World first for historic museum ship, ss Great Britain
Visitors to Brunel’s ss Great Britain will soon be taken to new heights to experience the thrill and fear of a 19th-century crew member on board Brunel’s famous ship.
Stepping into the shoes of a Victorian sailor, those brave enough will be able to re-enact working life at sea by scaling the rigging and conquering the yardarm for a unique and exhilarating view of Bristol, over 30 metres from ground level, up the mainmast.
Set to be the ultimate, immersive experience; ‘Go Aloft’ has been designed to represent as authentically as possible what the crew members had to endure when working on board the Victorian passenger liner.
Participants will have the luxury of being strapped into a harness, briefed by a Topman on the Weather Deck, before ascending the rigging to a viewing platform at 27m above the deck. From here, participants can traverse out along the main yard, taking them 9m out across the ship below, before returning to solid ground, safe in the knowledge that they will have experienced something that few people can anywhere else. Crew re-enactment volunteers will be on hand below to bring the experience to life for people who would prefer to keep their feet firmly on the Weather Deck.
Rhian Tritton Director of Conservation & Education for the ss Great Britain Trust said: “In everything we do we aim to take visitors back in time and show them what the conditions on board would have been like for passengers and crew alike. It would have been opulence and luxury for the First Class passengers, but scary and pretty dangerous for the hard working crew. Although Go Aloft is an accurate representation of what they would have had to do, we’re not making visitors climb the rigging in bare feet – they will be wearing a harness and sensible shoes at all times!”
‘Go Aloft’ will open to the public on Saturday 5 April 2014, please see www.ssgreatbritain.org/whats-on/go-aloft for more details.