Massive Fireworks Display Marks Brunel 200 In Bristol

By Graham Spicer | 11 April 2006
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photo of several fireworks exploding over a suspension bridge with lights all along it

Tens of thousands of people turned out for the bicentenary celebrations with their spectacular fireworks display. Photo Martin Chainey

Bristol marked the bicentenary of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s birth with a huge firework display on Saturday April 8 2006.

Despite damp weather, tens of thousands turned out and packed the streets of Clifton, several of which were closed to traffic for the event.

The fireworks lit up the night’s sky above the Brunel-designed Clifton Suspension Bridge, and a spectacular new set of lights for the bridge was also turned on.

Part of the ongoing Brunel 200 celebrations, the celebrations commemorated the achievements of the Victorian engineer who, as well as engineering the Clifton Bridge, was responsible for some of the most advanced technological feats of the age.

photo of a man a woman in mayoral robes with a man in a stovepipe hat and three young girls all about to press a lever

Competition winners Alicia Winfield, Annie Williams and Rosy Owens helped the mayor to turn on the lights. Photo Martin Chainey.

Children’s rides and food stalls that had been set up were busy during the evening and along with the fireworks and lights, a stage was set up on Observatory Hill in Clifton.

It featured performances from the 100-strong Brunel Brass and the Bristol Choral Society. A specially commissioned Brunel-inspired piece was performed by Dance Bristol and an extract from a new community play was also shown.

International renowned jazz musician Andy Sheppard, who is based in Bristol, rounded off the concert with a new piece of music that featured Andy backed by 200 saxophonists, and was followed by the firework display, which began with a fiery waterfall cascading into the Avon Gorge.

There are many more Brunel-inspired events planned for the coming months. The Brunel 200 website has all the details.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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