Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Another Bristol Wonder - SS Great Britain

Another of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's great achievements was the building of the SS Great Britain.

At the time of building he broke a number of ship building conventions and changed the history of ship building.

When she was launched in 1843 she was caledl 'The greatest experiment since the creation'.

No one had ever designed so vast a ship.

She was the first to be built of iron.

Brunel used a 1000hp steam engine, the most powerful yet to be used at sea. She had sails as well to save coal in the right conditions.

He decided not to use conventional paddle wheels but to fit her with a screw propeller.

So the SS Great Britain is considered one of the most important historic ships in the world.

It felt like a privilege to be able to walk around her, underneath her, and below deck too.

She was built here in Bristol in the very same dock in which she is now housed.

She was the first great ocean going liner, carrying passengers around the world.
She was also used to take emigrants and gold seekers to Australia.

After 30 years carrying passengers she was converted to carry cargo, carrying coal and wheat betweeen England and the west coast of America.
She came to the end of her working life in the Falkland Islands and was sunk there in 1937.

She was salvaged and brought home to Bristol in 1970 on a floating pontoon towed across the Atlantic. But was floated up the river Avon from Avonmouth, pulled by tugs.

No comments:

Post a Comment