Isambard Kingdom Brunel's only surviving ship wins two Museums and Heritage Awards.

SS Great Britain, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s only surviving ship, has won two prizes at the 2006 Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence. The steamer, launched in 1843, won the restoration and conservation award and the permanent exhibition award following her refit at her original dock in Bristol.

In her ocean-going life, the SS Great Britain was used primarily between England and Australia, but in later years she was converted to a sailing vessel and used to carry coal.

The SS Great Britain had been in the Falklands since 1886, after a fire on board had put her beyond repair, and in the 1930s the ship was sold to the Falkland Islands Company as a storage wreck. The world’s first propeller-driven iron ship nearly ended her days rusting in the Falkland Islands, but was rescued by a team of dedicated salvage experts who sailed her back across the Atlantic to Bristol.

The awards were presented at a ceremony in London on 10 May. Others short-listed were the HMS Belfast in London, the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, the World Museum in Liverpool and Concorde at Edinburgh.