Railway Club of the New Forest

  Railway Club of the New Forest 

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January 27th  2023                                             Meeting at Brockenhurst Village Hall      


Phil Benstead presented  “ Bristol’s Floating Harbour and SS Great Britain ”


The River Avon leading to the port of Bristol has a huge tidal rise and fall. At low tide vessels became stuck in the mud and ships started to divert to Liverpool. Starting in 1765 a huge ‘floating harbour’ was built that transformed the port’s fortunes.

The ship S.S. Great Britain. designed by I.K. Brunel in 1839, was years ahead of its time. There were many delays during the construction phase. Once into service further changes were needed; from luxury Atlantic liner to troop ship, immigrant carrier, warehouse, quarantine ship, hulk and complete restoration. 

A good number attended, and were fascinated by the history of the docks (which are not floating, by the way, only the ships!).  Even the dark shadow of slavery was seen to be a factor in their growth.   We hope to plan a Club visit  this year, numbers permitting.

We also had news of an exciting potential development for the Website - watch this space!


Members please note -  subs are due this month £25 this year.    

              Bring cash or a cheque to the meeting - or save the hassle and pre-pay by BACS !   (contact us for details)


  Tea and coffee were served at the interval.    Thanks to all involved.

Book Library

We continue to offer the Railway books from Winchester on temporary loan for a few more months. 


Club outings in June and September - some idea of likely numbers needed soon - come prepared!

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