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Spring back in time this Easter for 'Flash, Bang, Wallop!'

Flash bang wallop

Visitors to Brunel’s ss Great Britain this Easter can spring back in time to the Victorian era with the launch of new exhibition ‘Flash, Bang, Wallop!’

‘Flash, Bang, Wallop!’ is a Victorian photographic studio and dressing up experience and opens to the public on March 31.

Visitors to the award-winning visitor attraction can step back in time and travel across the world to a Melbourne photographer’s studio in 1852 as they enter the Baker Gallery.

The ‘Flash, Bang, Wallop!’ exhibition is just one of the many new activities on offer to families this year when they visit Brunel’s ss Great Britain.  Other exciting activities include: new children’s trails, visits from vile Victorian diners, and ghostly storytelling.  

This year is the 160th anniversary of the ship’s first voyage to Australia. In total 15,000 passengers emigrated to Australia and New Zealand on the ss Great Britain.

Adults and children alike can have great fun posing as Victorian passengers, who have just stepped off the ship after an 80-day voyage from Liverpool.  Visitors will try on Victorian attire such as frockcoats, fancy bonnets, long dresses, stovepipe hats and replica Victorian jewellery.

A 3D backdrop of the ship arriving in Melbourne has been hand-painted and installed by the team at Brunel’s ss Great Britain.

Visitors can place their own cameras on a recreated Victorian tripod, and standing under a black velvet photographer’s hood, take photographs of their family and friends. The Trust is also encouraging visitors to upload their unique ‘Victorian holiday snaps’ to its Facebook page (

Bristol-based costume designer Amanda Hambleton has produced clothing for the exhibition, which is in the Dockyard Museum. 

The ss Great Britain Trust’s Director of Conservation and Education, Rhian Tritton, commented: “2012 marks the 160th anniversary of the ship’s first voyage to Australia. ‘Flash, Bang, Wallop!’ is about giving visitors the chance to follow in the footsteps of the many passengers who travelled to Melbourne, and to create their own piece of history in the form of a Victorian-inspired photograph.”

She added: “We are delighted as part of the project to have been able to commission a new range of clothing for the exhibition.  The Bristol-based costume designer has recreated this new wardrobe in painstaking historical detail, drawing on fashion plates of the 1850s and 1860s for inspiration. We’re hoping to inspire visitors’ own spring summer fashion wardrobes for 2012 with these re-creations!”

‘Flash, Bang, Wallop!’ and all other events are included in admission, which allows for free unlimited return visits for a year.