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Director’s diary: Atlantic crossings

I cannot quite explain my nervousness as we sail from Miami. With a stop at the Azores it will take the ship nine days to cross the Atlantic. The flight is only nine hours, but the distance is the same and the sea is not emptier than the sky and the sky is not more dangerous. Christopher Columbus wrote: “You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”. If I feel some trepidation on a big ship like Jade, 93,000 tons and headed for home – what must it have felt like for the pilgrims on their tiny sailing ships?  Continue reading Director’s diary: Atlantic crossings

Director’s diary: America – a loose connection

I am sorry this blog is late. My flight to Tampa, Florida was not without incident, but I am safely on board Norwegian Cruise Line’s ship Jade with two thousand passengers. The ship seems huge and many decked, but Brunel’s last ship the Great Eastern had twice the capacity. Perhaps less luxurious…  Continue reading Director’s diary: America – a loose connection

Director’s Diary: Billy Biscuit and ‘Floating Capital’

This week we hosted two successful visits from City & Village, in partnership with Museum of London Docklands and as part of the Crossrail exhibition Archaeology of the Tunnel . On 9th May the same exhibition stages a special event details here  Midnight Apothecary’s Saturday cabaret with Tricity Vogue sold out and was a great success. If you missed it, cocktail events in the roof garden start every Friday and Saturday from 5th May. Continue reading Director’s Diary: Billy Biscuit and ‘Floating Capital’

Director’s Diary: The Brunel Women and the Tunnel

Remember on Mother’s Day the talented Brunel women: Sophia who followed husband Marc into debtor’s prison, their daughter Sophie nicknamed ‘Brunel in Petticoats’ who promised to be a better engineer than Isambard and daughter-in-law Mary who married Isambard, raised a family and kept him on the rails. Continue reading Director’s Diary: The Brunel Women and the Tunnel

Director’s Diary: Pedal hard and don’t wobble

This week we hosted a successful CD launch, school visits and meetings about a major building project to improve our visitor facilities and displays. A new 150 seat theatre means we need to upgrade, and we are preparing various applications for approval. This can be an exacting business, and I sometimes wonder how Brunel got on with Planning Departments and permissions.

Continue reading Director’s Diary: Pedal hard and don’t wobble

Director’s Diary: Happy Anniversaries!

Three successful openings this week:
Oxalis an exhibition of watercolours and oil paintings by Pam Miller in the Cafe Gallery
Colours of Eden with Baroque Blues and Jazz standards in the Grand Entrance Hall
Crocus and snowdrops round the memorial to Prince Lee Boo in the local churchyard…

This week, two visitors on our Brunel’s London boat trip show me photographs from Hacqueville, Normandy where the Brunel family farmed. In the village there is a monument and bas relief to Sir Marc: Continue reading Director’s Diary: Happy Anniversaries!