Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s iconic steam ship features as one of the images celebrating ‘Creative United Kingdom’ throughout the passport pages. When launched in 1843, the ss Great Britain dramatically changed global travel, introducing a new era of fast, reliable passage to the United States and Australia.
As Bristol’s top-rated visitor attraction, Brunel’s ss Great Britain welcomes around 200,000 visitors a year. Visitors step on board to experience life as a passenger, and are invited to imagine what it was like to be a pioneering Victorian traveller.
Alongside the ship, the Brunel Institute houses one the world’s finest maritime collections as well as the National Brunel Collection. Visitors can see, and hear about, passenger diaries and other one-of-a-kind artefacts that bring stories of life on board to life.
The British passport offers an opportunity to celebrate the great British achievements and icons that are right on our doorstep. Brunel’s ss Great Britain is an iconic sight on Bristol’s harbourside. It will now catch the eyes of millions of British travellers as they plan their global journeys.
It is a timely reminder of how much we value efficient global travel. So it is fitting that the pages depict images of Britain’s greatest creative innovations including the ss Great Britain – the ocean liner that redefined global travel back in 1843.
The ss Great Britain Trust’s Director of Museum, Conservation & Education, Rhian Tritton, said:
“We are thrilled to be included on the new passport pages. Today’s jetsetters will be reminded just how much, but also how little, our approach to global travel has changed. In 1843, the ss Great Britain really changed our aspirations for travel as she heralded an era of reliable, efficient transatlantic crossings, operating on a scheduled timetable.”
Her Majesty’s Passport Office Director General, Mark Thomson, said:
“I am proud to launch the new United Kingdom passport which celebrates the creativity of Great Britain and Northern Ireland over the past 500 years to the present day. HM Passport Office is committed to ensuring the integrity of the passport, and the chosen designs have allowed us to make use of evolving technology to further enhance its security. Not only are we constantly striving to stay one step ahead of those who seek to undermine the passport, but we have created a document that marks just some of the greatest creative achievements in the UK. I am delighted that the ss Great Britain features as an example of the iconic innovation of steam transportation.”