Flash, Bang, Wallop! recreates bygone journeys to Australia on Brunel's ss Great Britain

By Culture24 Reporter | 01 May 2012
A photo of a woman in a Victorian outfit and headdress smiling on board a ship
© ss Great Britain Trust
Exhibition: Flash, Bang, Wallop!, Brunel’s ss Great Britain, Bristol

After making her maiden voyage to Australia 160 years ago, the ss Great Britain went on to help 15,000 passengers emigrate to Oz and New Zealand.

To celebrate the anniversary, a Victorian photographic studio recreating a mid-19th century Melbourne photographer’s studio has been set up in the Baker gallery, where visitors can pose for portraits in frockcoats, fancy bonnets, long dresses, stovepipe hats and Victorian jewellery.

“We have been able to commission a new range of clothing for the exhibition,” says the ship’s Rhian Tritton, who has also overseen the arrival of a hand-painted 3D backdrop of its arrival in Melbourne in 1852.

“Our costume designer, Amanda Hambleton, has recreated this new wardrobe in painstaking historical detail, drawing on fashion plates from the 1850s and 1860s for inspiration.”

Standing under a black velvet snapper’s hood, you can position your own camera on a recreated Victorian tripod, then upload your shots of family and friends to the venue’s Facebook page facebook.com/ssgreatbritain.

Trails, appearances by “vile Victorian diners” and ghostly storytelling are also in store throughout the summer.

  • Open 10am-5.30pm. Admission £6.25-£12.50 (family ticket £20.50-£33.50, free for under-4s, includes re-admission for 12 months).
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