Thursday, February 23, 2012
Cutty Sark nearly ready..
In a dry dock by the Thames at maritime Greenwich lies the worlds last Tea Clipper, the Cutty Sark , shes been there as a public exhibit since the 1950's. This ship and her like fascinated me as a child, I've built models of them and painted them, I own an extensive collection of books about them, needless to say I've been on board many times and joined the Cutty Sark Trust.
On 21st May 2007, shortly after she had been closed for restoration she caught fire, I feared this was the end of her, however her legendary luck held, if she was ever going to have a fire...one of the main destroyers of wooden ships, now was the time to have it because about half the ship wasn't even there, but in parts being restored elsewhere.
Also, she was one of only eight ships that were of composite construction, that is wooden with an iron frame, and that was probably why there was enough left to warrant saving her.
She is now expected to be open to the public in spring this year.
I went down to her today to view the progress, public access is still very limited as it's still a construction site but you can see shes in much better condition than before. She is sitting higher than before, I'm not sure I like the glass surround shes been given, but it's a relief they dropped the idea of moving articifial water around her....that's for Disneyland not here! The gold paint of her carvings is gorgeous, masts and bulwarks gleaming. The naughty figurehead of the Witch Nanny is also back, her outstretched arm with it's horses tail not yet attached, glad they are taking care, it's been lost before, as late as 1952 just before her docking. You can see and read the story about this interesting Witch figurehead here.. Cutty Sark Figurehead
Was she the fastest sailing ship ever built? That will always remain debatable but she does hold the record for distance traveled in 24 hours, 363 nautical miles!
Go Nan go!