Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 264

lsambard Kingdom Brunel


Hello Everyone



lf someone asked you who your favourite person from history was, who would you choose?


A few years ago now, the nation was asked who the greatest Briton of all time was, and anyone could vote.


Winston Churchill came top, a lot of women voted for Queen Elizabeth l and the person who came second in the poll was lsambard Kingdom Brunel.


This name is not the kind of name you will forget once you have heard it.


He was an engineer who lived in the 19th century and he was nothing short of being a genius.


He was very innovative.  That means that he thought of ideas that nobody had thought of before.


His achievements are still part of our lives today.


His photograph is at the top of the page. (People did not know that smoking was bad for you in those days.)


He was born on 9th April 1806, in Portsmouth on the south coast.  His father was an engineer and taught him the basics of engineering whilst he was still a child, so he had a good start.


His father was French.  He had fled from France during the French Revolution.  His name was Marc lsambard Brunel.  He worked on the world’s first mass production line set up in Portsmouth.  lt made pulley blocks for the Royal Navy.


After a good education in England and in France, lsambard helped his father on the project to build a tunnel under the River Thames between Rotherhithe and Wapping in 1823.


He designed the Clifton Suspension Bridge in 1831 – it had the longest span of any bridge in the world at the time.  But unfortunately, he did not live to see the bridge completed.


He worked on the Great Western Railway linking Bristol to London and was appointed as the chief engineer at only 27 years old.


Trains in those days looked different from the ones we have today.  The engines were powered by coal and the carriages were lit by gas lamps.


He worked on railway lines, tunnels and bridges.  He also worked on redesigning and rebuilding many of Britain’s major docks.


The Great Western Railway is still in existence today.


He then built a steam ship that crossed from Bristol to New York.  At 236 feet long, the Great Western was the largest steamship of its time and the first steamship to provide a trans-Atlantic public service.


The maiden (first) voyage took place in 1838.  The journey took 15 days and continued to make over 60 crossings over the next 8 years.


The next ship he built was even bigger.  lt was called the SS Great Britain and was launched in 1843.


The SS Great Britain was a new design of ship.  lt was a screw-propelled, iron-hulled, steam-powered ship and this was a design that modern ships are based upon. 


lt carried 252 passengers and 130 crew members.


The passengers travelled in three classes.  The first class passengers had the best cabins.  The third class passengers slept in rows of bunk beds.


ln its lifetime, the ship travelled over one millions miles and can now be found docked in Bristol, if you would like to visit it.


ln 1853, Brunel built a ship big enough to carry 4,000 passengers. 


lt was called the Great Eastern but it was not commercially successful – that meant that it did not make a lot of money for its owners. 


The ship was way ahead of its time and there were lots of technical problems for Brunel to sort out.  The strain of the work affected his health.


He died on 15th September 1859 of a stroke at only 53, shortly after hearing news of an explosion aboard the Great Eastern during its sea trials.


There is a museum in London dedicated to Brunel’s work, if you are interested. 


Children can get in for free.



Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!


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Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bob:  Did you hear about the short-sighted skunk?


Bill:  No?


Bob:  He fell in love with a gas leak!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to



Picture Gallery


The Brunel Museum London


The Tunnel at the Brunel Museum


The Brunel Museum


The Brunel Museum has models of Brunel’s projects for you to see


The famous Iron Bridge over the River Severn







This week Auntie Alice decided to try a scientific experiment and she thought that the children would like to help her.

She needed to clean some silverware.

Silver has the habit of going black over time and when you polish it you take a layer of silver off the object in order to make it shiny again.

Eventually you will polish the silver away.

So Auntie Alice found an old glass dish in her cupboard.

Bill lined it with aluminium foil and Auntie Alice filled the dish with very hot water whilst the children stood well back in case it splashed.

Emily sprinkled in a large spoonful of bicarbonate of soda and Bob put in a large pinch of salt.

They left the silver items in the hot bath for two minutes.

And amazingly they came out all shiny again.









Quick Quiz


Re-arrange these letters to find types of metal:-


  1. rion
  2. leest
  3. robenze
  4. livser
  5. milianumu
  6. srabs
  7. dlog
  8. pocerp
  9. nit
  10. tewrep





lt’s the Weekend!




If your parents tell you that you can’t take a pile of toys with you when you go on holiday, this teddy will be perfect to pack in your suitcase.

He is tiny and light.  He really won’t take up much room in your suitcase at all.

He is really easy to make.

Of course, you could make a brown teddy or even a pink or blue one instead.




Using 4mm knitting needles and grey dk yarn cast on 20 stitches

Knit 24 rows of stocking stitch

Don’t cast off – instead run a length of yarn through the stitches so that you can take them off your needle



Using 4mm knitting needles and grey dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 12 rows of stocking stitch

Don’t cast off – instead run a length of yarn through the stitches so that you can take them off your needle



Using 4mm knitting needles and grey dk yarn cast on 8 stitches

Knit 8 rows of stocking stitch

Don’t cast off – instead run a length of yarn through the stitches so that you can take them off your needle



(Made in garter stitch)

Using 4mm knitting needles and grey dk yarn cast on 5 stitches

Knit 2 rows

Knit 2 together, knit 1, knit 2 together

Knit 2 together, knit 1

Knit 2 together

Cast off



  1. Sew up the centre back seam of the body right sides together and then turn right sides out
  2. Sew up the bottom seam wrong sides together
  3. Pull in the ends of the feet and sew up the leg inside seams with right sides together then turn the right way out
  4. Stuff the legs and sew the tops onto the bottom of the body by laying the legs onto the stomach and sewing from behind (place the leg seams facing each other)
  5. Pull in the ends of the hands and sew up the under arm seams with right sides together
  6. Turn the arms the right way out
  7. Stuff the arms and sew the tops onto the sides of the body by laying the arms onto the chest and sewing from behind
  8. Stuff the body and pull in the top of the head to close it up then take the yarn down the back seam and secure into the back seam at shoulder level
  9. Bind the yarn tightly around the body a couple of times above the arms to make a neck and make sure you have secured the yarn in place
  10. Sew the ears into place
  11. Sew eyes onto the front of the face using black dk yarn – make the eyes with French knots (wind the yarn around the needle three times) and sew on a mouth
  12. If you are making your teddy into a decoration for a bag or key ring, sew the chain to the top of the head
  13. The bow is 70 chains crocheted into a length of yarn



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. rion – iron
  2. leest – steel
  3. robenze – bronze
  4. livser – silver
  5. milianumu – aluminium
  6. srabs – brass
  7. dlog – gold
  8. pocerp – copper
  9. nit – tin
  10. tewrep – pewter


Pewter ware


For an Embroidery Stitches Chart

Check out Blog Post 3

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