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Alan Machin: Tourism As Education
Home page: blogs, introductions, links to main pages
Berlin: Editing a Townscape
... and reading a city that has had many rebuilders
Making Sense of The Travel Learning Experience- 1
1 Information Streams
Making Sense of the Travel Learning Experience - 2
Some basic theories
Back to Basics: Presentation given at the Cuba EduTourism Conference
The CETA Conference in Havana, Cuba, 8/9 November 2010
About the author
Comments - CV - photos
At the heart of the tourist experience
Learning through Landscapes
Exploring Oxfordshire (and a bit of Gloucestershire!)
The Environment As Data: Building New Theories For Tourism
How tourists relate to places
Sail Gives Way to Steam
A return visit discovers just how much has been achieved in this iconic restoration
Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth Reenactment
Visits to Leicester and the battlefield event, 2013
Along The Way
Recollections and Reflections of 60+ Years' Learning about the World and its Ways
On the Edge of the New World
Shaping New England
Exploring Holderness in East Yorkshire; October 2012
Past Historic
Graf Zepplin, Spain 1968, OS History, Much Wenlock Olympics, Chatham Dockyard, Hawes Tourism, Colonial Williamsburg,
A Summer of Travelling / Matthew Starr
Three months' backpacking in Africa, Asia and Australia
East Anglia
The Broads, Pensthorpe natural history, Radar Museum, Caister Lifeboat Service and more!
A Richer Earth
Discoveries in the landscape and attractions of Shropshire
Blog Index Page
Blog pages from 2009 listed
From Strip Map to Sat Nav
'Finding the way' aids to exploration
Showcasing the World
How the Tourist Microcosm took centre stage
Doing A Dissertation
Notes to help students preparing their proposals
The Japanese Tsunami Destruction at First Hand
Sarah and Tom Wadsworth saw for themselves
Showcases: Examples
The range and variety of tourism's focal points examined
Jigsaw: Frameworks of Knowledge
The tourist jigsaw puzzle of - knowledge
Books and other works useful in studying tourism as education
Tourism's Educational Origins: Part 2
The development of tourism as education, 1845 -
Tourism's Educational Origins: Part 1
Tourism's educational origins and management
Impressions of Tourism in Cuba
Thoughts on having seen some of the country myself
Captain James Cook: North Yorkshire Days
Tracing the early life of Britain's greatest maritime explorer
Hunting the Hound of the Baskervilles
Tracking down places that inspired the famous detective story and moulded Dartmoor's image
Exploring the Idea of Dark Tourism
What is it? Is it a useful idea?
Talking to Tourists
Visitor interpretation - guide books, visitor centres and other media
Shades of Light and Dark in the Garden of England
An exploration in East Sussex and Kent, June/July 2010
Hunting the Gladiator and the Gecko
A thirteen-year search for a wartime adventure
Steam Up For A Famous Film's Birthday Party
The Railway Children weekend on the Worth Valley line raises questions about heritage presentations
Anne-Marie Rhodes: Making a Difference in South East Asia
Leeds Met graduate of '07 describes her activities
Discoveries in Northumberland, April 2010
Alnwick Gardens; Winter's Gibbet; Holy Island, Cragside, Wallington Hall
Discoveries in the Midlands, March 2010
Bletchley Park National Codes and Cipher Centre; and the Rollright Stones
Alan Machin's Blog - April 2010
The development of tourism as education continued
Jigsaw Puzzle!
The Adventure of the Timely Tourist
Leaders Into The Field
People who inspired everyone to explore
Alan Machin's blogs - February and March 2010
Postings on the history tourism as education - redirection
Alan Machin's Blog - January 2010
Tourist photography and souvenirs
Earlier front-page blog postings - January 2010 onwards
Archived after being on the Home Page
News from higher education and - beyond
The Development of Educational Tourism
Key dates in the development of educational tourism
Alan Machin's Blog - December 2009
Christmas Quiz and other postings
Analysing Heritage Tourism
Ideas and perspectives on a hugely important sector
Alan Machin's Blog - November 2009
Visitors' Views of Stonehenge, West Sussex - and other Postings
Are Universities Losing Their Way?
Reflections having retired
Teaching Tourism At Leeds Met
Remembering the Best
Alan Machin's Blog - October 2009
Thoughts about university life and discovery by travel
Alan Machin's Blog - September 2009
Further postings about a trip last month to the USA, and about higher education
Alan Machin's Blog - August 2009
Postings about a trip this month to the USA
Alan Machin's Blog - July 2009
The Story So Far reaches the summer
Alan Machin's Blog - June 2009
The Story So Far looks back on seventeen years at Leeds Met
Alan Machin's Blog - May 2009
Another month of The Story So Far
Alan Machin's blog - April 2009
Yet more of the Story So Far
Alan Machin's blog - March 2009
More of The Story So Far
Alan Machin's Blog - February 2009
The Story So Far - pioneers, people and places
Alan Machin's Blog: January 2009
The Story So Far .... first postings of '09
Alan Machin's Blog: December 2008
The Story So Far .... latest postings
Alan Machin's Blog - November '08
The Story So Far.... continued
Alan Machin's Blog: October 2008
The Story So Far....
No Place Like Rome
The eternal city with the eternal tourists
Charleston, South Carolina
A photo essay about a fine historic city
Idealog - December 2007
Ideas, notes and comments
Idealog - November 2007
Ideas, notes and comments
The Educational Origins of Tourism
Discussion paper
Idealog - October 2007
Coton Military Cemetery; Education and Tourism; Chatham Maritime; Dickens World; Quiz Answers; Tourist Guides; Mediation In Tourism
Idealog - September 2007
Plane Paradox;Tour Guiding; Where in the World?; Do Tourism Students Know Where They Are?; Leeds Met's Wow!; Sea Harrier; Scarborough and Tourism As Education; Doing A Dissertation; Types of Tourist; A Media Lens; Cost of Travelling Alone; Risk of Bias?
Idealog - August 2007
A People Industry; Heritage Interpretation; Lud's Church; Tourists Go Home!; Stone Gappe YHA; Insight Guides; Eyewitness Guides; Bramhope Tunnel; Elizabethan Progress; Information Quality Matrix
Idealog - July 2007
Hidden Heroes, Health Tourism, Holme Fen Posts; Harrogate (again); Whitby Abbey; Dramatic Interpretation; Harrogate Interpretation, Attractions and Royal Hall
Idealog - June 2007
Christian Pilgrimage; Cincinnati Museums Centre; The Coming of the Guide Book; Talking to Tourists - Media, Stages of the Visit, The Service Journey; Tourism's Missing Link; The Final Call; SATuration level; Halifax's Edwardian Window on the World
Idealog - May 2007
Martin and Osa Johnson, Wensleydale Creamery, Malham Tarn, Thomas Cook, Northern Ireland's Tourism Rebuild, Jamestown Festival Park, Cite des Sciences
Idealog - April 2007
The Promenade Plantee, The Jardin des Plantes, Environmental Data, Victorian Beauty Spot Rediscovered, Jamestown, The Anglers' Country Park, Children's Museums, Fairburn Ings
Idealog - March 2007
A Sense of the Past- The 'Amsterdam', The Outdoor Classroom, Film-Induced Tourism, Making Tracks for the Coast and Country, Pictures, Context and Meaning, Classics-on-Sea, Hi Hi Everyone!, Dark Side of the Dream, Holodyne - The Action Cycle
Idealog - February 2007
Don't Go There!, Space Tourism, The Crystal Cathedral, New Books on Tourism, Dark Tourism - Undercliffe Cemetery, Showcase - The Louvre, A Class Act, First Impressions Count, Postal Pleasures, Canaletto in Venice, Serpent Mound, Capsule Culture etc
Idealog - January 2007
Capsule Culture,Seaside Style, Poble Espanyol, Mallorca, Edgar Dale, Children's Holiday Homes, Representations of Reality, Outdoor Education in Germany, Baedeker Guides, Geography Textbooks, Environmental Data Theory etc
Idealog - December 2006
Writers on Landscape, Story Books, The Deep, Flour Power and the Archers,Showcases: Grand Tour, Halifax Piece Hall, Books of Concern about Tourism, Tourist Traces, Tourist Typologies, The Growth of Educational Tourism, The Field Studies Council, etc
Idealog - November 2006
A blog of ideas, comments and notes
Travel To Understand: Belfast
Telling the stories of troubled times
World Quiz 2010
Geography with a tourism angle
The Monterey Bay Aquarium
An outstanding educational facility in California
Chicago: Tourism Re-Imaging
A closer view of an iconic city
Colonial Williamsburg
A Virginia history showcase
A Social Club Outing By Train, 1935
How to do Scotland in 30 hours flat
Going Dutch
Presenting the past in the Netherlands
Keukenhof: Business is Blooming
Using tourism to promote an industry
A View of Italy for the City
Trentham Gardens Revived
A Case Study in Heritage Management
A curious tale of misleading publicity
Old Rice Farm
The story of the house in the 'holler'
Perfection in Paradise: The Eden Project
New page being added: The Eden Project's design for success
Escaping From Slavery: Facing Our Past
The US National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Prague Tourist Shows
Outstanding showcase attractions in the city
Retracing the Steps: Tourism as Education
ATLAS Conference paper given in Finland, 2000
Tourism and Historic Towns: The Cultural Key
A background paper for a Council of Europe Conference
The Social Helix
Visitor Interpretation as a Tool for Social Development, 1989
Malta Residential, 14-21 Feb 2006 - Page 1
Reports and Pictures
Malta Residential, 14-21 Feb 2006 - Page 2
Photos and reports of Friday 17 Feb onwards
Malta Residential, 14-21 February 2006 - Page 3
Reports and pictures from Sunday, 19 February onwards
Tourism Alumni Reunion, 8 March 2003
Leeds tourism students reunion 2003
World Geography Quiz 1
A test of your knowledge
The Adventure of the Timely Tourist
The answers
Tall Ships Race 2010 Converged on Hartlepool
A major event-based boost for tourism in the town
Plymouth: From the Tamar to the Sea
Starting point for explorations round the globe
Plimoth Plantation
A reconstruction of the Mayflower settlers' village of the 1620s on the north east coast of North America
World Geography Quiz 2010 - Answers
Geography with a tourism angle
World Geography Quiz - Answers
Christmas Quiz 2009 - Answers
A day in the city including the Botanic Garden
Tourist Showcases
Examples from around the world

Sail Gives Way to Steam

SS Great Britain 1

In 2005 the BBC Radio 4 Today programme held a listeners’ poll.  It was to decide the nation’s favourite painting.  Or, at least, the favourite of the famously clued-up Radio 4 audience.  The winner was J M W Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire.  It showed one of the last of the ships that fought in the Battle  of Trafalgar being towed along the Thames to the breaker’s yard.  The proud vessel is being hauled by a steam-driven, paddle-wheel tug.

Turner painted the scene in 1838.  His work was shown at the Royal Academy in 1839, an immediate  critical and popular success.  The public readily appreciated the nostalgia of the famous man of war that had helped bring victory in 1805.  It would soon recognise the symbolism of the sailing vessel being taken for scrap by a dirty, smoky steam tug.  The old maritime world was giving way to the new.

Brunel’s ship, the SS Great Britain, was launched five years after Turner painted the Temeraire.  It had masts and sails, but also a huge steam engine.  The ship attracted popular attention through press reports and the accounts of passengers who travelled on board. It was a time when steam was being used more and more in factories, mines, railways and ships.  The Great Britain presented a view of a world to come, although one which would take some time to arrive.  The SS Great Britain’s engine was primitive compared with others being developed.  It was replaced by a smaller, more efficient engine in 1852, and in 1876 even this one was considered unsuitable.  It was removed and the Great Britain became just a sailing ship. 

During its working life on the oceans it carried general passengers to New York, emigrants to Australia, soldiers to the Crimea, and then as a cargo vessel moved coal, wheat and guano across the globe.  It sailed round the world 32 times.  But in 1886 the ship was damaged in storms of Cape Horn.  The captain took it to the Falkland Islands, where it was sold to the Falkland Islands Company for use as a storage hulk. 

In 1937 it was scuttled in shallow water and sat there on the seabed for the next 33 years.  Finally, an epic salvage project refloated the ship, loaded it onto a huge pontoon, and it was towed back to Bristol where it was returned to the dock it was built in.  The year was 1970.  As it was moved through the Avon Gorge it passed under the Clifton suspension bridge designed by Brunel, and was greeted by crowds of people, many of whom had arrived using the former Great Western Railway system, also originally Brunel’s work.

SS Great Britain 2

I first visited the ship in its dock during the 1970s when working at the Ironbridge Museum. There was a huge amount for the restorers to do as it was a rusty hull, missing most of  its masts and rigging.  It proved to be a long haul, with big problems along the way.  Not only had the finance to be raised but decisions taken about how it should be reconstructed.  There was a major setback when decking that had been re-laid proved a failure, meaning new decking had to be obtained. 

The mix of sail power and steam power is shown by the seven masts (as in the original configuration) being joined by a tall funnel.  The bridge on the SS Great Britain is a simple structure aft of the funnel.  Skylights are common in the Weather, or Upper, Deck, allowing daylight to shine down into the Promenade Deck immediately below.  Besides the anchors, capstans and other equipment on the Weather Deck can now be seen a wooden shed with a life-size model  of a pig, and another with a cow.  The original vessel carried many such animals on deck, to be slaughtered one by one as the voyage progressed. 
For the first years of its service, the ship’s Weather Deck was divided into areas for first, second and steerage class passengers to walk, white painted lines marking the limits.

SS Great Britain 3

Shipboard life in the first years of the SS Great Britain’s service has been indicated in the reconstructions.  Later, it became a cargo vessel.  The first class dining saloon has only one passenger, still gazing at a fruit stand.  Perhaps she arrived well ahead of the others, hungry after a day or two feeling that food was not to be faced as the ship rolled about.  But wait: there  is a pile of dirty plates and a the remains of a roast pig’s head on one table.  Is she the last to leave?  Perhaps the table set out with a full set of clean tableware suggests several passengers felt seasick and declined the meal.  Of course, a museum display may have to suggest two or three different stages in an activity.  It is like having two or three photo snapshots taken at different times.  Not shown here is the steerage mess deck, cramped and much more basic in design.

The ship’s surgeon is at work dealing with an injury.  Without modern medicines and techniques (and no anaesthetics beyond large amounts of alcohol), he had few resources.  Illnesses were often dealt with using the black, slug-like, leeches in the jar.  They were placed on the skin and left to gorge themselves on quantities of blood.  

SS Great Britain 4

The ship often carried six hundred passengers and crew on a voyage.  They all had to be fed with meals appropriate to the ticket they had bought.  First class passengers sometimes commented that the meals were as good as in a smart restaurant.  Steerage class might have to rely on porridge sweetened with treacle, salt meat boiled in pease soup, and hard ship’s biscuits.  Alcohol was available and often indulged in. 

Everything had to be loaded before the voyage began; nothing could be bought along the route.  Poultry, pigs, sheep and a few cattle were crammed on the deck.  Their steady reduction in numbers by the two butchers working aboard at least freed up some space.  The dockside displays around the preserved Great Britain show barrels of wine, barrels and tins of meat, crates of vegetables and fruit and sacks of potatoes.  An ice house on board supplied ice for keeping meat fresh for a time, but it was inevitable that some stores would go rotten, especially if bad weather delayed the journey.  Ten cooks, two bakers and a storekeeper had their work cut out producing meals day by day.

SS Great Britain 5

The steam engines in  the SS Great Britain were designed by Thomas Guppy, working on a principle suggested by Brunel’s father, Mark Brunel.  Boiler steam was fed to four giant pistons driving the propeller shaft via a huge chain drive.  Constant stoking of the boilers by shovelling coal was necessary.  The heat in the engine compartment was staggering.  Enough equipment has been  replicated sufficiently to indicate the arrangement of the engines and boilers.  The coal bunkers have been omitted in favour of platforms where modern visitors can stand.  They can gaze down into the stoking area where the coal was thrown into the furnaces – a ‘stoker’ is at work.  But modern visitors were not the first to see the machinery.  Passengers on the original voyages were taken on tours of this area by the Chief Engineer.  Victorians were fascinated by their new world.  They took every opportunity to look over factories, transport systems and public services.

SS Great Britain 6

The ship now stands in its dry dock which is roofed over by the steel and glass structure mentioned earlier.  A dehumidification system keeps recirculated air dry to preserve the hull.  The metal tubes carrying the dry air run on either side of the keel and just below the glass ceiling.  The whole space contrasts with the ship’s interior.  Here, the feeling is one of modern science caring for what is, after all, an outstanding monument to the maritime revolution and its effect on the world.

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