Page last updated at 07:27 GMT, Thursday, 19 April 2007 08:27 UK

Ocean liner takes tourism award

Brunel's ss Great Britain

The ss Great Britain has been crowned the best large tourist attraction in the country.

Brunel's ocean liner scooped the prize at the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, sharing the title with Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.

It is the attraction's 12th major award, with more than 200,000 visitors on deck in the last year.

Last year, the ss Great Britain won the Gulbenkian Prize for museums and galleries.

The ship was the world's first propeller-driven ocean-going steamship.

Conservation work

Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, she was launched from Jefferies Dock in Bristol in 1843, and served as a liner, an emigrant ship taking travellers to Australia, and a troop carrier during the Crimean War.

However, a fire on board near the Falkland Islands in 1886 damaged her beyond repair, and she was condemned to use as a floating woolshed before being scuttled in 1937.

In 1970, the ship, then little more than a rusted hulk, was salvaged and towed back across the Atlantic to Bristol.

Since then, it has been moored in dry dock in the city while conservation work to repair the damage was carried out.

In 2005, the 11.3m project was completed, and the ship now rests in a glass "sea", with visitors able to view it from above and below.

McCartney stars in tourism awards
18 Apr 07 |  Merseyside
Ship in finals for European prize
22 Jan 07 |  Bristol/Somerset
ss Great Britain director is MBE
30 Dec 06 |  Bristol/Somerset
Brunel steamship wins major prize
25 May 06 |  Bristol/Somerset
Prize double for ss Great Britain
11 May 06 |  Bristol/Somerset


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