All Aboard for the Summer Spectacular!

Mr Brunel welcomes everyone to the SS Great Britain

Visitors to the SS Great Britain in Bristol are in for a treat over the next few weeks as a Summer Spectacular is added to the attractions already on offer. I was lucky enough to be invited to the preview recently and here you can see "Mr Brunel" himself welcoming us.

Soon I was talking to one of the volunteers dressed as a sailor who told me about his role. "Careful young lady," said Mr Bennett - Brunel's office manager - as he passed us by, "that sailor has a woman in every port!" It was an amusing and characterful addition to the evening.

But I digress. Let's have a look at the Summer Spectacular itself...

Before it starts, a bunch of suspicious looking characters wend their way through the audience onto the ship - see the people dressed in white at the centre of the photo? For it is they. There's a great deal of joking, pretending to work and tomfoolery on the deck until it's declared it's time to inspect the rigging.

This is what the 'inspection' looks like...

Inspecting the rigging in a spectacular way

Two acrobats put on a spectacular show, with one of them claiming "I can see New York", a destination the SS Great Britain sailed to.

Meanwhile the rest of the performers sing sea shanties. I was delighted to find I knew most of them (and joined in), but I was a bit surprised Bristol Ho! wasn't among them.

Later, their attention turned dockside...

... followed by some juggling of the cargo...

... and then the lazy crew member asleep dockside finds themselves part of the cargo and demands to be let out.

Though everyone has some fun (and more shanty singing) before that happens.

It's a great show, which is included in the cost of the regular admission ticket, with hourly performances from 11am to 3pm until September 1st.

Lots to see and do at the SS Great Britain

There is so much more to see and do. The way life aboard the SS Great Britain is depicted well and is fascinating, especially as it's possible to follow the (mis)fortunes of some of the passengers and crew as you explore the ship. I also like going below the hull (below the glass which is made to look like the ship's waterline) for a completely different view and to gain an idea of its immense size. I also welcomed the opportunity to see the (relatively) new Being Brunel exhibition area, which explores his life, personality, and his less successful introductions (such as the Atmospheric Railway in Devon and broad gauge) in addition to those he's famous for.

It's a grand day out whatever the weather.


  1. We enjoyed exploring the ship when we were there. Our Mr Brunel was doing his first tour, and a little nervous.

    1. It was a new to me feature Diana and really bought the evening to life. It was a while since I'd visited and there's so much more to see ๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. This is great, Michelle, and I've immediately forwarded it to my son&family who live not far from Bristol. Thankyou!!

    1. Glad you saw it Sharon and I hope they have a super time ๐Ÿ˜Š


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