SALISBURY Civic Society paid tribute to Isambard Kingdom Brunel this week, with the unveiling of a blue plaque at the old Great Western Railway terminal in Fisherton Street.

The plaque commemorates the bicentennial of the great engineer's birth, as part of the Brunel 200' celebrations taking place across the country, and pays tribute to the special role played by Brunel in the development of Salisbury as a city. It was unveiled by the local historian and railway enthusiast Don Cross, who gave a short speech outlining Brunel's life and connection to the city to a crowd that included Mayor Sheila Warrander.

Brunel was born in Portsmouth in 1806 and, as chief engineer of the Great Western Railway company, oversaw the construction of the railway line between London and Bristol in 1841, which was extended to Salisbury's Fisherton Street in 1856.

"Brunel was, without doubt, a genius," said Mr Cross, and "including Salisbury in the Great Western Railway network helped make the city what it is today".

The Brunel-designed GWR Fisherton Street terminus closed to passengers in 1932, but was reopened by South West Trains as a train care depot in 1992 and now enjoys listed building status.