One of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s own creations – the ss Great Britain – will celebrate the world-famous engineer’s 210th birthday by giving a free slice of birthday cake to the first 210 visitors to the ship on Saturday, April 9.
The cake, baked on board the ss Great Britain itself, will be a recreation of an authentic Victorian recipe. Similar cakes are also on sale at the Dockside Cafe Bar.
The legendary ship will also present a special Archive in Five session from 12:30-1:30 pm featuring Brunel-themed artefacts including an 1861 bust of Brunel, Brunel’s 1827 diary entry entitled “My Birthday” and a watercolour painting of the engineer’s parents. The rest of the ship and its exhibits will be open to visitors as usual.
An actor portraying Brunel will welcome guests and accept birthday wishes in lieu of the nineteenth-century renaissance man. Male voice choir The Magnificent AK47 will perform a special version of Happy Birthday and several other songs to commemorate the life of the celebrated engineer at 12:30 pm.
“Welcoming Bristolians on board is really important to us,” said Julie Sienesi, director of operations at the ss Great Britain. “So we’re delighted to mark Brunel’s birthday by giving away birthday cake to visitors as well as inviting them into the Brunel Institute free-of-charge to hear about his life and to see some of his most prized possessions.”
Read more: A tour of Brunel’s ss Great Britain