The Cutty Sark … 1951 connection

The Cutty Sark is a clipper ship built for the Jock Willis shipping line in 1869. She was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest, coming at the end of of a long period of design development which halted as sailing ships gave way to steam propulsion. She spent just a few years on the tea trade before turning to the trade in wool from Australia. She was then sold to a Portuguese company and renamed Ferreira.

In 1922 she was purchased by retired sea captain Wilfred Dowman who used her as a training ship operating from Falmouth, Cornwall. After his death she was transferred to the Thames Nautical Training College, Greenhithe in 1938 where she became an auxilary cadet training ship.

The Cutty Sark in Dry Dock at Millwall, Greenwich in 1951

By the early 1950s there were serious concerns about her condition and in 1951 the Cutty Sark Preservation Society was founded by Frank Carr, director of the National Maritime Museum, with HRH the Duke of Edinburgh named patron.
She was restored to her glory days as a trading vessel after being installed in a stone dry dock in Greenwich.
In the early 199os there were further structural problems and in 2006 a full restoration was undertaken.
In April 2012 Her Majesty the Queen re-opened the Cutty Sark.

The Cutty Sark at Greenwich … April 2012


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