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'Mr Brunel' joins Iona Keen, Head of Interpretation and Craig Fenlon, Head of Technical Services to check on the new accoya wood.
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SS Great Britain to sell gifts created from the wood of its old deck 

Image: 'Mr Brunel' joins Iona Keen, Head of Interpretation and Craig Fenlon, Head of Technical Services to check on the new accoya wood.

As part of its ACE-backed conservation project, the ship’s old hull will be transformed into cufflinks, pendants and pens

Bristol museum Brunel’s SS Great Britain is to offer gifts created from its former wooden deck in order to fund its replacement.

The 2,772m2 wooden deck of the 98-metre-long historic ship is being replaced, in a project funded by Arts Council England through the Museum Estate & Development Fund (MEND).

Funding is also being raised through the sale of gifts made from the wood of the old deck.

Among the items on offer are pendants, cufflinks and pens handcrafted from the wood from the old deck. Local artisan Simon Webb has used Jarrah wood from the Weather Deck that is being removed to craft the items, with a wider range of specially crafted products expected to go on sale.

More than 6,050 meters of planks are to be replaced, in a conservation project which is expected to take 32 weeks.

Mike Day, Senior Project Manager for the SS Great Britain Trust, explained: “We’ll be gradually lifting the old timbers, piece by piece. As it’s been 33 years since the current deck was installed, we’re not sure quite what we’ll find below.”

Nerys Watts, Head of External Affairs for the SS Great Britain Trust, added: “The Weather Deck is essentially the ‘roof’ to the fragile original iron hull that was built here in Bristol back in 1843.”

“Enabling people to access the deck and interact with a 180-year-old ocean liner that changed the world brings stories of innovation and global migration to life. The fact we can do that while also showcasing real life conservation in action in front of visitors makes a visit during the deck works particularly special.”