Spooky season kicks off with ‘Woeful Wounds’

13 September 2023


13 September 2023


Make-up artists will be on board the ship during October half-term, applying faux injuries to daring passengers.

This October half-term, the SS Great Britain is inviting young sailors on board to experience the gruesome magic of special effects make up in its ‘Woeful Wounds’ event.

The event, which runs from Saturday 21 October to Sunday 29 October, will see students from South Gloucestershire and Stroud (SGS) College recreate the cuts and blisters which would have been sustained by SS Great Britain crew members.

With Halloween just around the corner, this is the perfect opportunity for visitors to step back in time and prepare for the spooky season.

Throughout the year, the SS Great Britain has been celebrating its culinary history and teaching visitors about the food that Victorian passengers would have eaten during their travels.

The Woeful Wounds event continues this food theme, by bringing to life some of the injuries that kitchen crew suffered in the ship’s galley.

Close up of a hand with a faux woeful wound cut.

Iona Keen, Head of Interpretation at the SS Great Britain Trust said,

“We’re very excited to invite visitors to take part in our Woeful Wounds event this October half-term, just in time for Halloween!

Young visitors will be invited to have a gorier-than-life cut or blister applied to their hand. It’s wonderful to collaborate once again with talented students from SGS College’s specialist make-up design course, who will work their magic to recreate wounds sustained by crew in the ship’s galley.”

Illnesses and injuries were strictly monitored on the SS Great Britain, and regular sanitation and wellbeing reports were logged by the captain and surgeon during voyages. But accidents did happen, especially in the ship’s galley where the crew prepared food for nearly 1,000 people, five times a day.

Rachel Henning, a 1st class passenger who travelled on the ship in 1861, remembered a particularly unfortunate incident in her diary:

“The Dr was standing near one of the swinging trays, talking peacefully to some of the passengers, when a pot of anchovy paste flew off and hit him a tremendous blow on the side of the head, while the paste fell out in a ball and rolled on the floor.”

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