As part of the Schools Partnership Strategy, we enjoyed a fantastic visit to The Brunel Museum with a group of Year 10’s from Bacons College.
The students met Tim, who took them on an extensive and extremely informative tour around the museum explaining the full history of the Brunel Family and the Thames Tunnel. Part of the tour journeys down the original Rotherhithe tunnel shaft, a talking point for everyone over dinner we’re sure.
After the tour and shaft exploration, the students then met Sophia Brunel Hawes. Sophia, sister of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, had shown early promise as an engineer, but by mere fact of being a woman in Victorian society she was barred from joining the family business. Like many Victorian women, she was married off to advance her family’s social standing whilst her brother’s talent was nurtured and he became one of the greatest engineers of the 19th century. The students then joined Sophia in a lively and necessary conversation discussing gender roles and how they affect the industry and employment in general.
Thank you once again to all the museum staff and to Spectrum Drama for bringing Sophia Brunel Hawes to life. We can’t wait for our next visit!