Statue of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1982)

From engineering-timelines.com (Research: ECPK):

“A recent statue of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel can be found in London’s Paddington Station, in homage to his role in developing Britain’s national rail network. Brunel was a prolific railway engineer and creative problem solver in many other engineering endeavours. His short life has left a long legacy, as shown in his surviving works and the many memorials.
The Bristol & West Building Society commissioned sculptor John Doubleday (b.1947) to produce a likeness of ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL (1806-59) for Paddington Station. It commemorates his role as engineer to the Great Western Railway from 1833 to 1846, as well as importance in the development of the railways generally.

The Great Western ran from London to Bristol, and Brunel designed the tunnels and bridges along its line as well as the terminus station at Paddington between Bishop’s Bridge Road and Praed Street. The first train departed from Paddington on 16th January 1854.

Doubleday’s Brunel is seated with casually crossed legs, perhaps waiting for a train, though not smoking his famous cigar. His hands rest on the arms of the chair, a stovepipe hat in his left hand, and he turns his head to the left looking with interest at the passing commuters. The life-size bronze is mounted on a plain square plinth with a plaque inscribed “Isambard Kingdom Brunel, 1806-1859”.
In 1982, the Lord Mayor of Westminster unveiled the monument. Originally it was placed in the main concourse at the top of the stairs leading down to the London Underground (Tube).

On the same day, a companion statue of Brunel by Doubleday was erected at Bristol. This too was commissioned by the Bristol & West Building Society and depicts Brunel standing, wearing his hat but again without his cigar.
In June 2014, the Paddington monument was repositioned more prominently, facing the Director’s Balcony on Platform 1, under the clock arch, in the area between Platforms 8 and 9.
In August 2014, the station’s statues of Brunel and the Unknown Soldier were animated as part of the Talking Statues project. Actor Hugh Bonneville became the voice of Brunel, reading a monologue written by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s