Newsletter – May 2011

May 3rd, 2011 by JCope

Our May meeting was graced with the return of Ray Sturdy and this time he had chosen to talk to us about one of the great Victorian engineers, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.  Roy always gives value for money in his presentations and so in 60 minutes we learned about Brunel’s early life working with his father, Marc, on the Thames Tunnel (where the young Brunel nearly lost his life), his engineering achievements on the Great Western Railway, his bridges and ships and finally his tragic death through over-work at the age of only 53.  Profusely illustrated with slides and showing an obvious passion for his subject, Roy detailed Brunel’s exploits with the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Maidenhead and Royal Albert Bridges and the ill-fated ‘atmospheric caper’ on the South Devon Railway.  Brunel, always ahead of his time, designed three great ships, the Great Western, Great Britain and Great Eastern, each bigger than its predecessor and each holding world records for size.  Thankfully his second vessel is still in existence and so is the London-Bristol railway, just two fitting memorials to this great Briton.

Comments are closed.