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:
The Man who built Britain-2
Gt. Western Railway
Royal Albert Bridge
Men of Iron
The Enigma Code
THE BRUNEL TRAIL PLAN
The LEA HERITAGE community group launched "THE BRUNEL EXPERIENCE", to honour the great man on his 200th birthday anniversary in 2006.
The main objective being to establish a Brunel visitor Centre opposite or by the Wapping Tube Station.
A BRUNEL VISITOR CENTRE would be the beginning of the new Brunel trail taking vistors on a slow journey through Wapping's tube Station lit by floodlights highlighting Brunel history on the way to Rotherhithe and the Brunel Museum and Engine House on the South side of the Thames where the first shaft was sunk.Investment will be needed to extend a mooring jetty there.
The trail would then continue on to Greenwich aboard 'City Cruises' viewing the recently restored "Cutty Sark".
The journey would then use the DLR crossing the River to the Isle of Dogs on the the North side Docklands Light Railway and will visit Millwall's old shipyard where Isambard Kingdom built his most famous iron ship The SS Great Eastern
From there the trail takes us to "Virginia Quay" near Leamouth, where the Historic First Settlers Monument is located.
Visitors will then continue on the trail to The Museum in Docklands', then retuning West via the DLR through to Limehouse, there they will alight at Shadwell.
Just a short walk away is 'St Georges' old Town Hall building where the famous Mural commemmorates The Battle of Cable Street, they then cross the Highway to visit St Annes Church, where Thomas Jefferson's Mother worshipped, it is known as the sea Captains Church,as many famous ones are buried there.
A short stroll down some steps takes visitors through to 'King Edward V11 Memorial Park' uniquely dedicated by the King 'for the 'enjoyment of the people of East London forever'.
We relax awhile there, leaving the Park to visit the most famous old tavern of all the notorious smugglers den called 'Prospect of Whitby'. After refreshment The trail will finally return along the cobbled High Street to the Tower of London, its starting point.
This Brunel Trail is not only educational, but can boost the local economy along both sides of the Thames providing a new focus of interest in the region's amazing 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 on this link: sign into our GUESTBOOK