2006 Awards

Award and Special Commendation

Brunel's SS Great Britain

SS Great Britain Trust

This is an excellent and inspiring scheme which we recommend for an Award. The presentation of the ship in the glass sea with the recreated interiors and the accompanying audio guide enables any visitor to picture clearly what life would have been like on board. The museum gives a wealth of information about the different phases of the ship although the reverse chronology is not always easy to follow. The large interactives work well, especially the steering computer animation.

Suggested improvements and enhancements include:
  • better staff/visitor interaction especially at reception so that guides are offered to those that need them right at the start of the visit;
  • improvements to orientation, especially while on the ship. It was easy to get completely disoriented; a printed orientation guide as part of the entrance with the audio points marked on would be really helpful;
  • better (clearer) numbering for audio points linked to a printed guide (see above);
  • audio guide assumes you are moving at a slow pace;
  • foreign language provision.

Special Commendation
This project has a very good approach to access with a good range of material to enable access for all including excellent audio guides and BSL videos, and careful consideration has been given to physical access. To be exemplary, the provision would need to be clearly advertised and offered at the start of the visit without visitors having to ask for the guides.

Could the tactile model be on view too rather than needing to be asked for? Also, within the literature, it needs to be clear where the audio and BSL tours are available. The content of the tours was good but it was not clear if there was any link between the audio for visually impaired and the ordinary tours. An extension of provision could be the use of tactile lettering or Braille.
With these reservations, we recommend the project receives a Special Commendation.

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  • A visitor using a wheelchair explores the ship

    Physical access has been carefully considered