SS Great Britain celebrates 50 years back in Bristol

SS Great Britain 50th anniversary
SS Great Britain 50th anniversary

Brunel’s SS Great Britain is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ship’s return ‘home’ to Bristol. Launched in 1843, she was the world’s first great ocean liner and was at the time the largest and most-efficient passenger ship in the world.

A new short film revisits the 1970 homecoming of the SS Great Britain, capturing the incredible rescue 50 years on with new first-person accounts, with divers looking back at one of the most ambitious and pioneering ship rescues ever attempted. The 8,000 mile journey to Avonmouth was the longest ever under tow, and the re-floating and return to Bristol beneath the Clifton Suspension Bridge was watched by crowds of spectators and millions on television.

Whilst the ship and museums are likely to reopen later in the summer, the anniversary is being celebrated online and in an outdoor photography exhibition beside Bristol’s harbour. The free exhibition depicts dramatic moments from the audacious 1970 rescue and homecoming journey, and is presented in collaboration with the Falkland Islands Government, and includes photos of Falkland Islands life today.

More information about the 50th anniversary, including an exclusive digital look at the photography exhibition with insights from the curators can be found at