Bristol Docks – 2009



Bristol has a floating harbour, the depth of water is maintained by allowing ships to enter and leave through a lock and only around high water. Among the delights of Bristol is the steamship Great Britain preserved in the very dock where she was built in 1843.

At the sea lock giving entrance to the Bristol floating harbour in England our narrow boat crew witnessed the end of a technological process that started with the great engineer Brunel. The Bristol harbour team were ending their working days with a little maintenance on the pistons and chain used to control the lock gates. In the background an engineering firm from Holland were making these men redundant with changes to the lock controls.


We are looking down the River Avon from the Bristol Lock. In the distance the Clifton Suspension Bridge designed by Isambard Brunel (and the Great Britain). The Avon flows down to the Bristol Channel where the range of tide is among the highest in the world.


The chain and piston being repaired and soon to be replaced by modern Dutch engineering.

For more information about the Great Britain go to

About curiouslakescurator

Sailed professionally for thirteen years then went ashore to become a marine museum curator.
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