Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Brunel's Bristol

Brunel's Bristol, originally uploaded by Dru Marland.
I've tried to include all of Brunel's works in the Bristol area, but there are still some missing... what you see, from the top down, are:

  • SS Great Britain - launched 1843. Now on display in Patterson's dry dock in which it was built.
  • SS Great Western -launched 1837. First steamship built for the Atlantic route, and largest passenger ship in the world at the time.
  • Clifton Suspension Bridge- opened in 1864 after a long delay in building. Now holds record for the most-photographed bridge in the world. Or at least in Bristol.
  • Temple Meads Station (the first one)
  • a GWR locomotive (not designed by Brunel- apparently his engine designs were not that good, or so John Terry tells me... but it is here to represent the entire GWR line from London to Bristol, including Brunel's railway bridge over the Avon (not shown!)
  • Paddle dredger 'Bertha' designed to act in conjunction with the underfall sluice (shown here in the foreground) to flush mud out of the harbour. A spade was dropped down, and dragged across the harbour by fixed chains, using the steam engine on board, putting the mud into the stream which would carry it away through the sluice.
  • Swing bridge using a wrought iron tube as the stress member. This wasn't the first bridge design to use this feature: it was used at Chepstow for a railway bridge (no longer there) and the Albert Bridge, Saltash, over the Tamar.
  • Floating caisson gate for the lock. The caisson (a watertight, air-filled structure) allowed the gate to float, reducing the weight on the hinges. This was the first use of them in this way.
  • ...and Mr Brunel and his solicitor, Jeremiah Osborne, rowing along the Avon, surveying the route for the GWR track

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