I was surfing the net when I discovered a site referring to Isambard Kingdom Brunel and remembered the letter from Steven Coombes (NCE 26 November) expressing concern over his stature. If he would like to try this site
http://www.ithaca.edu/library/Training/hoti. html he will see that reference is made to IBK being under 5ft 4ins. Quite how true this is, is anybody's guess but he could hardly be described as a midget from the rhyme.
So for his remaining years on this planet, Steven can rest easy with the knowledge that IBK was probably not a midget.
Let me tell you of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
'Little Giant,' he stood under five foot and four
And smoked only finest Trincomalee cigars.
He would write little notes about this or 'bout that
That he'd stick in the brim of his high beaver hat
Quite a sight then was Isambard Kingdom Brunel
John Claydon (M), 12 Stratford Close, Norwich, Norfolk.