Friday, January 25, 2008


£10m to restore Cutty Sark


Scarborough Evening News
January 25, 2008

A total of £10 million has been granted by the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable restoration work to continue on the 138-year-old Cutty Sark which was ravaged by fire last year in Greenwich.

Originally intended to transport tea from China to Britain in the 1870s, the 900-tonne Cutty Sark was built in 1869 by Scott & Linton in Dumbarton at a cost of £16,150.

As one of the last tea clippers to be constructed, the ship was designed to make long voyages quickly.

It achieved the fastest ever wind-powered voyage from Australia to England via Cape Horn of 72 days in 1885.

After the tea trade was taken over by the steamers which used the Suez Canal, it was used to transport wool from Australia between 1883 and 1895.

In 1922, after the Cutty Sark had finished as a working ship, Captain Dowman of Falmouth, who believed it should be preserved, made it part of a floating nautical school he ran. His widow donated the Cutty Sark to the Thames Nautical Training School at Greenhithe in 1938.

The vessel was maintained there until the Cutty Sark Preservation Society was founded under the director of the National Maritime Museum, Frank Carr, with HRH the Duke of Edinburgh named patron.

The Cutty Sark was restored to its glory days as a trading vessel after being installed in a stone dry dock in Greenwich and more than 15 million people visited the ship after it went on display.

Structural problems identified in the 1990s led to grants totalling £25 million being awarded and the ship was closed to the public in November 2006 for the restoration work.

Six months later, about 90% of the ship was set alight during the fire but the Cutty Sark Trust says she can be restored fully.


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