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The SS Great Britain - An Incredible Ship

The #SS #Great #Britain has a fascinating history. After some difficulties on the trans-Atlantic run she was refitted for the Australia run after the discovery of #gold in 1851. Thousands of people were desperate to get to the #goldfields and so her owners decided that it would be lucrative to transport a very large number to Victoria.

She made he first passage to Australia in 1852 carrying 630 passengers. On arrival she created so much interest that the people of #Melbourne were prepared to pay a shilling to inspect her. That first passage was so successful that she went on to to make 34 passages on the Australia run transporting more #emigrants than any other vessel.

On her 9th passage in 1861 she had a crew of 143 and carried 544 passengers plus a cow, 36 sheep, 140 pigs, 96 goats and 114 chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. She also transported on that passage the first #English #cricket #team to visit Australia.

The Great Britain had been designed in 1838 by famous English engineer/designer Isambard Kingdom #Brunel. Her early history and her history after she was retired from the Australia run is interesting but not as fascinating as her time taking passengers to the #Australian #colonies.

In 1970 she was rescued and towed back up the Avon river to #Bristol where she underwent a long process of restoration. In July 2005 she was ready to receive visitors. The restorers did a wonderful job.

The SS Great Britain is one of the emigrant carrying #ships featured in my book: Farewell to Old England Forever. The images below include some photographs I took on my visit the see her in Bristol.


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