The East London Line received a huge boost from Government funding and there was relief that Brunel's Wapping Underground Station had been saved from the threat of permanent closure, despite economic pressures money was found to extend and modernise this line and its stations.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel was recently acclaimed Britain's greatest engineer ever, the son of a French immigrant Marc Brunel, also an engineer of some repute, was voted second to Sir Winston Churchill on TV as the Nation's choice of 'Greatest Briton', and rightly so:
IK Brunel was born in Portsmouth in 1806, at 21, while helping his father construct the first underwater Thames Tunnel from Rotherhithe to Wapping, he was almost drowned when it suddenly caved in, had young Isambard been lost then, modern history might have been very different, because his engineering achievements changed our World completely, Isambard Kingdom Brunel's short but active life was amazing by any standards.
Isambard Kingdom not only helped his father to construct the first Thames tunnel, but went on to create the World's first wide gauged railway line: the 'Great Western railway', an amazing suspension bridge over the River Avon at Bristol; and three of the biggest ships ever built, his last one then being the largest iron ship ever seen the 'Great Eastern'', took it's toll on him while trying to launch her from the Isle of Dogs in 1858, he bacame seriously ill and died several months later at home in Westminster, aged just 53. Brunel's remarkable engineering achievements remain unsurpassed to this day and have endured through time to be used by millions.
More about Britain's great engineering heritage:
Royal Albert Bridge
Men of Iron
The Enigma Code
The LEA HERITAGE community group have launched "THE BRUNEL EXPERIENCE", a concept to honour the great man on his 200th birthday anniversary in 2006.
Our main objective is to establish a Brunel visitor Centre close to Wapping Station giving visitors an opportunity to fully appreciate Brunel's remarkable first Thames Tunnel.
WAPPING'S BRUNEL VISITOR CENTRE would be the launching point for the tour, it could be a cafe, coffee bar, or general meeting place containing Brunel features, souvenirs, educational literature, railart, etc.
THE BRUNEL TRAIL IDEA
The trail would take vistors on a slow journey through Wapping Station and its floodlit Brunel Tunnel to Rotherhithe where thay would alight to visit the famous Brunel Museum and Engine House on the South side of the Thames, Investment must be found to extend the Jetty there.
The tour would then continue on to Greenwich and a recently restored Cutty Sark, using 'City Cruises' The journey would then continue on the Docklands Light Railway crossing the River to the Isle of Dogs and visiting Millwall's old shipyard where Isambard Kingdom built his famous iron ship The Great Eastern
From there the trail will take us on to Virginia Quay near Leamouth, where the First Settlers Monument is located. Visitors will then continue on to the Museum in Docklands', retuning West via the DLR through Limehouse and alighting at Shadwell,
A short walk away is 'St Georges' old Town Hall building where they can see the famous Cable Street mural, they then cross the Highway to visit St Annes Church, which is known as the sea Captains Church, it is where Thomas Jefferson's Mother worshipped.
A short stroll down some steps takes visitors through 'King Edward V11 Memorial Park' uniquely dedicated by the King for the 'enjoyment of the people of East London forever'. then leaving the Park, its on to the most famous Pub of all nearby for refreshment , the notorious 'Prospect of Whitby' . The trail finally returns to the Tower of London, its starting point.
The Brunel Trail will not only be educational, but will help to boost the local economy along both sides of the Thames, it will provide a new focus of interest in the region's local history from Tower Bridge to the Greenwich Dome
INSPIRING THE YOUNG:
The Brunel trail would inspire the young and motivate the elderly but will need the support of local City Businesses including The Tower-Bridge Exhibition to have any real chance of success.
HELP MAKE IT A REALITY:
Your involvement can help to make 'The Brunel Experience' a reality, helping in the regeneration of a deprived part of London since the Docks closure. We appeal to any individual or group wishing to help in any way, to get involved and contact us promptly by either clicking this link: SUPPORT THE BRUNEL TRAIL HERE or signing into our GUESTBOOK