Magic Brunels

Isambard Kingdom Brunel and his Father

Prof. Tony Pointon

BLHS Monthly Meeting Saturday, 14th May 2022

at 7.00 pm, United Reformed Church (above Iceland), Bitterne Precinct


Professor A. J. (Tony) Pointon, is a Chartered Engineer and Physicist and has been the Director of Research in the Earth and Environment Sciences Department at the University of Portsmouth, founder and National Secretary of a union for lecturers in higher education, Government-appointed member of ACAS and Chairman of the Council of the International Dickens Fellowship as well as a nationally-rated chess player.

He is primarily a problem-solver. Apart from books on mathematics and physics his published works include “The Man who was Never Shakespeare”, “Charles Dickens’s Last Case: Edwin Drood and the Curious Incident of the Unasked Question” and ”The Battle of Waterloo – A Foregone Conclusion?”  As a scientist, Professor Pointon’s training is to test theories against hard logic and facts, to weigh up evidence and write his own conclusions. He was partly responsible for the monument to Isambard Kingdom Brunel in St George’s Square, Portsmouth, erected in 2006 to commemorate the bicentenary of his birth.

Marc Isambard Brunel was a French naval officer and engineer. He left France for the USA and became the Chief Engineer of the city of New York. Moving to England he installed block making machines at the Portsmouth Block Mills, greatly speeding up production, among a number of other projects. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

His son Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born in Portsmouth in 1806. Isambard’s first work experience with his dad was designing and building the tunnel underneath the Thames that joined Rotherhithe to Wapping. He went on to build the Great Western Railway and SS Great Britain, the world’s first iron-hulled, screw propeller-driven, steam-powered passenger liner, among other ships, docks and bridges.

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