Chronicle: Archaeology on Television | Excavations and reports from Sutton Hoo to Machu Picchu

Chronicle | The Great Iron Ship

Brunel's huge iron ship, SS Great Britain, returns to Bristol.

CHANNEL | BBC 2

FIRST BROADCAST | 13 June 1970

DURATION | 49 minutes 59 seconds

FIRSTBROADCAST

1970

Synopsis

One of the great engineering masterpieces created by Isambard Kingdom Brunel had been left to rot in the South Atlantic since 1937. This is the story of how SS Great Britain was rescued from the icy shores of the Falkland Islands and why it is so important to 19th-Century maritime and engineering history. The 'Chronicle' film crew are on hand to record the breathtaking efforts of the rescuers, who remove the enormous hulk from the South Atlantic and transport her on a final journey that ends with her passing under the Clifton Suspension Bridge into Bristol.

Did you know?

The original iron hulk of the SS Great Britain has been restored in Bristol's dry docks. The ship and docks are now an award-winning visitor attraction that recreates life on board a 19th-Century long-distance passenger ship and explains the innovative designs of Brunel and others. This programme is an example of how 'Chronicle' paid significant attention to historic monuments from Britain's recent past and raised the status of industrial archaeology.

Contributors

Dudley Foster
Narrator
Dr Ewan Corlett
Contributor
Captain Hertzog
Contributor
Leslie O'Neil
Contributor
Donald Alexander Smith (Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal)
Contributor
Richard Wade
Scriptwriter
Director
Producer

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