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      Great Western Railway
      Paddington Station, still a mainline station, was the London terminus of the Great Western Railway.
      Paddington Station, still a mainline station, was the London terminus of the Great Western Railway.

      Main article: Great Western Railway

      In the early part of Brunel's life, the use of railways began to take off as a major means of transport for passengers and goods. This demand for railway expansion greatly influenced Brunel's involvement in stretching railways across Britain. This also resulted in the majority of the bridges constructed at the time to be railway bridges.

      In 1833, before the Thames Tunnel was complete, Brunel was appointed chief engineer of the Great Western Railway, one of the wonders of Victorian Britain, running from London to Bristol and later Exeter.[14]

      The Company was founded at a public meeting in Bristol in 1833, and was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1835. Brunel made two controversial decisions: to use a broad gauge of 7 ft 0¼ in (2140 mm) for the track, which he believed would offer superior running at high speeds; and to take a route that passed north of the Marlborough Downs, an area with no significant towns, though it offered potential connections to Oxford and Gloucester and then to follow the Thames Valley into London.

      His decision to use broad gauge for the line was controversial in that almost all British railways to date had used standard gauge. Brunel said that this was nothing more than a carry-over from the mine railways that George Stephenson had worked on prior to making the world's first passenger railway.

      Brunel worked out through mathematics and a series of trials that his broader gauge was the optimum railway size for providing stability and a comfortable ride to passengers, in addition to allowing for bigger carriages and more freight capacity.[15] He surveyed the entire length of the route between London and Bristol himself.
      Isambard Kingdom Brunel - Steam Museum, Swindon.
      Isambard Kingdom Brunel - Steam Museum, Swindon.

      The initial group of locomotives ordered by Brunel to his own specifications proved unsatisfactory, apart from the North Star locomotive, and 20-year-old Daniel Gooch (later Sir Daniel) was appointed as Superintendent of Locomotives. Brunel and Gooch chose to locate their locomotive works at the village of Swindon, at the point where the gradual ascent from London turned into the steeper descent to the Avon valley at Bath.

      Drawing on his experience with the Thames Tunnel, the Great Western contained a series of impressive achievements — soaring viaducts, specially designed stations, and vast tunnels including the famous Box Tunnel, which was the longest railway tunnel in the world at that time.[4]

      Brunel's achievements ignited the imagination of the technically minded Britons of the age, and he soon became one of the most famous men in the country on the back of this interest.

      There is an anecdote which states that Box Tunnel is placed such that the sun shines all the way through it on Brunel's birthday. For more information, see Box Tunnel.[16]

      After Brunel's death the decision was taken that standard gauge should be used for all railways in the country. Despite the Great Western's claim of proof that its broad gauge was the better (disputed by at least one Brunel historian), the decision was made to go with Stephenson's standard gauge, mainly because this had already covered a far greater amount of the country.

      By May 1892 (when the broad gauge was abolished) the Great Western had already been re-laid as dual gauge (both broad and standard) and so the transition was a relatively painless one.[4]

      The present Paddington station was designed by Brunel and opened in 1854. Examples of his designs for smaller stations on the Great Western and associated lines which survive in good condition include Mortimer, Charlbury and Bridgend (all Italianate) and Culham (Tudorbethan). Surviving examples of wooden train sheds in his style are at Frome and Kingswear.

      The great achievement that was the Great Western Railway has been immortalised in the Swindon Steam Railway Museum.
      ‎"See, you think I give a tulip. Wrong. In fact, while you talk, I'm thinking; How can I give less of a tulip? That's why I look interested."


        Winston Churchill, the son of Randolph Churchill, a Conservative politician, was born in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, on 30th November, 1874. His mother, Jennie Jerome, was the daughter of Leonard Jerome, a New York businessman.

        After being educated at Harrow he went to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. Churchill joined the Fourth Hussars in 1895 and saw action on the Indian north-west frontier and in the Sudan where he took part in the Battle of Omdurman (1898).

        While in the army Churchill supplied military reports for the Daily Telegraph and wrote books such as The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898) and The River War (1899).

        After leaving the British Army in 1899, Churchill worked as a war correspondent for the Morning Post. While reporting the Boer War in South Africa he was taken prisoner by the Boers but made headline news when he escaped. On returning to England he wrote about his experiences in the book, London to Ladysmith (1900).

        In the 1900 General Election Churchill was elected as the Conservative MP for Oldham. As a result of reading, Poverty, A Study of Town Life by Seebohm Rowntree he became a supporter of social reform. In 1904, unconvinced by his party leaders desire for change, Churchill decided to join the Liberal Party.

        In the 1906 General Election Churchill won North West Manchester and immediately became a member of the new Liberal government as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. When Herbert Asquith replaced Henry Campbell-Bannerman as Prime Minister in 1908 he promoted Churchill to his cabinet as President of the Board of Trade. While in this post he carried through important social legislation including the establishment of employment exchanges.

        On 12th September 1908 Churchill married Clementine Ogilvy Spencer and the following year published a book on his political philosophy, Liberalism and the Social Problem (1909).

        Following the 1910 General Election Churchill became Home Secretary. Churchill introduced several reforms to the prison system, including the provision of lecturers and concerts for prisoners and the setting up of special after-care associations to help convicts after they had served their sentence. However, Churchill was severely criticized for using troops to maintain order during a Welsh miners's strike.

        Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty in October 1911 where he helped modernize the navy. Churchill was one of the first people to grasp the military potential of aircraft and in 1912 he set up the Royal Naval Air Service. He also established an Air Department at the Admiralty so as to make full use of this new technology. Churchill was so enthusiastic about these new developments that he took flying lessons.

        On the outbreak of war in 1914, Churchill joined the War Council. However, he was blamed for the failure at the Dardanelles Campaign in 1915 and was moved to the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Unhappy about not having any power to influence the Government's war policy, he rejoined the British Army and commanded a battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers on the Western Front.

        When David Lloyd George replaced Herbert Asquith as Prime Minister, he brought Churchill back into the government as Minister of Munitions and for the final year of the war, Churchill was in charge of the production of tanks, aeroplanes, guns and shells.

        Churchill also served under David Lloyd George as Minister of War and Air (1919-20) and Colonial Secretary (1921-22). Churchill created great controversy over his policies in Iraq. It was estimated that around 25,000 British and 80,000 Indian troops would be needed to control the country. However, he argued that if Britain relied on air power, you could cut these numbers to 4,000 (British) and 10,000 (Indian). The government was convinced by this argument and it was decided to send the recently formed Royal Air Force to Iraq.

        An uprising of more than 100,000 armed tribesmen took place in 1920. Over the next few months the RAF dropped 97 tons of bombs killing 9,000 Iraqis. This failed to end the resistance and Arab and Kurdish uprisings continued to pose a threat to British rule. Churchill suggested that chemical weapons should be used "against recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment." He added "I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes to spread a lively terror" in Iraq.

        The divisions in the Liberal Party led to Churchill being defeated by E. D. Morel at Dundee in the 1922 General Election. Churchill now rejoined the Conservative Party and was successfully elected to represent Epping in the 1924 General Election.

        Stanley Baldwin, the leader of the new Conservative administration, appointed Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 1925 Churchill controversially returned Britain the the Gold Standard and the following year took a strong line against the General Strike. Churchill edited the Government's newspaper, the British Gazette, during the dispute where he argued that "either the country will break the General Strike, or the General Strike will break the country."

        With the defeat of the Conservative government in 1929, Churchill lost office. When Ramsay MacDonald formed the National Government in 1931 Churchill, who was now seen as a right-wing extremist, was not invited to join the Cabinet. He spent the next few years concentrating on his writing, including the publication of the History of the English Speaking Peoples.

        After Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party gained power in Germany in 1933, Churchill became a leading advocate of rearmament. He was also a staunch critic of Neville Chamberlain and the Conservative government's appeasement policy. In 1939 Churchill controversially argued that Britain and France should form of a military alliance with the Soviet Union.

        On the outbreak of the Second World War Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and on 4th April 1940 became chairman of the Military Coordinating Committee. Later that month the German Army invaded and occupied Norway. The loss of Norway was a considerable setback for Neville Chamberlain and his policies for dealing with Nazi Germany.

        On 8th May the Labour Party demanded a debate on the Norwegian campaign and this turned into a vote of censure. At the end of the debate 30 Conservatives voted against Chamberlain and a further 60 abstained. Chamberlain now decided to resign and on 10th May, 1940, George VI appointed Churchill as prime minister. Later that day the German Army began its Western Offensive and invaded the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Two days later German forces entered France.

        Churchill formed a coalition government and placed leaders of the Labour Party such as Clement Attlee, Ernest Bevin, Herbert Morrison, Stafford Cripps and Hugh Dalton in key positions. He also brought in another long-time opponent of Chamberlain, Anthony Eden, as his secretary of state for war. Later that year Eden replaced Lord Halifax as foreign secretary.

        Churchill also developed a strong personal relationship with Franklin D. Roosevelt and this led to the sharing and trading of war supplies. The Lend Lease agreement of March 1941 allowed Britain to order war goods from the United States on credit.

        Although he provided strong leadership the war continued to go badly for Britain and after a series of military defeats Churchill had to face a motion of no confidence in Parliament. However, he maintained the support of most members of the House of Commons and won by 475 votes to 25.

        Churchill continued to be criticized for meddling in military matters and tended to take too much notice of the views of his friends such as Frederick Lindemann rather than his military commanders. In April 1941 he made the serious mistake of trying to save Greece by weakening his forces fighting the Desert War.

        One of the major contributions made by Churchill to eventual victory was his ability to inspire the British people to greater effort by making public broadcasts on significant occasions. A brilliant orator he was a tireless source of strength to people experiencing the sufferings of the Blitz.

        After Pearl Harbor Churchill worked closely with Franklin D. Roosevelt to ensure victory over Germany and Japan. He was also a loyal ally of the Soviet Union after Adolf Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa in June, 1941.

        Churchill held important meetings with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin at Teheran (November, 1943) and Yalta (February, 1945). Although Churchill's relationship with Stalin was always difficult he managed to successfully develop a united strategy against the Axis powers.

        Despite intense pressure from Stalin to open a second-front by landing Allied troops in France in 1943, Churchill continued to argue that this should not happen until the defeat of Nazi Germany was guaranteed. The D-Day landings did not take place until June, 1944 and this delay enabled the Red Army to capture territory from Germany in Eastern Europe.

        In public Churchill accepted plans for social reform drawn up by William Beveridge in 1944. However, he was unable to convince the electorate that he was as committed to these measures as much as Clement Attlee and the Labour Party. In the 1945 General Election Churchill's attempts to compare a future Labour government with Nazi Germany backfired and Attlee won a landslide victory.

        Churchill became leader of the opposition and when visiting the United States in March 1946, he made his famous Iron Curtain speech at Fulton, Missouri. He suffered the first of several strokes in August 1946 but this information was kept from the general public and he continued to lead the Conservative Party.


          damn! too slow / too quick.


            Brunel's "atmospheric caper"
            A reconstruction of Brunel's atmospheric railway at Didcot Railway Centre
            A reconstruction of Brunel's atmospheric railway at Didcot Railway Centre

            Another of Brunel's interesting though ultimately unsuccessful technical innovations was the atmospheric railway, the extension of the GWR southward from Exeter towards Plymouth, technically the South Devon Railway (SDR), though supported by the GWR. Instead of using locomotives, the trains were moved by Clegg and Samuda's patented system of atmospheric (vacuum) traction, whereby stationary pumps sucked air from the tunnel.

            The section from Exeter to Newton (now Newton Abbot) was completed on this principle, with pumping stations with distinctive square chimneys spaced every two miles, and trains ran at approximately 20 miles per hour (30 km/h).[4] Fifteen-inch (381 mm) pipes were used on the level portions, and 22-inch (559 mm) pipes were intended for the steeper gradients.

            The technology required the use of leather flaps to seal the vacuum pipes. The leather had to be kept supple by the use of tallow, and tallow is attractive to rats. The result was inevitable — the flaps were eaten, and vacuum operation lasted less than a year, from 1847 (experimental services began in September; operationally from February 1848) to September 10, 1848.[17]

            The accounts of the SDR for 1848 suggest that atmospheric traction cost 3s 1d (three shillings and one penny) per mile compared to 1s 4d/mile for conventional steam power. A number of South Devon Railway engine houses still stand, including that at Starcross, on the estuary of the River Exe, which is a striking landmark, and a reminder of the atmospheric railway, also commemorated as the name of the village pub.

            A section of the pipe, without the leather covers, is preserved at the Didcot Railway Centre.
            ‎"See, you think I give a tulip. Wrong. In fact, while you talk, I'm thinking; How can I give less of a tulip? That's why I look interested."


              Transatlantic shipping
              Brunel Launch of the SS Great Britain, the revolutionary ship of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, at Bristol in 1843
              Brunel Launch of the SS Great Britain, the revolutionary ship of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, at Bristol in 1843
              Great Eastern At Sea, the great ship of IK Brunel as imagined at sea by the artist at her launch in 1858
              Great Eastern At Sea, the great ship of IK Brunel as imagined at sea by the artist at her launch in 1858
              SS Great Eastern shortly before her launch in 1858.
              SS Great Eastern shortly before her launch in 1858.
              Brunel at the Launching of The Great Eastern with John Scott Russell & Lord Derby
              Brunel at the Launching of The Great Eastern with John Scott Russell & Lord Derby

              Even before the Great Western Railway was opened, Brunel was moving on to his next project: transatlantic shipping. He used his prestige to convince his railway company employers to build the Great Western, at the time by far the largest steamship in the world. She first sailed in 1837.

              She was 236 ft (72 m) long, built of wood, and powered by sail and paddlewheels. Her first return trip to New York City took just 29 days, compared to two months for an average sailing ship. In total, 74 crossings to New York were made. The Great Britain followed in 1843; much larger at 322 ft (98 m) long, she was the first iron-hulled, propeller-driven ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.[18]

              Building on these successes, Brunel turned to a third ship in 1852, even larger than both of her predecessors, and intended for voyages to India and Australia. The Great Eastern (originally dubbed Leviathan) was cutting-edge technology for her time: almost 700 ft (213 m) long, fitted out with the most luxurious appointments and capable of carrying over 4,000 passengers.

              She was designed to be able to cruise under her own power non-stop from London to Sydney and back since engineers of the time were under the misapprehension that Australia had no coal reserves, and she remained the largest ship built until the turn of the century. Like many of Brunel's ambitious projects, the ship soon ran over budget and behind schedule in the face of a series of momentous technical problems.[4]

              The ship has been portrayed as a white elephant, but it can be argued that in this case Brunel's failure was principally one of economics — his ships were simply years ahead of their time. His vision and engineering innovations made the building of large-scale, screw-driven, all-metal steamships a practical reality, but the prevailing economic and industrial conditions meant that it would be several decades before transoceanic steamship travel emerged as a viable industry.

              Great Eastern was built at John Scott Russell's Napier Yard in London, and after two trial trips in 1859, set forth the following year on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on 17 June 1860.[19]

              Though a failure at its original purpose of passenger travel, she eventually found a role as an oceanic telegraph cable-layer, and the Great Eastern remains one of the most important vessels in the history of shipbuilding — the Trans-Atlantic cable had been laid, which meant that Europe and America now had a telecommunications link.[4]
              ‎"See, you think I give a tulip. Wrong. In fact, while you talk, I'm thinking; How can I give less of a tulip? That's why I look interested."




                  Crimean war

                  During 1854, Britain entered into the Crimean War, an old Turkish Barrack building became the British Army hospital in Scutari (modern-day Üsküdar in Istanbul). With injured men suffering from a variety of illnesses including cholera, dysentery, typhoid and malaria purely from hospital conditions,[20] Florence Nightingale sent a plea to The Times for the government to produce a solution.

                  Brunel was already working on building the SS Great Eastern amongst other projects, but accepted the task in February 1855 of designing and building the War Office requirement of a temporary, pre-fabricated hospital that could be shipped to the Crimea and erected. In 5 months he had designed, built and shipped the pre-fabricated wood and canvas buildings[21] that were erected, near Scutari Hospital where Nightingale was based, in the malaria free area of Renkioi.[22]

                  His designs incorporated the necessity of hygiene, providing access to sanitation, ventilation, drainage and even rudimentary temperature controls. They were feted as a great success, some sources stating that of the 1,300 (approximate) patients treated in the Renkioi temporary hospital, there were only 50 deaths.[23] In the Scutari hospital it replaced, deaths were said to be as many as 10 times this number. Nightingale herself referred to them as "those magnificent huts."[24] Brunel not only designed the buildings but gave advice as to the location of placing.[25]

                  The art of using pre-fabricated modules to build hospitals has been carried forward into the present day,[22] with hospitals such as the Bristol Royal Infirmary being created in this manner.
                  ‎"See, you think I give a tulip. Wrong. In fact, while you talk, I'm thinking; How can I give less of a tulip? That's why I look interested."


                    Illnesses and death of Brunel
                    Brunel Obituary 1859 , The great engineer surrounded by images of his achievements
                    Brunel Obituary 1859 , The great engineer surrounded by images of his achievements
                    Brunel family grave in Kensal Green Cemetery in London. Buried here are Isambard's father Marc and his wife Sophia Kingdom, Isambard and his wife Mary Horsley, their two sons Isambard and Henri, and some further descendants.
                    Brunel family grave in Kensal Green Cemetery in London. Buried here are Isambard's father Marc and his wife Sophia Kingdom, Isambard and his wife Mary Horsley, their two sons Isambard and Henri, and some further descendants.

                    In 1843, while performing a conjuring trick for the amusement of his children, Brunel accidentally inhaled a half-sovereign coin, which became lodged in his windpipe. A special pair of forceps failed to remove it, as did a machine devised by Brunel himself to shake it loose.

                    Eventually, at the suggestion of Sir Marc, Brunel was strapped to a board and turned upside-down, and the coin was jerked free.[26] He convalesced by visiting Teignmouth and enjoyed the area so much that he purchased an estate at Watcombe in Torquay, Devon. Here he designed Brunel Manor and its gardens to be his retirement home. Unfortunately he never saw the house or gardens finished, as he died before it was completed.

                    Brunel suffered a stroke in 1859, just before the Great Eastern made her first voyage to New York.[27] He died ten days later at the age of 53 and was buried, like his father, in Kensal Green Cemetery in London.[28]

                    He left behind his wife Mary and three children: Isambard Brunel Junior (1837–1902), Henri Marc Brunel (1842–1903) and Florence Mary Brunel (c.1847–1876).[29] Henri Marc enjoyed some success as a civil engineer.
                    ‎"See, you think I give a tulip. Wrong. In fact, while you talk, I'm thinking; How can I give less of a tulip? That's why I look interested."


                      how about cars?