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Cutty Sark: world's last tea clipper on a sea of glass

 
 
Reply Fri 20 Oct, 2006 03:39 pm
Quote:
Cutty Sark to set sail again on a sea of glass

ANNA DAVIS

THE Cutty Sark is to be lifted out of its berth and suspended above the ground as part of a multi-million-pound restoration programme.

The historic ship will be raised by nearly 10 feet and a glass visitor centre underneath will make the 900-ton vessel appear to be floating in the air.

Anna Somerset from the Cutty Sark Trust said: "It will become much more of a landmark and you will be able to see it for miles around. The ship will look like it is on a glittering sea and visitors will be able to walk underneath."

The work, which will begin next month, will take around two years to complete and cost more than £23million. It is being paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Cutty Sark Trust. Many of the features added in the Fifties, including a false deck in the hold, will be removed and work will be done to stop the iron frame corroding.

The ship is at risk of being pulled out of shape by the metal supports that prop it up but the 24 new "flying buttresses" that will hold the ship in the air have been designed to stop this happening.
M r s S ome r s e t said: "Economies were made in the Fifties. For example, the main deck is plywood with a teak veneer. It will be replaced with recycled teak.

"Ninety per cent of the hull is authentic, which is unprecedented among historic ships. You can smell what it would have been like to have sailed to China. Our aim is to get rid of none of the authentic features."

The Cutty Sark was towed into a specially constructed dry dock at Greenwich in 1954.

Project architect Simon Beams said the now shabby dock will be replaced. The visitor centre is due to open in November 2008.

He said: "The ship will be suspended and lit from underneath and it might look slightly unnerving."


http://i11.tinypic.com/2wd0obm.jpg

http://i11.tinypic.com/2d9zs5u.jpg

http://i11.tinypic.com/4fymotz.jpg

Source: copied/pasted from today's (London) Evening Standard (West End Final, page 24)
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,841 • Replies: 14
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Oct, 2006 04:26 pm
It will still be exposed to the elements. Why not cover it witha great big Haj.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Oct, 2006 04:43 pm
it seems to be quite a bit like the ...VASA MUSEUM... in stockholm/sweden ?
the vasa museum is really quite impressive ; one feels almost as if one has gone back in time when standing next to the ship and wandering around it .
hbg
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Oct, 2006 06:03 pm
While Cutty Sark was laid down as a Tea Clipper, and performed adequately in that service for over a decade, she was bested both in transit time and paid tonnage by a number of other Tea Clippers. Perhaps the most memorable of her tea voyages involved her ill-fated race with Thermopylae; at one point, Cutty Sark was over 400 miles - a full 24 hours - ahead, only to lose her rudder in heavy seas, and wind up berthing a week later than her rival.

Steam - aided by the Suez Canal, which the clippers could not transit - took over the tea trade, and following her 8th and final China run, 7 years after her launching, she went through several years of tramping for cargoes, plagued by bad masters and poor luck, a sad period which ended in 1883, with her entry into the Australian Wool Trade. It was during that period she really came into her own, handily earning her fame. Not infrequently besting her rivals on that run by a month or more, she reigned as undisputed queen of the trade for over a decade. One famous incident during her glory days saw her overhaul and pass the P&O steamer Britannia, much to the chagrin of the latter.

With the turn of the 20th Century, the maturing steam technology finally put paid to Cutty Sark's commercial viability, and she was sold off to a minor Portuguese freight line, where she served, while falling into disrepair, well into the 1920s. She was purchased in 1923 or '24 by a wealthy British retired clipper master and tallship enthusiast aware of her history, and thus began her current carreer - a living monument to the queens of an age long passed.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Oct, 2006 11:09 pm
hamburger wrote:
it seems to be quite a bit like the ...VASA MUSEUM... in stockholm/sweden ?


I suppose, all that is the result of ideas how to present the (naval) past to future generations ... still with the surviving boats/ships.

Similar was done elsewhwere, too.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Oct, 2006 06:57 am
A number of wooden tallships sit out in the weather over here also. And, just like a PA Dutch Barn, if their inner wood is properly protected from rain, theyll last for centuries, otherwise, youve got a 20 year window.
All wooden boats are extremely high maintenance and if theyre lifted out of the water each year, they have to be reintroduced to the water next year so they dont sink at their berths..

I had a 30 ft lake scepter from the 1940's , which I lovingly restored and finally sold because I was not going to make a lifes work out of constant painting and scraping and detailing and refitting.

I see wooden ships and marvel. I also kmnow that, inside each one, is a huge leak waiting to blow out at any time.. The old ships didnt carry carpenters so they could make toys, they were always patching and recaulking and refitting as the ships became more and more "side assed" with age
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Oct, 2006 08:14 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
hamburger wrote:
it seems to be quite a bit like the ...VASA MUSEUM... in stockholm/sweden ?


I suppose, all that is the result of ideas how to present the (naval) past to future generations ... still with the surviving boats/ships.

Similar was done elsewhwere, too.


Yeah, quite enjoyed the little one in Denmark. Amazing what those dudes could do in those little boats. Must've been a crap life back home to want to take to the open ocean in one, though.



Went and looked up the C.A. Thayer (a turn of the century lumber schooner (later used for codfishing in the Bering Sea or thereabouts) vessel; spent a night on it as a kid, about 20 years ago) to see how it's held up, and found out they had to pull it out of the San Francisco Bay and restore it.

http://www.worldclips-stock-footage.com/images/dynamic/CAThayerTallShip.jpg

And it's only 111 years old. I guess they didn't make them like they used to even then...
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Oct, 2006 04:33 pm
another well preserved ship is the FRAM that is on display in oslo .
not only were we able to walk around it , but we could enter upon the ship , see the engine room , the tiny cabins , the steering and all - it was really a great deal of fun for a 'senior kid' !
hbg

http://www.globalgayz.com/Norway/images/13-1.jpg

from the website :
Constructed in 1892 by Scottish-Norwegian shipbuilder Colin Archer, the Fram polar vessel was used by Fridtjof Nansen on the first Fram Voyage across the ice surrounding the North Pole. Later on, Fram was used by Roald Amundsen to reach Antarctica on his successful expedition to reach the South Pole in 1911. Now Fram has come to rest in the Fram-Museum, vividly depicting the history of polar exploration.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 06:59 am
Today in the Evening Standard (page 25):

http://i5.tinypic.com/2li8uid.jpg

Quote:
Cutty Sark sails on sea of glass

Evening Standard 19.02.07

This is the striking sight that will greet visitors to the newly restored Cutty Sark next year.

Raised 10 feet above the surrounding pavement, the 979 tonne vessel will appear to be floating thanks to a glass bubble around its dry dock.

The new image shows how the historic ship will look at the end of a two-year renovation costing £23 million.

The top of its mast will be 160 feet above ground and will be visible from miles around.

A visitor centre will be constructed underneath the bubble. The record- breaking tea clipper, which has been voted one of 184 official icons of England, will reopen next November.

It was built in 1869 and has been preserved in its own dry dock in Greenwich since 1954, but was closed to the public shortly before Christmas to allow for the restoration work.

The boat's masts have been temporarily removed to the Historic Dockyard in Chatham while construction is under way and planks on the port side have been taken out so work can begin to prevent further corrosion of its iron frame. Anna Somerset from the Cutty Sark Trust said the planks will be slotted back into place later "like a giant jigsaw".

She added: "We are also replacing the whole of the main deck, which leaks, with teak recycled from a demolished factory in India."
0 Replies
 
material girl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 07:04 am
How cool is that!!
I went to see the CS when I was bout 10, been looking into going back recently but I think Il wait now.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 07:19 am
not half as cool as when they put it in a large glass bottle.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 08:26 am
Steve 41oo wrote:
not half as cool as when they put it in a large glass bottle.


But not the blended stuff - the 25 years old is nicer

http://media.paragraphpublishing.net/store/home/whisky/bottle/atoc/300.jpg

















































Or did you mean something like this?

http://www.modelboatco.com/thumbs/3386.jpg
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 08:31 am
Laughing I meant the latter. Forgot Cutty Sark was also whisky...so either is appropriate.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 May, 2007 10:14 am
Robert Fisk: My grandfather and the 'Cutty Sark'
Robert Fisk: My grandfather and the 'Cutty Sark'
He ended up as first mate on the legendary clipper and I still possess his sailing manual
Published: 26 May 2007
Independent UK

A bit of the Fisk family went up in smoke last week. For when the Cutty Sark burned, the wooden deck upon which my grandfather Edward once walked - no doubt a little unsteadily in the great storms off the Cape of Good Hope - was turned to cinders.

Edward Fisk was a cantankerous, tough, recalcitrant old man: my father William refused to visit him when he was dying - just as I later refused, foolishly, to visit Bill on his deathbed - complaining that he "didn't see the point in driving all the way from Maidstone to Birkenhead to see the old man through a glass window". But when I showed a friend of mine around the Cutty Sark back in 1987 - the Thames mist cowling the old tea clipper, much as she must have been smothered when becalmed in the Pacific 100 years earlier - I found an extraordinary photograph on the lower decks.

It showed a group of seamen gathered beneath the masts in Sydney Harbour, and one of them - about 19 or 20, I'd say - bore my own face as a young man. They say that a man resembles his grandfather more than his father and this was true in my case. Edward Fisk had my eyes, my large forehead; even his hair was combed with a parting on the left. He was smiling, standing to the right of the other seamen. He had been born in 1868, a year before the Cutty Sark was built - and long before it became synonymous with a well-known brand of whisky, a beverage with which my grandfather later became too familiar.

By the time Edward was sailing under the mast, the great vessel had abandoned the tea route from China and was carrying wool from Australia. I don't know whether he was aboard when the Cutty Sark made its record-breaking trip via the Cape - Bill rather thought he had - but he ended up as first mate on the legendary clipper and I still possess his sailing manual, passed on to me by my father before he died. It is a slim, leather-bound volume of ship's flags and sailing technology; how to turn a four-master around in a gale - it took about five miles minimum - and how to operate a compass in high seas, and its very feel made young Robert once decide that he wanted to be a merchant seaman when he grew up. (This was not long before I resolved upon being the driver of a steam locomotive.) For what struck me were the ripples on the black leather cover that had almost washed off the gold lettering. They were made of salt, the very physical mark of the massive seas through which my grandfather sailed more than 120 years ago.

When my father Bill applied to join the army in the First World War - his first, underage effort was thwarted by his mother Margaret - his British service log noted that he was "born 1899 at 'Stone House', Leasowe, Wirral, Cheshire". This was Edward's home and the document lists him as "Master Mariner Born 1868".

Margaret - referred to as "Market Gardner's (sic) daughter" - was a year younger than her future husband. "She was a wonderful, dear woman," Bill once enthused about her and it was only many years later - in 2004 - that Bill's niece Jean sent me one of those sepia prints so beloved of the Victorian age. It showed Margaret in a very tight, over-flowered dress with a bun, a serious-faced woman - slightly suffering, I thought - who must have found it a fearful experience living with a hard-drinking ex-seamen - even though Edward did become deputy harbourmaster of Birkenhead.

"I came home once with a terrible wound on my head because I had been fighting with some other lads," Bill told me once. "My mother was cleaning the floor with a mop and a pail of water and when she saw me she just dipped the mop in the bucket and brought it down on my head. There was blood all over the floor." Bill said sometimes that his father "treated my mother terribly" and there were hints from time to time that Edward would return home drunk and beat poor Margaret in front of the children.

Either way, he clearly didn't save much money. Before the First World War, Bill was taken from his school "because my father was no longer able to support me", and apprenticed as a bookkeeper to the borough treasurer's office. This was his first step - interrupted by the Third Battle of the Somme - to becoming borough treasurer of Maidstone, a post he held when I was born in 1946. Yet Edward's spirit - he was to die aged 96 after recovering from typhoid at 92 and my own father managed to reach the age of 93 - lived on.

In 1980, at the start of the Iran-Iraq war, I was in the Iraqi port city of Basra when Jon Snow (now of Channel 4 News) was asked to rescue the crew of the British ship trapped in the Shatt al-Arab river. Problem: the Iraqis had no maps of the Shatt al-Arab. But Edward's grandson remembered his father Bill once telling him that Edward said every British merchant ship was required to carry charts of the waterways it sailed.

And sure enough, the first ship I boarded in Basra provided me with a Royal Navy chart of the Shatt al-Arab. So Jon set off on his successful, crazed mission, courtesy of the Cutty Sark's long-dead first mate.

Seamanship must have been in the family. Only at the end of the First World War did Bill discover that his grandfather - Edward's dad - had fought at Zeebrugge in 1915 as a Royal Naval Reserve officer. God spare me, the old boy must have been at least 70. And as a little boy, my father would take me (as well as to the battlefields of the Great War) to Gravesend in Kent to watch the great liners steaming from Tilbury down the Thames for the faraway corners of what was still, in many cases, our empire. The big white P&O ships sailed for India, always chided down river by the red-funnelled "Sun" tugs that stood alongside at Gravesend.

Edward finally earned Bill's contempt by remarrying within a few months of the generous Margaret's death. Jean went to see the old man in his nursing home some years later and found him deeply sad that he had lost Bill. Which is why his only physical reward to the world is that old, salt-encrusted seaman's manual that survived, safe in my own library shelf, the death of the great ship upon which he once sailed.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2007 01:36 am
http://i22.tinypic.com/rw5r1k.jpg
Quote:
Conservationists install a spine of wood yesterday to keep one of the Cutty Sark's teak hull planks in shape before removal and restoration. The tea clipper was badly damaged by fire in Greenwich, south east London, in May. It is hoped restoration work, including wooden letters spelling out the ship's name, will be completed before the start of the London Olympics in 2012


Source: Daily Telegraph, 13.10.07, page 6
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