Tunnels, talks and trains

BrunelAs far as Mondays go, today has been a very good one. With the clocks changing over the weekend, it was brilliant not to leave in pitch darkness to head to work.

Sarah and Aurore started today so we are now a team of three to tackle communication for the next few months. I have lots of projects for them to work on and today was slightly out of the ordinary as I invited them to join the Exec team and I on a trip to the sites of the upcoming East London Line stations which are being worked on at the moment.

It was a truly fascinating afternoon. I’m a firm believer that in order to write and communicate effectively about an organisation, a comms team needs to truly understand what makes both the company and employees tick. So seeing the areas of London the new line will serve and getting a glimpse into the work that is taking place was really important and I’m pleased with what we discovered today. It’s a lot easier to write about a place having seen it with your own eyes rather than rely on other people’s perceptions.bruneltophat

We were privileged enough to visit the Brunel museum, which is open to the public and well worth a visit (and surely one of the cheapest museums at only £2 entry!). But the cherry on the cake was a trip inside the shaft of Brunel’s Thames Tunnel at Rotherhithe. This 50m by 50m space (pictured) has not been open to the public for 140 years and we were told by the curator that we were one of the few people to have seen it and stood on its floor. Incredible. He gave a talk about the museum’s plans to use that space in the future and I will certainly be interested to see what they do with it. Was amazing to be standing in an area that is so important not just to engineering but to London’s history, yet from the ground you wouldn’t know what was beneath your feet.

A group of our employees are making the same trip tomorrow and I’m going to ask one of them to create a photo diary of the trip (and possibly video/audio) so we can share it with employees who weren’t able to see the sites this week.

Tomorrow I’m spending some time at the London Transport Museum as part of another project I’m working on.

Hope you all have good weeks,

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