SS Great Britain – Costumed Interpretation Volunteer

Cost: N/A - travel expenses provided

Organiser: SS Great Britain

Would you like to gain experience in interacting with members of the public, whilst learning more about a fascinating period of history?

Costumed Interpretation Volunteers at the SS Great Britain wear period costume on board the ship and in our museums and help bring the stories of her passengers and crew to life for our visitors.


Purpose of the role: To inspire and engage visitors to the SS Great Britain by bringing the story of the ship and her passengers to life in an interesting and relevant way.


Main activities:

As a Costumed Interpretation Volunteer you will wear period costume and interact with visitors as yourself. You might be representing a Quaker who travelled in steerage, the lowest class of accommodation aboard ship; you could be a Sailor on the Weather Deck, explaining what life was like for the crew; you could be Mr Bennett, the right-hand-man of the ship’s designer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Whatever role you choose there are many ways in which you will bring the history of the ship to life including:

  • Describing what life would have been like for the passengers and crew and their motivations for travelling
  • Using handling objects to help visitors understand what life would have been like for people travelling on board during the 19th Century
  • Answering visitors’ questions and providing accurate information in a lively and engaging way
  • Demonstrating historical activities on board the ship, inviting families and visitors to join in
  • Sharing with visitors the incredible story of the of the SS Great Britain’s design and construction

What the SS Great Britain can offer:

  • A fun and engaging role where you get the chance to dress in historical costume
  • The chance to learn the fascinating history of the ship and her passengers
  • A social and training programme with opportunities and events throughout the year
  • The chance to make new friends and to be part of a vibrant team
  • A reference when you have been volunteering with us regularly for over six months


About you: 

No prior experience is necessary, we will provide you with the costume and all of the training and information that you need. We are looking for people who:

  • Are happy wearing historical costume and interacting with visitors in an engaging way
  • Have an interest in Victorian or maritime history and sharing their passion with others
  • Are willing to undertake training related to the role and carry out some research into their character with staff support
  • Are friendly, approachable and confident in a busy public environment
  • Are enthusiastic about working with our visitors of all ages and backgrounds
  • Want to share their passion for history in an engaging and interactive way
  • Can volunteer for at least a morning or afternoon session per week
  • Please note: all costumed roles are open to both male and female volunteers


Volunteers are an important part of the charity and play a vital role in enhancing the work of the Trust. We are committed to providing volunteering opportunities of a high standard.


Ready to take the next step?

If you would like to join our crew or have any questions please get in touch by completing an enquiry form, available at

You will be invited to a recruitment event where you’ll have the chance to learn more about the volunteer roles, meet the team, discuss the role further and ensure that it is right for you.

You can contact our Volunteer Administrator by emailing [email protected] or telephoning 0117 374 4502.  We would love to hear from you!


SS Great Britain



Contact Details

SS Great Britain Volunteering Team
[email protected]
0117 374 4502

Opportunity title: SS Great Britain – Costumed Interpretation Volunteer
Expiry Date: 2020-07-31T00:00:00+01:00