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Director’s Diary: Saved for the nation!

PRESS RELEASE Iconic photo of Isambard Kingdom Brunel saved for the nation Rare print of Brunel by chains of SS Great Eastern acquired by The Brunel Museum Iconic image secured with funding from the National Heritage Memorial Fund New book and a film script of Brunel’s life unveiled The Brunel Museum has secured for the …

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Director’s Diary: Carnival!

This weekend is Notting Hill, one of the biggest carnivals in the world. The first underwater carnival was in Rotherhithe, under the Thames, in 1852. Despite  Marc Brunel’s objections, the Tunnel opened on a Saturday – ‘Saturday night is the  most disorderly time of the whole week – but the directors overruled him. There was cannon …

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Director’s Diary: An Ill Wind

From Italy I wrote of railways, heavy seas and storms, and now I am returned to see the damage. High winds are no friend to bridges. Almost exactly a hundred and seventy years ago, in 1839, Lord Orkney telegraphed that the Great Western Railway 6 o’clock train must not through. Maidenhead Bridge was in a dangerous …

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Director’s Diary: Difference Engines and Steam Engines

Brunel built steam engines, so how appropriate he is named Isambard, meaning ‘man of iron’. Even more appropriate, his friend Babbage – troublesome neighbour and fractious supporter – is remembered for a computer which he called a ‘Difference Engine’. Brunel is known for his eccentric detractors like Dionysus Lardner, but his friends and supporters were …

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Director’s Diary: Rain Stops Train Again!

Storms in the UK are making some journeys difficult or impossible. Not much comfort, but not a new problem and not just a domestic problem. Here is the Italian railway along the coast to La Spezia, linking Cinque Terra with Genova. The views are spectacular, but so are the seas! This has all the drama …

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Director’s Diary: A Very Long Tunnel

On holiday in Italy, but thinking of Brunel. The London tube holds no fears for me, but tunnels under the Alps are just a bit too long for complete peace of mind. This was a sensation entirely familiar to people travelling through Brunel’s tunnels: by foot under the Thames, or by Great Western Railway under …

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Hats off to Sir Marc Brunel!

  At the Brunel Museum we have been working on something special! To announce our new collection of Thames Tunnel watercolours, we have commissioned some films. This gif is a taster. It is March 1843 and at the opening of the Thames Tunnel Marc Brunel is centre stage. Hats off! All five films are coming …

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PRESS RELEASE! The Brunel Museum secures National Lottery support 

  Tuesday 9th July 2019 The Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe has received initial support* from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for ‘The Brunel Museum Reinvented’ project, it was announced today. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project will transform the Museum, putting one of the most significant feats of engineering in London’s history into …

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Happy 250th Birthday Sir Marc Brunel!

Marc Brunel, the father of Isambard Kingdom Brunel was one of the most innovative engineers of his day. He was born on April 25th 1769 Hacqueville, France. He joined the French Navy but had to flee France because of his outspoken royalist views. He emigrated to America where he became Chief Engineer of the port …

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Director’s Diary: The Gimlet Hole

We are a small museum with a big story, and we are preparing grant applications! This is an important site – an International Landmark Site – and the next crucial development will provide a new gallery for our recently acquired collection of Brunel drawings. We also need to improve facilities for our growing visitor numbers. …

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