Sunday 21 November 2010

The Cutty Sark


Two views of the Cutty Sark.  I often find I prefer the photography on more modern view cards but in this case I prefer the older card at the top.  It is dated 1973.  The lower one I bought just a few weeks ago. 

The fact that I bought it just a few weeks ago doesn't mean the view is recent and I know for a fact that it isn't, because the Cutty Sark is undergoing conservation.  This started towards the end of 2006 and should have ended in 2009.  Tragically, a fire broke out in 2007 which did considerable damage and has delayed the completion of the conservation project until next year, 2011.

The Cutty Sark was the the world's last tea clipper.  She was launched in 1869 from Dumbarton in Scotland, and sailed to China on her first tea voyage the following year.  In 1877 the last consignment of tea was taken from China to London. 

By 1922, after changing hands and having changes of name, she was renamed Cutty Sark once more and put on display in Falmouth before eventually arriving in Greenwich after some time at Greenhithe.  She was opened to the public in 1957 so it was exactly 50 years later that the fire broke out.
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  1. A truly beautiful ship and a great story. Thanks.

  2. Fabulous vessel. Where does the name "Cutty Sark" derive from?

  3. The name Cutty Sark has its origin in Burns Tam O'Shanter.

    In an old blog of mine on poetry I have found this: I never knew that the clipper, the Cutty Sark, had a figurehead consisting of a witch's hand holding a horse's tail. Apparently this derived from Burn's Tam o'Shanter where he is chased by a witch wearing a short shirt (cutty sark). Witches cannot cross running water and as Tam rode over the Brig o Doon the witch pulled off the horse's tail and was left with it in her hand as Tam and his horse Meg escaped.

  4. So this is what the Cutty Sark looks like! I've never seen it before but I took some photos of the scaffolding surrounding it the other day!

    I did not realise there was a harbour or port at Greenhithe. Seeing as I hope one day to settl there, I'd best go out and discover it!

  5. Nice name for a ship, and so old. They don't make them like this any more.


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