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If you have a hint for History and a vivid interest for sea stories and ships don't miss a visit to the Cutty Sark. This Lady is a British clipper ship. She has had a long career before spending her retirement here in London.
Built on the Clyde in 1869 for the Jock Willis shipping line, she was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest, coming at the end of a long period of design development which halted as sailing ships gave way to steam propulsion. At that time, the opening of the Suez Canal meant that steam ships had a much shorter route to China.
The Cutty Sark spent a few years on the tea trade before turning to the trade in wool from Australia, where she held the record time to Britain for ten years. Improvements in steam technology meant that gradually steamships also came to dominate the longer sailing route to Australia and the ship was sold to the Portuguese company Ferreira and Co. in 1895.
She continued as a cargo ship until purchased by retired sea captain Wilfred Dowman in 1922, who used her as a training ship operating from Falmouth, Cornwall. After his death she used as Nautical Training until 1954 when finally she had ceased to be useful as a cadet ship and was transferred to permanent dry dock at Greenwich.
Cutty Sark is one of three ships in London on the Core Collection of the National Historic Ships Register (the nautical equivalent of a Grade 1 Listed Building) – alongside HMS Belfast and SS Robin. She is one of only three remaining original composite construction in part or whole, the others being in Australia and Chile. The ship was badly damaged by fire on 21 May 2007 while undergoing conservation.
The vessel has been restored and was reopened to the public on 25 April 2012. Visiting the boat you'll be able to walk along the decks in the footsteps of the merchant seamen who sailed her over a century ago.