Cutty Sark Fire Described as Tragic

Monday, May 21, 2007
Jonathan Griffin, Director of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, described this morning’s fire on the Cutty Sark as “tragic.” He continues: “The news of the damage to the Cutty Sark this morning is obviously tragic. She is an iconic symbol of our great maritime trading past.

From what we hear, it seems that a large part of the famous ship has been destroyed by fire although we hear encouraging news that around 50% of the fabric was off site at the time. The Cutty Sark was moored in Falmouth between 1922 and 1938 and was restored here by Captain Dowman, becoming a well-known local landmark. She then became a sail-training ship, coming and going from the port, until in 1954 she made her last voyage to dry dock in Greenwich. The condition of her ironwork and woodwork had been deteriorating in recent years and a major conservation program was under way. It was for this reason that much of the fabric was off site. We will have to wait until a full assessment has been done by the conservators to work out what happens next. She has survived before and we must hope that she will survive again to bring pleasure to future generations. She is 138 years old: not bad for a ship which was originally expected to last for only 30 years.”

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