Newsletter 67: July 2016 – Concerts, cocktails and the free summer playscheme

Hi there, its newsletter time again! You know the drill. We send out monthly newsletters to our subscribers, and afterwards post the text as a blog here. if you want our news first make sure you subscribe, send an email to [email protected] and we’ll add you to our mailing list.


School is nearly out for summer and The Brunel Museum Playscheme starts 25th July. Once again local children will be helping in the grounds of the Museum, making a new sculpture and learning about local history and Brunel. They will also be having fun! This will be our fourteenth playscheme and – it is worth remembering – the first people to help in the garden were local children. We are very grateful to them, and for bringing their parents along later. We are very pleased to see them here, either playing in the garden or visiting as part of their studies. Your child can sign up here.

This month the Grand Entrance Hall has been very busy with Opera, jazz and heritage talks. Perhaps you made it to one of these events? Tours continue next month, and the ever popular Midnight Apothecary of course. We have choirs – the Gallery Singers love the acoustics in the Grand Entrance Hall – and secret cinema and chamber music. But be warned, some events sell out very quickly

As you know, the Thames Tunnel first opened 25th March 1843 when Sir Marc Brunel led a procession and military band under the river. Queen Victoria visited. The new Grand Entrance Hall and staircase re-opened on the very same day in 2016. There will be another Royal Opening later this year on 9th November. We are very honoured to have HRH Prince Edward The Earl of Wessex here to do the honours.

The Tunnel was Brunel’s First Project, but this month we launch a new book on his last project, the SS Great Eastern. Joanna Lumley begins her excellent foreword to the book standing on the launch ways just down the river. The ship was designed for the route to India, and Joanna writes with nostalgia of her childhood voyages to and from the East. We are also publishing a new edition of The Brunels’ Tunnel, foreword by Michael Palin.

Sun is now streaming in through the Cafe Gallery windows, and it may be that summer has finally arrived. I have just eaten a very rich slice of chocolate cake, whilst taking in the latest exhibition here, the Brunel Biennale. How do people enjoy pictures without chocolate? Art is the icing on the cake. No palette without galette? Why didn’t Marie Antoinette let them eat art as well as cakes? Brunel puts the second ’t’ in tart.

Remember to keep an eye on the blog and let us know if you are planning on visiting the museum on twitter with the #BrunelMuseum hashtag or drop us a line on Facebook.

Robert Hulse 
Museum Director

From the blog…

Free Summer Playscheme
The dates for our fourteenth Summer playscheme have been confirmed as the 25 July – 5 August… Fourteenth!?! Gosh how time flies. Read more…

Flash messages of peace and goodwill between two kindred nations
By Amtrak the journey to West Palm Beach, Florida takes 26 hours. I have been warned against the railways by my American hosts, but this is the Silver Meteor and I cannot resist such train journeys. Read more…

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