Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
by Joy S
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
August 31, 2011
From journal 2 Days in Bristol
February 5, 2009
From journal Beautiful Bristol
by GB from Devizes
Devizes, United Kingdom
November 17, 2004
Her maiden voyage in 1845 was to New York, but so "worried" were people that this journey couldn't be made, that only 100 or so passengers braved the initial trip.
Even today, the dimensions and capacities of this vessel are impressive, and when you see her at the dry dock in Bristol at close quarters, you can understand how in awe of her size the Victorians were. Some vital statistics are: length- 322 feet; width- 50 feet, 6 inches; total weight 3,500 tons; 16-foot draught; and four engines combining to produce 1,000 horsepower. Cargo capacity is 1,200 tons and coal-carrying capacity for the boilers is 1,000 tons, of which roughly 50 tons would be consumed each day.
The SS Great Britain had four passenger decks with a total of 252 berths. The crews' quarters were situated beneath the forecastle, along with the sails used as an additional source of power. She has six masts, each towering 74 feet above the top deck, on to which the 1,700 square yards of canvas could be hoisted along with huge funnels to serve the three boilers, heated by 24 fires, which could hold a combined weight of 200 tons of water.
The Great Britain served her country well over the years being involved in the Crimean War as a troopship in 1855 and in India in 1857. However, misfortune overtook her when, on a trip to the south Atlantic around the turn of the century, she was badly damaged by a severe storm and put into Port Stanley in the Falklands for repairs. These repairs were, unfortunately, never carried out, probably due to the remoteness of her location, and sadly, a few years later, she was permanently beached at Sparrow Cove, just down the coast from Stanley.
Here she remained gradually decaying until, in 1970, in terrible condition, she was towed back home to Bristol and floated up the Avon Gorge on her own keel to the dry dock where she now rests, undergoing sympathetic restoration at the hands of master craftsmen for whom she is the love of their lives.
Todmorden, England, United Kingdom
August 18, 2002
'Great Britain' was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and launched in 1843. This was a major development on any previous ships; it was twice the tonnage for a start.
It is actually claimed to have been the first iron-hulled, screw-driven, steam-powered passenger liner and is a unique survival.
It may have been a steam ship but it was not reliant on steam as there were sails on the basis of six masts to assist or to propel the ship if the steam machinery came a cropper. She was 322 feet long and over 50 feet wide, a veritable monster for her time, and had berths for about 250 pessengers.
At first she was used on the Atlantic crossing as a luxury liner and took from 13 to 20 days on the run. Shifted to the Melbourne run, taking about 120 days for the return voyage. She was used for many years to carry emigrants. She was also used as a troop ship in the Crimean War and for the Indian Mutiny.
By the late 1870s she was not seaworthy for so many passengers and was converted into a sailing vessel for the carriage of coal. her last but one use, the last being her current role as a tourist attraction, was as a coal and wood storage hulk in the Falklands where she provided some of the coal used by British destoyers in the Second World War battle of the Falklands.
Enthusiasts of cricketing history may like to know that she carried the first English team on an Australian tour in 1861.
It costs £6-50 for adults to visit but it is costly to maintain the vessel and to forward plans for its future which include access and lifts for the disadvantaged.
From journal Worcester and the West of England