The SS Great Britain Returns

It is 50 years ago since the huge hulk of metal, no longer recognisable as the luxury liner that set sail for New York in 1843 returned to Bristol.

Before the SS Great Britain could be restored to the fantastic condition it is in today, displayed in the very same dry dock that had been specifically built for its construction 127 years earlier, the damaged and sorry-looking ship was tugged on a barge 8,000 miles across the Atlantic to Avonmouth Docks. Here it was patched up and made sea-worthy enough to continue the final part of its journey down the river.

We would love to hear from the people who have lived, worked or grown up in Avonmouth or Shirehampton especially if you remember visiting the ship before its final voyage. Please get in touch to share your memories, stories and pictures from the past.

Do you remember seeing the SS Great Britain return in 1970?

Maybe you worked at Avonmouth Docks?

Or perhaps you have another connection to the ship?

Working with West of England Oral History Partnership , Wildman and Herring Ltd and artist, Carmen Garaghon we will be using the stories we collect to develop a permanent installation in Avonmouth.

Please visit for more information about the wider project celebrating the return of the SS Great Britain.