Review: Brunel Museum

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was an engineer responsible for many great scientific & engineering projects of a unique nature in the Victorian era. Prominent amongst these was the Thames Tunnel at Rotherhithe. Commenced by IK Brunel’s father, Marc Brunel, it was the first successful tunnel under a major waterway anywhere in the world.

From the initial start of construction in 1824, the tunnel eventually opened in 1843. There were many setbacks during the works; its final cost was well above budget. Does that sound familiar?

SELHuG visited the Brunel Museum, which is part of the shaft first sunk to remove waste and put in place building materials for construction. We saw this monument to the challenges overcome by the Brunels in this task which drew almost half the population of London at the time of its opening.

We were numerically a more modest group, whose visit included a video about Brunel. Afterwards we made a stop at the famed Mayflower Thameside pub. Here we discussed Brunel, humanism and other topical matters. Thank you to Tony Brewer for organising the trip.

Review by SELHuG Committee member Denis Cobell