The Cutty Sark
I can remember taking our son to the Cutty Sark when he was younger and walking around Greenwich Maritime Museum… prior to that I think the last time I went to see the Cutty Sark was when I was a child. Yep how the years have flown, because when I visited it, Sir Francis Chichester’s yacht, the Tiger Moth IV, was on display.
Casting my mind back to nearly 6 years ago, I don’t think anyone will forget that fateful morning of the 21st May 2007 when the Cutty Sark caught fire, and we all thought that the Cutty Sark was lost forever. I suppose the Godsend, if there is one, was that the Cutty Sark had been partly dismantled for restoration before the fire broke out.
On the morning of 21 May 2007, the Cutty Sark, which had been closed and partly dismantled for conservation work, caught fire, and burned for several hours before the London Fire Brigade could bring the fire under control. Initial reports indicated that the damage was extensive, with most of the wooden structure in the centre having been lost.
In an interview the next day, Richard Doughty, the chief executive of the Cutty Sark Trust, revealed that at least half of the “fabric” (timbers, etc.) of the ship had not been on site as it had been removed during the preservation work. Doughty stated that the trust was most worried about the state of iron framework to which the fabric was attached. He did not know how much more the ship would cost to restore, but estimated it at an additional £5–10 million, bringing the total cost of the ship’s restoration to £30–35 million.
After initial analysis of the CCTV footage of the area suggested the possibility of arson, further investigation over the following days by the Metropolitan Police failed to find conclusive proof that the fire was set deliberately.
We have not visited the Cutty Sark since the restoration, we have seen it as we have driven through Greenwich but to stop and view the Cutty Sark.. we never did; until last Friday when we visited Greenwich. What with him, being ex-navy well anything to do with water and the sea captivates him.. Me, well, as I am a two-stroke, three bubble and funeral swimmer, I like to keep my legs on firm ground. Me and water do not go together.. in fact, to say that I don’t have the old sea legs, is rather an understatement, because I can feel sea-sick on Battersea Boating Lake.
We enjoyed our day, even though it was perishing cold and to see the Cutty Sark back to its full glory just made our day. After we walked around the Greenwich Maritime Museum and the Queens House, before heading into Greenwich Market we had one final look at the Cutty Sark.
Today as I went through our photographs of our trip to Greenwich, this picture caught my eye..
Now for the life of me, I would not go up there.. the thought of men having to climb the rigging to get up those masks in bad weather to attend the sails, makes me feel queasy. However, seasickness aside, I just love the way they have added this detail to the Cutty Sark.
Anyway, if you ever get to go to London, put Greenwich on your itinerary, because it is a beautiful place to visit and there is so much to do and see. And if you are worried about trying to park.. we have found a great place to park on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, which is free.. and that place is, Crossharbour, which is only 3 stops on the DLR till you get to the Cutty Sark.