How could I not respond to a message like that? Anyone who has been on the excellent innuendo ridden Wapping Shaft Thames Tunnel tour between Rotherhithe and Wapping stations will know it should be fun. So I will hand over to Robert:
"Many beautiful women and handsome young men have entered the Thames Tunnel before you. The first was Fanny Kemble, who in 1827 descended what she called 'the beautiful road to Hades' to meet Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
'But I must tell you what this tunnel is like, or at least try to do so. You enter, by flights of stairs, the first door, and find yourself on a circular platform, which surrounds the top of a well or shaft, of about two hundred feet in circumference and five hundred in depth. This well is an immense iron frame of cylindrical form, filled in with bricks; it was constructed on level ground, and then, by some wonderful mechanical process, sunk into the earth. In the midst of this is a steam engine, and above, or below, as far as your eye can see, huge arms are working up and down while the creaking, crashing, whirring noises, and the swift whirling of innumerable wheels all around you, make you feel for the first few minutes as if you were going distracted.'
Above is an extract from her story. The full text, in embossed souvenir folder, with a print of the Underwater Banquet held the same year, is offered as an unusual Valentine Card for your partner. The Brunel Engine House is releasing fifty prints, complete with a certificate of authenticity, and signed by another actress from our time, Zoë Wanamaker. The card can be ordered from the shop on the website for £15, please specify collection on Valentine's Day.
Robert also says if you are otherwise engaged on Valentine's Day: "The Museum is also launching a new paperback version of the classic 'Brunel's Britain' by Derrick Beckett. Copies will be available, ahead of publication and at a reduced price of £10 for visitors to the Museum. This is the perfect Valentine gift for the Tunneller in your life!
On Valentine's Day we remember that science and love are both hard mistresses. This is a book and gazetteer with excellent technical appendices. Students will find help and formulae on launching monster ships, tunnelling deeply but safely and making perfect arches...
Remember 'Little Man, Big Cigar!'
Visit the website for information on other available dates. These include Thames Tunnel tours during Science Week (March 11, 12 and 18, 19) and on March 25, the Anniversary of the Tunnel's opening in 1843."