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Brunel, Boats, Bridges and Banksy – Master’s Weekend in Bristol

After months of planning, 33 Company members and guests spent the weekend in Bristol and Clifton.

For those who arrived early, there was an interesting guided tour round the city, led by local members, followed by dinner in the hotel overlooking the harbour.

On the next day, we ventured up river by boat towards Bath.  Both the skipper and our local guide offered fascinating commentary about the sights and history of the area.  After lunch on board, we disembarked at the SS Great Britain.  We had a fascinating tour round the boat, learning about Brunel and the construction of the ship, and life on board at various points in history.  Those who tracked down the ship over 50 years ago as a rotting hulk in the Falkland Islands and returned it to its home in Bristol had great vision.  The exhibition is rightly very popular.

The evening meal, of locally sourced food, was in a restored wine shed.  A former colleague of the Master, from the University of the West of England, spoke about Bristol from an environmental point of view.

On the final day, we ventured to the smart suburb of Clifton, and had an entertaining guided tour of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, another brainchild of the resourceful Brunel.  Some of us donned hard hats and high vis jackets to descend into the recently rediscovered vaults underneath the Bridge.  We concluded with lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Bridge and Avon Gorge.

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