project, it’s timeline and why the Super Sewer is needed.


London’s super sewer is featuring in a brand new exhibition taking place at the Brunel Museum until 30 September 2024.

Within the exhibit visitors will find a model of one of Tideway’s Tunnel Boring Machines, used to create the 25km tunnel that will transfer sewage all the way to Beckton to be treated.

Almost 200 years ago, Marc Brunel pioneered the tunnelling techniques that made digging tunnels under water possible, succeeding in building the first tunnel under a navigable river anywhere in the world. He was supported in the project by his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who almost drowned in the dangerous conditions.

Today, Tunnel Boring Machines like the one on display do the work that 36 miners in the Tunneling Shield would have done, making the work much safer – and faster!

The ‘Tunnelling Today’ exhibition is a family-friendly showcase where people of all ages can learn about London’s history and the ‘Great Stink’, interesting facts about the Tideway project, how its progressing and why the new sewer is needed to make London a cleaner and more resilient city.

London’s original sewer system was built by another great Victorian engineer, Joseph Balzagette. Designed for 4 million people, today London’s population is 9 million – which is why the new sewer is needed.

The Brunel Museum is an educational charity and tells the story of one of the world’s great engineering dynasties. The museum even has its own shaft – the former entrance shaft to the historic Thames Tunnel has become a newly accessible underground space and a key exhibit for the museum. It measures approximately 50ft in diameter and 50ft deep – with smoke-blackened brick walls from steam trains providing a raw but atmospheric backdrop.

The exhibition is open Friday, Sunday and Monday, 11am-5pm until September 30th. For more information and to book tickets,  visit the Brunel Museum website.

Visiting with children? Pre-order a copy of our Activity Book filled with puzzles, pictures to colour and interesting facts about the Thames Tunnel and our most famous engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Suitable for 6-11yo. Collect on arrival.


Book here
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