Talk:Isambard Kingdom Brunel

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Former featured article Isambard Kingdom Brunel is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 23, 2006.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
February 18, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
March 1, 2006 Featured article candidate Promoted
November 12, 2009 Featured article review Demoted
Current status: Former featured article

Brunel, Rattler & Alecto[edit]

The article claims that the RN commissioned Brunel to carry out the famous trial of HMS Rattler vs. HMS Alecto to settle the paddle vs. screw argument. However the RN's commission was in 1844 to study different forms of screw propeller and the paddle comparison wasn't until the following year. Is there any reference to support Brunel being involved with this later trial too? Surely Brunel had already made his own mind up and would hardly have been regarded as an impartial judge?

It's also worth noting that the Great Britain had already been launched before both of these trials. Brunel's own die was already cast. Andy Dingley (talk) 02:47, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

You are right, I have removed that and put in a reference to the tests he conducted on the steam tug Archimedes. I think this may come from mis-information from Adam Hart Davis in a TV programme. Jezhotwells (talk) 15:11, 16 August 2009 (UTC)


There used to be a pub, in Bristol, called 'The Great Engineer' - the pub sign was of Brunel. The address was Goodhind Street, Bristol - BS5 0ST. I don't know whether the pub is till there [possibly knocked down, with flats built on the site]. Can any one confirm. Is the [former??] existence worth mentioning? Autochthony wrote 2050z 4th December 2009. (talk) 20:48, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

There was also a pub, at the bottom of the Temple Meads incline in Temple Gate House called The Reckless Engineer and later this was changed to the Isambard. Think the Holiday Inn Express has now comsumed the site. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:57, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

No, "The Reckless Engineer" is still where you describe. I don't know if it was ever renamed, but if it was the owners must have thought again. The Holiday Inn is in part of the same block, but is separate.Redcliffe maven (talk) 19:32, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Good article still?[edit]

Whilst I'm not sure enough work has been done to restore Featured Article Status, I think the article is at least a Good Article. Does a more involved editor want to nominate it. If it fails the GA nomination, then it's still at least B class, and I've rated it as such for Wikiproject Bristol with this edit NullofWest Fill the Void 15:28, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I have a significant rewrite in the works, and plan to go through GA and FA after that. It might could skate through GA as is, but I'd rather have it in great shape first. Maralia (talk) 17:47, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

It Died[edit]

Did he die or did the gauge? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dr.queso (talkcontribs) 05:10, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Saltash bridge[edit]

The last para of the article implies that Brunel´s name was only added to the bridge supports in 1959 but in fact it was there from the start. See old photos e.g. at


Thanks (talk) 12:14, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Tim Roberts

If you read the supporting citation you will see that the name was added on the occasion of Brunel's centenary and then gradually disappeared due to layers of paint. Recently restored by Network Rail, I have adjusted the wording to make this clear. Jezhotwells (talk) 16:37, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Reading the cite it suggests that it was a commemorative plaque was added at the centenary, not Brunel's name. Network Rail here had moved the access platforms obscuring his name, and moved the plaque from Saltash station to the bridge pier. It doesn't mention the name being obscured by paint.
You can compare the Saltash end in this 1979 picture and this Dec 2006 picture, and the Plymouth end in this 1979 picture and this Dec 2006 picture. Notice how the newer pictures have a railing right round the top of the tower, whereas the older ones have a small railing in the middle, and the access platforms have moved around the back.
EdJogg (talk) 13:28, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Also see Royal Albert Bridge#Changes since 1859 where this all made clear. This article needs further updating for accuracy. -- EdJogg (talk) 13:33, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

The edit on the lettering added in 1859 following Brunels death are still not clear, it still reads as if his name and date 1859 were added in 1959, this is not correct. In a GWR poster of 1945 the lettering has been illustrated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Jasper Fforde cameo?[edit]

In the Thursday Next books, which are more or less based out of Swindon, a character named Isambard Kingdom Buñuel makes small but frequent appearances as an eccentric and brilliant book engineer. Something worth including? I was shocked and amused to come across this article and find that the character was inspired by a real person. (talk) 21:51, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't think so, this sort of trivia is not suited to an encyclopaedia, perhaps a passing mention in the article on the books. Jezhotwells (talk) 22:03, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Works of Isambard Kingdom Brunel[edit]

The section at the bottom of the page, Works of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is buried far too deep, in my opinion. I rarely scroll beyond the See Also′s, so I went back to Google when I couldn't find the list I was looking for. It turns out there's a Category page called Works of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, too, but it's alphabetical and doesn't show any dates. Plus I can't seem to link to it properly. Can we have a new section 10 (before the See Also′s) with a complete chronological list? I may do it myself, so excuse me if I duplicate some text that's already there...
nagualdesign (talk) 00:57, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

The 'Works of...' template is not intended to be comprehensive -- more a selection of highlights -- the Category should contain 'everything'. The bottom of the page is the traditional place for navigation templates such as this; however, in this case I think you would be justified in moving it to the end of the 'Legacy' section (where it is also conveniently close to 'See also'.
Alternatively, you could create List of works by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (title negotiable!) based on the category, making sure that entries were at least listed chronologically and/or by subject (railways, bridges, ships, etc) to add value beyond the category membership (which would persist). This could then be linked from the top of the 'Legacy' section here.
EdJogg (talk) 15:48, 10 November 2010 (UTC)


Brunel was not just a civil engineer, but also nautical and mechanical. The first paragraph should be modified. DesmondW (talk) 18:42, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Great Eastern[edit]

It can't possibly have been part of Brunel's vision (in the 1830s) for the Great Western Railway that passengers should cross the Atlantic on the 'Great Eastern', not built until the late '50s! I changed it to 'Great Western', which was contemporary. (talk) 13:23, 9 May 2011 (UTC)


Its a useful and appealing addition, but it really creates problems in the article with sandwiching of text (see Wikipedia:Images): at one point on my display there is the infobox, the timeline and a picture squashing the text. I have tried various options to sort the problem but none seems to work. Does anyone have any suggestions?--SabreBD (talk) 23:21, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Is it any better now?
I've replaced
{| align="right"
{| style="float: right; clear: right;"
'align' doesn't do quite what you might expect in HTML - read about CSS float if you want to understand this stuff. Andy Dingley (talk) 09:18, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks its definitely an improvement, although I have to be honest and say that there are still problems as on my display (this does vary a lot) there are still pictures sandwiching text in the Thames Tunnel and Bridges sections. I think this will do for now, but it is a MOS issues and so is should come up if this article goes to GA or back to FA review. In the end some pictures may have to be removed or go in an album.--SabreBD (talk) 10:08, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Looks very good. An improvement I'd say. But why do we slip into the past tense at his 1836 marriage? I have added a note at template talk page. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:38, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
I've re-positioned the images to try and improve things. All bridge images are now on the left, to avoid being pushed down by the timeline, and I've added some whitespace to the rendering of later sections to stop images getting pushed too far down. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:30, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

The Difference Engine[edit]

Perhaps we should mention that I.K. Brunel is a major figure in the alternative-history novel The Difference Engine. He succeeds the fictionalized Lord Byron as prime minister. --Christofurio (talk) 00:12, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

No, because Brunel's relevance to a novel does not mean that the novel has any relevance to Brunel. Andy Dingley (talk) 00:36, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Born where?[edit]

Born 9 April 1806 Weybridge, England... Or The son of French civil engineer Sir Marc Isambard Brunel and Sophia Kingdom Brunel, Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born on 9 April 1806 in Portsmouth, Hampshire. ...Which is it, as currently this article contradicts itself. (talk) 18:21, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

His older sisters were born in Weybridge, but by the time IKB was born, they'd moved to Portsmouth to work on the block making machines. Andy Dingley (talk) 21:38, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Andy. Probably worth getting that right. (talk) 19:57, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
One of the best early life descriptions I've read (good for Marc too) is in the first of a trilogy of Brunel books that aren't well known: Stephen K Jones' Brunel in South Wales. Well recommended, as they cover lots of Bruneliana that's poorly covered elsewhere. Andy Dingley (talk) 20:37, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Date of birth, we have conflicting dates...more info here,_Isambard_Kingdom Veryscarymary (talk) 16:00, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Ballad of the Great Eastern[edit]

I think the song "Ballad of the Great Eastern" on Sting's latest album is about Brunel isn't it? Maybe that should be added. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:04, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

We would need a reliable source for that, per the policy on verifiability, otherwise it's personal opinion. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:19, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Getting article back to FA status[edit]

Having recently read Rolt's biography, I might start working on this article to see if I can't get the article back to FA status. Initially, I'll use Rolt and the 1870 biography to write the article before checking with a third book. Anyone have any suggestions as to authoritative sources?
I'll open a Peer Review when I'm done. Edgepedia (talk) 12:27, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Rolt would be a bad move. He's the one originally responsible for most of the myths about Brunel. The main books on Brunel I'd look at would be Brindle, Stephen K. Jones' Welsh trilogy and Brunel Junior's. It's a mark of just how bad this article is at present that these aren't already here (except Brunel Junior). Andy Dingley (talk) 13:20, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, this could have saved me a lot of work. I'll see if I can get hold of at last one of these sources. Edgepedia (talk) 13:33, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
These books look expensive. I think I'll unwatch this and move on. I could copyedit the text, removing peacock phases, etc, but perhaps that would give it a gloss it doesn't deserve. I'll perhaps come back later, but I have a comment: One thing that's not clear in the article is that the Great Western (ship) sailed before the Great Western Railway opened. Care is needed in designing a structure for the article to allow for readers to get to know the man (this is a biography) without it becoming disjointed. Edgepedia (talk) 16:07, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Brindle's cheap because you can often pick copies up in the cheapie bookshops. Brunel Junior is on Google and there's also an affordable reprint for the bicentenary (links are in the article on balloon flange girders). Even Jones is reasonable money, although you are after three volumes for the set! I found mine in our local library by accident, then bought them. As I've also heard him speak locally a couple of times, I don't know if he had a hand in how our tiny town's library acquired them. Andy Dingley (talk) 18:39, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Adrian Vaughan wrote a biog of IKB, and in the preface/foreword/introduction/something he warns us about the problems with Rolt. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:40, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
What's in Rolt isn't too bad, the problem is that he misses out large amounts of Brunel's admittedly vast body of work. This leads to an over emphasis on some pieces, those that are now well-known, to the level where one museum in Bristol recently had a caption describing "Brunel's bridge" in Bristol (i.e. the only Brunel bridge in Bristol), when that's the one he didn't even build. We also have at least two surviving Brunel bridges, in London and Bristol, that were only recently rediscovered. Andy Dingley (talk) 21:50, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

British or English?[edit]

There's some recent edit-warring (on both sides) to swap between describing him as either British or English in the lead. Is there any clear consensus as to which?

  • His nationality is British. English isn't a nationality.
  • The infobox says "British". It would be a mistake to change this to English, as the infobox template captions this as "nationality".
  • He has no strong tie to "Englishness", as distinct from "Welshness" or "Scottishness". He was indeed born in England, but to a French father and he was himself educated in France. His career is predominantly British, but not English.

We've seen regular edit warring over Richard Trevithick and whether he was (he obviously was) "Cornish" or English, when Cornish is an officially recognised minority within Britain. Similar Charles Parsons is importantly Anglo-Irish, but this was edit-warred away to British. In Brunel's case though, "British" is as much as matters. He has no special connection to England. He did as much work in Wales as in England – even, importantly, some in Ireland to recover the Great Britain.

So, English or British? Andy Dingley (talk) 21:18, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

English definitely. British could mean anything, especially in that era. Anyone from the colonies, or Ireland, could be included. English narrows it down specifically. --Dmol (talk) 21:27, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
BTW. English IS a nationality. The word has several meanings, including "an ethnic and/or cultural, character or identity".--Dmol (talk) 21:42, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
Cornish has only been an officially recognised minority within Britain since yesterday. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:51, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
So ethnicity is now a nationality? Andy Dingley (talk) 22:39, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
British. He was voted one of the most favourite Britons for example. We are turning the British people pages into ridicule if there is a continuation to reduce British people into smaller parts. What next, have Londoners instead of British/English too? Erzan (talk) 23:01, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
English Agree with Dmol, more precise to say English. His Nationality is listed in the info box so it would be pointless to state it twice.--English Bobby (talk) 23:21, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
It would be even more precise to say that he was French-English, from Portsmouth, or a British Taurean – yet what relevance would they have? It's relevant that he's British. That much influenced his life. Anything more specific than this is irrelevant trivia. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:38, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
'One of the great British engineers'
'This is the revolutionary Briton who built Britain'
'Brilliant British engineer'
'was a British engineer'
'British civil and mechanical engineer'
2nd best Briton on BBC poll
'Isambard Kingdom Brunel: British Engineer'
British victorians and British history section
In front of a British flag
'Voted the second Greatest Briton of all time, after Winston Churchill'
'British public voted Brunel as the second greatest Briton'
'He is one of the most celebrated Britons'
'Britain's most famous engineer and one of the true Great Britons'
All describe him as British. Erzan (talk) 01:17, 27 April 2014 (UTC)


Per sources MOS:IDENTITY, with WP:OPENPARA seemingly downplaying ethnicity and his father's French nationality/mothers English nationality/ethnicity. Crucial - reach WP:CONSENSUS here first before changing.
Note there are sources for both sides which need weighing (it may be British, but ignoring all the Best of British coverage is useful)
Oxford Dictionary of English - Page 223 "English"
"English engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel"

p.s. If we can have Scottish and Welsh, we can logically have English as a nationality. There may or may not in this case be sources to support "English" nationality. Widefox; talk 01:59, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

Or you can be inclusive and have him British as to acknowledge his place in history for all Britons, regardless of where in the UK they are born. Why not reach for inclusivity of identity rather than excluding 20% of the British population.
PS. Why link a page to the Oxford English language dictionary? Erzan (talk) 02:13, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
This is a classic WP:UKNATIONALS question and entire keyboards have been worn out while debating it. James Clerk Maxwell is described as Scottish, and there is a tendency to use the home nations rather than the more generic "British".--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:53, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
Which states Look specifically for evidence that the person has a preferred nationality. The links, especially from the British newspapers, and the fact that his nationality on the infobox has been left British suggest describing him as a Briton or British is widely common. Erzan (talk) 10:22, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
That's not what "his preferred nationality" means.
Stop edit warring over this and many articles, and read WP:RS. WP is not a RS, and good secondary sources are important (rather than some newspapers, and modern populist British campaigns). By ignoring the English sources, you haven't even started balancing them yet, as needed to persuade in order to reach consensus for this edit. Widefox; talk 23:30, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Your Guardian ref describes him as "one of the UK's greatest engineers". It uses "English engineer" in a caption that also says he "was responsible for Bristol's suspension bridge ", which he didn't build and wasn't built to his design. Not the most convincing authority. Andy Dingley (talk) 00:47, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

English isn't a nationality? Jesus, Dingley, have you told the Commonwealth Games organising committee? Lucky you spotted that - it could have been very embarrassing at the opening ceremony. You must point it out to the OED next time they ask you to check over their dictionary in your role of consultant. Better cc FIFA while you're at it. And Wikipedia - that's wrong, as well.

It's only a little while ago you were declaring that "Anglo-Irish" is a nationality, then, a couple of days later, explaining that it's an ethnic group. Any chance of you making your mind up?— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:17, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Andy, I don't have a horse in this race. My point is that there are RS on both sides. Fair point about the quality of that newspaper source. I've encouraged better sources than newspapers above. Finding RS for an informed weighing of them would be a way forward instead of (Erzan's) edit warring, and putting spurious arguments about claiming someone for the larger cohort. WP:CLUE. Widefox; talk 00:15, 30 April 2014 (UTC) Widefox; talk 08:40, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
That's my point. Even the ref cited as supporting "English" used "UK" more prominently. RS will not solve this question, as either term is reasonably applicable. Comparing him though to Trevithick, Parsons and Maxwell though, they all have strong regional ties and so should rightly be more specific. Yet Brunel doesn't have any such tie. "Britain" is as narrow as is relevant. Andy Dingley (talk) 11:25, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
The OED source is significant: English (offtopic: for his father French-born English). Britannica: British. His three listed significant projects were in England (caveat SS Great Britain). Widefox; talk 14:38, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
The OED is an etymological dictionary. It is not technically authoritative on many subjects beyond this (take a look at Talk:Siphon for the current mess). As already noted, we can provide RS to support either side of this. WP is not one of those sources though and "Brunel's three projects were in England" say more about the current poor state of this article (and maybe Rolt) than they indicate an English bias to his work. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:01, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Point taken about OED. Can you say which failing the article has in this respect? The vacuum system and the ships were in England. [1] Brunel to me seems like a couple of his peers - Scottish engineers in Scotland, so logically we'd have English engineers in England (else it all gets a bit West Lothian, by analogy). I've personally thought of him as British until now, but a strong argument for English can be made. Widefox; talk 02:08, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Brunel was (thanks to Rolt) well known for his English projects whilst others are ignored, like the Eastern Bengal Railway, the South Wales Railway, the standard gauge Taff Vale Railway, possibly building an entire new port town at Abermawr, actually building it at Neyland, the important and technically novel Goetre Coed Viaduct, whose practical achievement of curvature then influenced the nearby Cefn Coed Viaduct, the docks of Briton Ferry, defining the entire shape of Cardiff by moving the river Taff, early works at Penarth docks that would eventually involve his son Henry Marc, bridges to link England to Wales at Chepstow and an even greater span across the Severn itself. Portable buildings, including hospitals and kitchens, for the Crimean War and even a little bridge for Her Majesty at Balmoral. So, not much outside England. Andy Dingley (talk) 02:48, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Great info, agree worthwhile redressing gaps / biases of a source. Clearly a large body of work in Wales, ranging from significant to didn't happen (Abermawr). The bottom line is he was born in England, died in England, married in England, lived mostly in England (I'm guessing), most remembered for his work in England (the Bristol based GWR - it had an English flag) and linking those routes to Bristol, England resulting in his best known works in England. The prefab buildings were made in England. The big ships made in England, were a spinoff to connect Bristol, England (although due to technical reasons switched to Wales). I agree with you in that his nationality is less clearly defined (and more importantly cherished) than Thomas Telford, but in comparison, Telford died in England and the Menai Suspension Bridge or Pontcysyllte Aqueduct don't make him British. Brunel's French education seems the background to his notability, but his most notable works and links are in England. (Caveat is my relative ignorance of the subject, especially the Welsh parts, despite knowing Abermawr very well - oops). Widefox; talk 10:20, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Can't see that it matters - when he died the obituaries referred to him as 'the eminent engineer' not the English or British one. But for what it's worth Brunel Jr's book contains various letters written by IKB in which he contrasts 'how they do it abroad' with 'how we do it in England', which would suggest that either he regarded himself as English, or he regarded English and British as synonymous (which used to be a very English trait) Rjccumbria (talk) 16:23, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Radio 4, (time per my sign) Great Lives referred to him in the middle as British, and at the end in an obituary as English. Widefox; talk 22:33, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
I would say British is more appropriate.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:12, 15 July 2015 (UTC)


  • As to "What's wrong with this article" then just from the intro:
As a result of the Railway Regulation (Gauge) Act 1846, the gauge was changed to standard gauge throughout the GWR network.
Brunel astonished Britain by proposing to extend the Great Western Railway westward to North America
The 1846 Gauge Act had no direct effect on the GWR's broad gauge network, it merely specified the use of standard gauge for new lines. The South Wales Railway of 1850 (authorised by its act of 1845) was broad gauge. The Vale of Neath and the South Wales Mineral Railway, amongst others, were even later and still broad gauge. For routes to Cornwall, broad gauge didn't go out of service until nearly 50 years after the Act and certainly not because of its provisions.
Britons should not have been 'astonished' by a GWR plan to extend to North America by steamship, as it had always been part of the plans for the railway West from London and was part of the original prospectus for the South Wales and the Bristol and South Wales Union Railways for it to head west into Pembrokeshire and construct such a transatlantic port. Andy Dingley (talk) 03:09, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

The 7-foot "Brunel" railway track gauge(s)[edit]

There are talks about the Brunel/GWR track gauge(s) at WT:UK railroads and {RailGauge} talk. -DePiep (talk) 18:51, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

And then we get ignorant crap like this, which takes a grossly inaccurate section and manages to make it even worse. Andy Dingley (talk) 22:52, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Bridges of Isambard Kingdom Brunel[edit]

The Category:Bridges of Isambard Kingdom Brunel has only 18 entries, two of which are not full bridge articles. Surely there must be more Brunel bridges worthy of full articles. Is some editor up to the challenge?--DThomsen8 (talk) 20:38, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Your appeal seems to have had some result at least: Special:Contributions/ 8-( Andy Dingley (talk) 22:53, 11 December 2014 (UTC)


The citations were a mixture of types. I've converted all the bare text and bare URL types to templates. There were a number of bare short forms, I've changed then to {{sfn}}. There were also a few <ref>{{harvnb|...}}</ref> forms which for sake of uniformity I've converted to {{sfn}}. There are still some short form references using named refs that I'll have a go at tomorrow (it's 23:24 UK time and I'll be off to bed shortly).

Question: after I've finished the tidying, there will be a mixture of in-line citations and short form citations. WP:CITE indicates that there should be only one type on a page, but also warns against changing the citation type without discussion. However "Others will improve the formatting if needed". I propose over the next week to convert all citations to {{sfn}} with appropriate reference entries. This will:

  • Ensure uniformity of style
  • Avoid unnecessary duplication of details
  • Allow "tool tips" and cross linking to function.

- any comments or objections? Martin of Sheffield (talk) 23:27, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

I added some page numbers and a couple of additional references. I would support sfn throughout and will try to look at some more of the references.— Rod talk 21:01, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Be careful though, there's one of the senior editors redoing my work so I'll be backing off for a while, I've plenty to do without locking horns with someone who has done 20 times as much as me! Martin of Sheffield (talk) 21:25, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
I always try to be careful... but I do wonder what a senior editor is - everyone's contribution is welcomed. There are several books in the Notes section (with isbn etc) which could be moved into the References section & sfn applied.— Rod talk 21:29, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Basically, your changes all used {{citation}} (also known as Citation Style 2), which the article did not previously use - it used a mixture of {{cite book}}, {{cite news}}, {{cite web}} etc. - this is known as Citation Style 1. CS1 and CS2 should not be mixed on the same page, so I altered all those {{citation}} to the most appropriate CS1 template. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:32, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

SS Great Britain: The largest ship ever built[edit]

The article (at the moment) mentions in its introduction that Brunel developed the SS Great Britain, "the largest ship ever built" when it was launched (with 322 ft). It is a pretty bold claim considering that the page describing the Chinese treasure ships casualy mentions ships ranging between 400 and 600 feet in 15th century China, and as long as 425 feet in 3rd century BC Greece. It is rather difficult to be that sure of the numbers, so shouldn't we play it safe, and call it rather "the largest steamship ever built" or something similar? Since I am not a regular contributor, I leave the matter to your hands. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:35, 27 March 2016 (UTC)


I'm not too happy with "Brunel's name is an amalgamation of his parents' names. He inherited the family name of his father, and his middle name is his mother's surname. This was a common name construction for the time". This particular construction was common at other times, up to and including the 20thC. I have no information either way for current trends since 2000. I'm tempted to remove the final sentence, but then we are back to regarding it as special ("unique" as one editor has put it). Alternatively "This was not an uncommon construction, then as now". Any better ideas? Martin of Sheffield (talk) 10:06, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

No objection to removal. Alternative suggestion also seems fine to me. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:16, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

Box Tunnel: oriented or orientated ? can we agree on aligned ??[edit]

Trivial, I know but more than once there have been edits in either direction. According to the OED, 'to orient' is the earlier verb and is still good British English; a structure which has been 'oriented' then has an 'orientation'; UK English seems to regard this as leading (by back-formation) to the verb 'to orientate' (which most UK readers would, I think, tend to use in casual speech) but US English regards that back-formation as a vulgar error. Since there is much to be said on both sides, and 'orient' can't be dismissed as not British English, I have ventured to offend both sides by substituting 'aligned'. I hope that's a blue beret intervention, not a blue helmet one. Rjccumbria (talk) 18:37, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

Good idea, well done. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 21:58, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

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Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 03:45, 17 November 2017 (UTC)