A fortnightly celebration of the folk history of the Olympic boroughs, in story and song.
In our final week in Tower Hamlets, the first of the five Olympic Boroughs, Ruairidh Anderson tells the story of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's 'Great Babe'. Built on the banks of the Thames in Millwall, the SS Great Eastern was supposed to be his crowning glory but sometimes things just don't work out.
‘’Brunel was a real man of the old school, sporting mutton-chop whiskers, sleeping four hours a night and smoking forty cigars a day. Whilst his breath must have smelt like Bob Geldof on a good day, his mind was one of the sharpest engineering brains of his generation."
Previously in Tower Hamlets
- Charlie Brown: Uncrowned King of Limehouse
- Angela Burdett-Coutts, Queen Of The East End Poor
- Jamrach’s Menagerie, Rhinos & the Ratcliffe Highway
- Moris ‘Two-guns’ Cohen
- Emmanuel Swedenborg, Veruca Socks and Heavenly Secrets
- John Newton, Goebbels, Star Trek & The Slave Trade
- Eliza Marchpane, Mozart, Vol Au Vents And The Wapping Streets