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Frustrated Engineer and Architect August 11, 2007

Posted by davidit in Brunel.

I have to share, this has nothing to do with the Supertanker, but as I was writing the previous post a mail came in from a friend of mine in Plymouth, Helen.  She has the pleasure of commuting by ferry from home to school and along the way she passes Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s last masterpiece.  The Royal Albert Bridge at Saltash.  Daniel Gooch, Brunel’s friend and director of the GWR took the dying Brunel over the bridge on one of his locomotives to see his completed work.

I am a Brunel nut.  Brunel and Brunel senior were innovators beyond their time.  My bookshelves at home are chock full of Brunel stuff, I have signed first editions of the biographies of Sir Marc Brunel, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Daniel Gooch. I have some of their original letters and loads of lithographs of their work.  As I said in my Meme post, Henry Maudslay who interpreted the designs of both Brunels is one of the unsung heroes of the Industrial Revolution and is desperately in need of a biography.  As I said it is one of those projects that I wish to undertake…

So thanks very much Helen for taking the time to take these photos, your timing was brilliant!  Not sure what the rest of you will think of them, but to a frustrated engineer and architect, who would have been one of those had I chosen a different path they are wonderful! A note to the un-initiated, the bridge that I am raving about is the arched truss railway bridge and not the suspension road bridge!  And boy did Brunel know something about levers (see previous post) to lift those bridge spans into position from their floating pontoons.

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1. blanchy - August 11, 2007

Hi David

If you haven’t already found it, you’ll like the West Point Bridge Designer software available as a free download from http://bridgecontest.usma.edu/

Cheers – Yvonne

2. Helen Hardie - August 11, 2007

I am thrilled that the photos ‘came at the right time’!
Just a point of oreintation though – the ferry at Torpoint and the Tamar Road Bridge alongside the Royal Albert Bridge not close enough to view from the other, though on a clear day you can see the top of the road bridge from the ferry. Both bridge and ferry are used in my routes to and fro school – the bridge at 7.30am and and the ferry at 6pm!
You may want to refresh the link – as I have rotated one of the photos which was incorrectly orientated! ENJOY!

3. davidit - August 12, 2007

Yvonne thanks for the link, I did not know of it. I will go and play immediately! I am also tempted to add another bubbleshare slide show to the post of some of Brunel’s other great works…

4. davidit - August 12, 2007

Helen, I had hoped that the images were taken from your boat. Does this mean that for the first time in a long time you have been out on her? Whatever, the weather looks as though is was a good day to be ‘messing about in boats..’

5. Helen Hardie - August 12, 2007

Yes, they were taken from the river- but not our boat – my father in laws. Hopefully ours will be back in the water next year! The weather was perfect!

6. Artichoke - September 20, 2007

Given your latest news David – this might appeal as a new challenge for the frustrated architect and engineer working with ICTs in an enviro school – Sam Grumond’s post on the wind turbine at Cults Primary School in Aberdeen http://learningandknowing.blogspot.com/2007/09/wind-turbine-at-cults-primary-school.html

7. David - September 20, 2007

Pam, thanks for the link, that makes two wind turbine schools that we can now look at in England/Scotland. http://www.cassopschool.org.uk/ we are making links with this particular school already. Hopefully we can establish a three way link. We are currently trying to build our own wind turbine from some corugated tin, No8 wire and the motor from an F+P smart drive washing machine – seriously!

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