Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Brunel by the chains of the Great Eastern

Brunel by the chains of the Great Eastern

Back to the railway today.  There have already been a couple of posts on this theme – ‘All Aboard The Engine‘ and ‘The Great Western Railway Record Run‘.

Today is another song, a round in four parts written by David Haines – one of the repertoire of the South Devon Singers. This is in celebration of the renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. His life is littered with achievements but he is remembered locally of course for the construction of the railway between Exeter and Newton Abbot.

Ahead of his time he designed this originally as an “atmospheric railway”, essentially powered by vacuum, but like many visionary ideas this was thwarted by the inability of technology to keep up. Sadly the atmospheric railway failed but the legacy was the current stretch of track often described as one of the ‘great railway journeys of the world’.

His other connection with Teignmouth is a ‘magical’ one – follow the link at the end to find out.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel
(David Haines, May 2010)

Isambard, it ain’t hard
to see why he’s the leading engineer of his generation
Railways, ships, bridges, weapons, trains
Even designed Paddington Station.

Great Western, Great Britain, Great Eastern
Each the greatest ship of its day
Royal Albert, Clifton Suspension, Maidenhead Railway
Each bridge unique in its way

Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Atmospheric Railway
Driven by a vacuum from Exeter to Newton Abbot by the sea
Prefabricated Hospitals for soldiers, many lives saved.
Florence Nightingale was pleased

(Note: A round to be sung in four parts, in ‘Swung Rhythm’)

Want to know more?  Check out:

Isambard Kingdom Brunel …..
South Devon Singers …..


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