Model Boat Mayhem

Mess Deck: General Section => Full Scale Ships => Topic started by: victorian on June 16, 2010, 11:15:46 am

Title: City of Adelaide
Post by: victorian on June 16, 2010, 11:15:46 am
Here's the poor City of Adelaide seen yesterday still clinging to life at Irvine. Development creeps ever closer. Note the apparently unrestricted access to the site up at the roundabout. The latest scheme from Australia  ( interesting  - anything is better than the mad 'deconstruction' plan!

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Title: Re: City of Adelaide
Post by: BarryM on June 16, 2010, 02:05:53 pm
There is no shortage of 'interesting schemes' or people to promote them. The shortage is of hard cash to put them into reality.

There is also a fair possibility that she will deconstruct of her own volition during any attempt to move her without building in extra strengthening. She had a lot of permanent concrete ballast put into her at some time in the past. Where this has been removed, the iron frames have been shown to be non-existant - just rust marks left within the concrete. 

The support frame she sits on snapped when she was first put into dry dock and time has not increased its overall condition. To that add the rotten timbers and the fact that the river has not been dredged for years and is heavily silted since the Adelaide was first berthed.

Sure, you can do anything with enough funds, expertise and time. You can temporarily clear out all the moorings (and pay the present incumbents for inconvenience) and then dredge the river from its mouth to Adelaide's berth. You can build a new cradle in situ and insert internal stiffening in the hull. You can somehow make the Adelaide watertight and take her down river to a submersible barge where it may be back-loaded without breaking into two (or more) pieces.

If you can do all that, then you can take her to a port where all the rot and corrosion can be repaired/renewed and there you have it - a replica of the City of Adelaide. Not a restoration because there will be too little left of the original to term it as such. 

The Scottish Maritime Museum tried to save the Adelaide for 14 years and if those who are now expressing horror at the possibility of Recorded Deconstruction had put their hands into their pockets at the start of that period then she might just have been saved then. Now it's too late. Ships are not built to be preserved beyond their working lives and the fact that any of some age are still around is the exception to the rule.

Thus, if you have the money to support the extraction of  the City of Adelaide and build a replica then go ahead - I assume you have made a financial contribution to one of the schemes?


Barry M
Title: Re: City of Adelaide
Post by: victorian on June 16, 2010, 05:32:33 pm

I'm sorry if I offended you by calling the deconstruction scheme 'mad'. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

It's easy to understand how the litany of crackpot schemes must bear down on those, like you, who actually understand what's involved. But you never know, one of these schemes might just come up with the money. Surely it would be better to welcome these initiatives, no matter how unrealistic they are, in the hope that one of them might pay off?

Agreed the result might now contain relatively little orignal material, but that would not be so different from one or two other old ships that we can all think of, and we are very proud to have those. Climbing out of Prestwick yesterday I was heartened to see she was still there, and to be able to say: "Look! There's a clipper ship, the oldest in the world".


Title: Re: City of Adelaide
Post by: BarryM on June 16, 2010, 05:49:32 pm

If all the schemes come to nought, will it still be "mad" to proceed with a controlled Recorded Deconstruction?

If a replica is considered acceptable then why not cut costs and build it from scratch - which is probably cheaper than using what's left of the CoA?

.... and you haven't answered my final question.


Barry M
Title: Re: City of Adelaide
Post by: Arrow5 on June 16, 2010, 06:43:10 pm
"climbing out of Prestwick" ?  Are you here in Scotland on a regular basis ? Aircrew perhaps ?
Title: Re: City of Adelaide
Post by: victorian on June 17, 2010, 10:36:35 am

I'm concerned that the 'recorded deconstruction' scheme is a 'get out of jail free' card for the various bureaucracies who should be protecting the ship. On that basis it's always unacceptable. If the deconstruction was with a view to reassembly at a different location that would be a another matter.

Some replicas have achieved status in their own right - the Stephenson built 1925 Rockets for example - but in this case there's more fabric of the original ship surviving than needed to qualify as a reconstruction. Please look again at my photo - a complete clipper ship, the oldest in the world, just sitting there in the open air.

Regarding your final question, throwing brickbats at me won't help the "City of Adelaide".


PA-28-161 and not as often as I'd like.


Title: Re: City of Adelaide
Post by: Arrow5 on June 17, 2010, 11:40:31 am
Victorian, Roger Piper, hmmm just thinking Red Oktober :kiss:
Title: Re: City of Adelaide
Post by: BarryM on June 17, 2010, 08:47:44 pm

A potted history of the City of Adelaide in recent decades:-

While serving as the RNVR club in Glasgow the CoA sank at her moorings (more than?) once. An indication perhaps of her condition at that time, although she did achieve 'Listed Building' status. After disposal by the RNVR, the CoA was moored further down the Clyde where she again sank and lay submerged rotting for some 15 months.  Raised in 1992, she was taken to the Scottish Maritime Musem at Irvine, placed in a dry berth and the City of Adelaide Charitable Trust was formed.

Over the years, lacking the funds to provide effective conservation, the Trust could only watch the CoA decline. Of course, support for the idea of preservation and restoration was not in short supply but hard cash most certainly was. In an attempt to force the pace, the Trust applied for permission to demolish the vessel (not Recorded Deconstruction) and waited to see what would happen.

As expected, there was no shortage of people and bodies both in the UK and Australia to object to the proposal and, as expected, the proposal was denied. Everybody agreed the CoA must be preserved but not one brass farthing was offered by any of the objecting bodies either to conserve or restore the CoA.

The CoA continued to deteriorate where she sat in her berth  It is worth noting that the berth is not owned by the Trust but rather by a third party with whom the lease expired in 2006 and since that time has denied access to the vessel.

In 2005, a potential White Knight arrived in the shape of the CE of a well-known travel company who was prepared to invest almost unlimited funds in order not only to restore the vessel but put it back into service. Perhaps a better fate than the Cutty Sark? The downside to this was that ownership would transfer to the CE. The Trust was in a dilemma. Was it to retain ownership and hang on waiting for a benefactor who probably would never appear or was it to bite the bullet, see the CoA restored and lose possession? It was decided to chose the second option as being best for the vessel.

The first move was to establish the actual condition of the CoA and here it was that the whole plan fell apart. Quite apart from the fact that the MCA would have demanded many modifications to permit the vessel to return to service, the condition survey showed that the fabric was even worse than expected with considerable rot in the timber and corrosion of the iron frames. The CE of the travel company withdrew his offer although he followed through on his funding of a Goretex-type cover for the upper decks.

Another offer was made by a (Falmouth?) based businessman who went as far as advising the local press that he had purchased the vessel. Unfortunately this was untrue and he never offered a penny of hard cash.

Still the CoA sat mouldering on her berth while every last avenue was explored and found to be a cul de sac. At last, the Trust decided on the only route open to them of Recorded Deconstruction. Selected portions of the hull indicating her build would be preserved. The hull would be photographed, measured, filmed and in every was documented to record her history and construction.

An approach was made to the Council for permission for Recorded Deconstruction and this was granted subject to conditions which required consultation with and the approval of, certain named Heritage bodies.

Where are we now? Well the CoA still sits on her berth and the Trust struggles to find the funds to proceed. Meanwhile, the same Australian, Sunderland etc., interests put forward their plans to take the CoA away and rebuild it. The same Heritage and ship preservation bodies cry foul but NOBODY has put forward the cash that will supposedly save the vessel. NOTHING has changed in 18 years and, barring a miracle, it seems nothing will.

Thus reading your statement  " this case there's more fabric of the original ship surviving than needed to qualify as a reconstruction. Please look again at my photo - a complete clipper ship, the oldest in the world, just sitting there in the open air.", I have to ask what facts - rather than feelings - you base it on?  I'm sure she looks fine from several thousand feet but at ground level the status is completely different.

As for a "Get out of Jail free card for various bureaucracies who should be protecting the ship", I'm not sure which 'bureaucracies' you are referring to but as the money for any action is still absent, it has yet to be played.

Regarding my final statement, this was not a "brickbat" but a simple query as to whether your support for the CoA's replication extended to hard cash or whether you belonged with all those who demand that 'something must be done' but cannot raise the wherewithall to do it.


Barry M

Title: Re: City of Adelaide
Post by: tobyker on June 18, 2010, 12:43:58 am
Cycled past her today, whilst doing a Sustrans route signing check. The stem seems to be falling off. Very sad.