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Discovery Talk: The Engineer's Tale

Brunel's SS Great Britain

The ship’s engine room

Friday 14 February 2020


Included in the price of admission

Find out what life was like on board the SS Great Britain as a crew member, with a volunteer led talk.

At the heart of the SS Great Britain sits an enormous and powerful engine. This talk describes the working lives of the men responsible for its operation, care, and repair, while this famous ship traversed the oceans.

Get a taste of Victorian industry at sea and learn about the varied and skilled duties of the Engine crew, their often fatal working conditions, their woefully inadequate rations and tensions with the sailors.

After the talk the speaker will show visitors the full-scale reconstruction of Brunel’s engine, which runs daily. Imagine stoking the boilers all the way across the Atlantic- how long would you last before jumping ship?


Talks will last approximately 20 minutes.