Brunel and London. It might not seem an obvious association, but John Christopher puts the case that it was London, not Bristol, that was the most important centre of Brunel's activities. It was here that he lived, worked and died. The city is dotted with examples of his works, some obvious and some less so, from the subaquatic Thames Tunnel between Wapping to Rotherhithe where he cut his engineering teeth and was almost killed in a sudden deluge, to the Hungerford suspension bridge between Charing Cross and the South Bank - mostly forgotten but parts of it still exist - the two stations at Paddington with the Great Western Railway main line running to the west and, of course, his final steamship, the vast Great Eastern which was built at Millwall and marked the end of his career and his life. Less familiar are Brunel's connections with the Crystal Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition of 1851, and the two towers he built when it was relocated to Sydenham in south London. John Christopher, an acknowledged expert on Brunel, takes us on a tour of London, examining the relationship between city and engineer. This is the latest in a series of books which are about rediscovering Brunel's works in your area.
John Christopher has written and edited a number of books on Engineering, Military History and Railway and Road Transport, specializing in the life and works of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and being the series editor for Amberley's Bradshaw's Guides series. He has also appeared in Michael Portillo's Great British Railway Journeys television series. In between writing books, he is a balloon pilot and Land Rover fan. He lives in Gloucestershire.