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Author Topic: Cutty Sark Fire  (Read 8751 times)

Tester

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Cutty Sark Fire
« on: May 21, 2007, 07:38:59 AM »

Hi All

This looks like bad news for the Cutty Sark

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6675381.stm

Richard
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chingdevil

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Re: Curry Sark Fire
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2007, 07:54:05 AM »

I heard it on the radio as I went into work this morning, I work at Beckton East London and saw the smoke from there. If the ship is lost that will be terrible, she is part of our sailing heritage. If she is not lost then s$d the money rebuild her, let us hope she can be saved.

The other Brian
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Pointy

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Re: Curry Sark Fire
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2007, 08:02:31 AM »

Thats an understatment.

I don't mind saying on this forum that as someone who loves ships and the sea I'm close to tears. Does anybody know how much material was removed from her during the refit? Pictures on the news of.....the wreck show all the upper deck gone and extensive damage to the interior and sides. :'(

Just how does a ship catch fire by itself in the early hours of the morning? I don't want to believe it was arson, there can't be a creature out there willing to rob us and future generations of the most beautiful of our marine heritage?! It is a form of treason in my eyes and this creature- if it was arson, should not be allowed to exist any longer, what possible use is it?! >:(
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DickyD

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2007, 08:23:03 AM »

The police are treating the fire as suspicious and are looking for a silver car seen nearby in the early hours of the morning.

Richard ;)
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Daryl

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Re: Curry Sark Fire
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2007, 08:58:53 AM »

Just heard on BBC news 50% of the ship had been removed for preservation. What a terribble sad sight to see such a tragidy. I hope she can be rebuilt, my thoughts are with the Cutty sark trust they must be devistated as all of us who love fine ships.

Daryl
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RickF

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Re: Curry Sark Fire
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2007, 09:01:51 AM »

Pointy, as someone involved in the old car preservation world who has seen similar vandalism at first hand, I can assure you that for some people nothing in this world is sacred - or safe. I long ago gave up trying to analyse the minds, such as they are, of the thankfully small section of the population that involve themselves in this sort of activity. I used to think it was jealousy - "someone's got something better than me, so I'll trash it" - but even this makes no sense.

Sometimes I despair of the human race.

Rick
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Curry Sark Fire
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2007, 09:11:47 AM »

Horrifying! But it seems that the damage isn't terminal from the latest reports. If it is arson, as suspected, then it's difficult to identify with the mindsets of people who could do something like this.
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gary r uk

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Re: Curry Sark Fire
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2007, 09:45:56 AM »

guys
it would appear that all the masts and rigging were removed for the restoration a restoration that should have been done many years ago but the lottery did not consider it a worthy project we all know what sort of silly projects they consider worth while.
cheers
gary
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chingdevil

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Re: Curry Sark Fire
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2007, 10:05:41 AM »

Guys
I know the mast and the rigging went to Chatham for refurbishment, a lot of what was shown on the tv as burnt was a cover put over the great ship by the restorers, so fingers crossed it might not be as bad as it looks. If it is arson I can not believe how low people have sunk to destroy something so beautiful.
The Cutty Sark Trust must be in deep despair at the moment to look at all their hard work burnt.

The other Brian
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RickF

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2007, 11:59:30 AM »

Just to inject a bit of humour into what is otherwise a terrible tragedy.... when I saw the heading for this thread (Curry Sark Fire) I immediately thought someone had overdone the vindaloo!

On a more serious note, if the mast and rigging are safe, and the iron frame is sound, then nothing that has gone will be too great a loss. Most of the upperworks were replaced in the 50s and were due to be replaced again. I just hope that not too much that was lost today had already been restored.

Rick
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Tester

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2007, 12:18:40 PM »

Curry Sark Fire !!!!!

oops sorry lads  ??? ??? ??? ???
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tobyker

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2007, 06:12:26 PM »

We can only hope that this will count as arson in HM dockyards for which I understand the death penalty has not been abolished. So when we catch them I hope they do it properly (chains at execution dock, tha'll pis when tha can't whistle etc) and leave the corpses coated in tar 'twixt wind and water as a warning to others.
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tigertiger

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2007, 12:10:07 AM »

From today's news
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200705/s1929306.htm

Cutty Sark restoration to go ahead
By Europe correspondent Rafael Epstein and wires

British experts say the restoration of the world's only remaining tea clipper, the Cutty Sark, will still go ahead despite yesterday's major fire.

The ship's hull was badly damaged during the fire at its dry dock on the River Thames in Greenwich, London.

Half of the ship's timbers had been removed for renovation before the fire and the masts, ship's wheel and figurehead were among the items safely in storage.

The fire, which police believe may have been deliberately lit, damaged some of the ship's decking and may have disorted the iron frame of its hull.

Some $65 million was already earmarked to be spent on the ship, which is one of Britain's most popular tourist attractions, but experts say more money will now be needed.

Built in 1869 on Glasgow's River Clyde, the Cutty Sark was one of the fastest ships of its era.

Originally used to transport tea from China, it changed roles after the trade was taken over by steamers using the Suez Canal.

The Cutty Sark then turned to general trading, including transporting wool from Australia.

The ship has been in dry dock in Greenwich since 1954.

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Bartapuss

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2007, 10:47:39 PM »

Don't despair there's some really great craftspeople still left in this country who'll make her as good as new, remember the fires at York Minister and Windsor Castle,  I do hope that some young people will be given the opportunity of learning the old crafts of wooden shipbuilding in order to carry them on for the future.
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tigertiger

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2007, 03:07:06 AM »

The other 'good' thing to come out of this.

there will have been a loto of media attention.
Interest in the Cutty Sark will gain momentum, and so will the filling of the coffers hopefully.
This interest may also help other maritime projects who could do with a boost in funding.
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MCAT

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2007, 01:15:03 PM »

Just read in the Daily Mirror today about a Clipper  called the City of Adelaide  reported to 5 years
older than the Cutty Sark, and is one of only three left in the world of this type of vessel.

Surely the Heritage guys/girls should be looking at this , at this moment there seems to be  more left of her than the Sark,  both need to be saved,  Museums and the arts have had enough lottery funds and other grants all worth while. but these ships will never be built again were paintings
can be done and theres plenty of them about.
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BarryM

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2007, 08:04:52 PM »

I'm afraid it's too late for the City of Adelaide. The CoA was built in Sunderland in 1864 for the Australian wool/emigrant trade and probably was the fastest vessel on that run. Like the Cutty Sark she fell on hard times before being used by the RNVR as a clubhouse on the Clyde. Time passed and after a couple of sinkings at her moorings she was classified (uniquely) as an 'A' listed building. Eventually, after a third sinking she was taken over by the Scottish Maritime Museum Trust in 1992 and moved to a dry dock at the main collection site at Irvine. Of course 'everybody' from Sunderland to Adelaide, every ship preservation society in between and even the Chookie Embra, said she must be saved. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the Museum, nobody put their hands in their pockets - it was always up to somebody else. To try and force the subject and get wheels turning, the Museum applied for permission to scrap her. Everybody  and his aunt objected, the application was knocked back but again nobody would contribute the 10 million needed to save her. In 2006, a wealthy businessman offered to buy the ship, restore her and put her back to sea as a working vessel. The Museum had no option but to agree; it least it would save the vessel.
Unfortunately it was too late, an extensive survey showed that rot of the timbers and rust of the iron frames had spread too far. By the time all the rotten/corroded parts had been cut out and replaced, there would be so little of the original vessel left that  what would result would be a replica of the original - not a restoration. A case of lift up the flag and fit a new ship underneath. (I'm afraid that's the way the Cutty Sark is heading.) The businessman withdrew and the Museum conceded that the only path left was to save what could be saved and film, photograph and draw the rest in a process of 'recorded deconstruction'; all this agreed and overseen by marine archeologists. Listed Building Consent has now been given by North Ayrshire Council, a steering committee is being set up and funds are being sought from the Lottery Heritage Fund to commence.
Ironic isn't it that the HLF will probably give the funds to break her up which they denied to save her!

When we value our nautical heritage enough to fund it, will there be anything but a few timbers left?

Barry M
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2007, 09:11:50 PM »

As usual, our American friends do better at preserving our heritage than we do. I took these pics of the old Cape Horner Balclutha in 2001 in the San Francisco Maritime Museum. The ship was in pristine condition.
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Bartapuss

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2007, 10:45:51 PM »

The thing is America is still quite a young nation and as such is still building up its heritage such as large WW2 battle ships and the like and as a large global economy it can afford to, but another important factor is that the American people are very patriotic and view these ships, locomotives, planes and cars or anything 150 to 200 years old as their history as they do not have castles,medieval stuff and even older like Stonehenge etc etc as we have in this country, were as a thing like an old ship or locomotive has pasted its usefull life is seen as more junk to get rid of.  :-\
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2007, 08:22:15 AM »

I think that's very true Bartupuss. In this country heritage items have to survive the "chuck it away" stage before being recognised for what they are - and a lot don't make it.
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RickF

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2007, 10:11:03 AM »

At the risk of riding an old hobby-horse, I think I'll add my two-pennorth. In the end it comes down to money. Very few groups or societies can afford to embark on major restorations without an injection of capital. This has to come, by various means, from "the government". It may be dressed up as EU money, Lottery money or any other sort of money, but essentially it's government money.

Before "government money" - collected from the innocent tax-payer in the first place - can be given back to the said ITP in the form of grants or handouts, numerous jobsworths and bureaucrats will have to be satisfied that the ITP will spend it in the approved manner. In the case of a preservation project this will almost certainly entail provision for access for the disabled, health and safety audits to remove any potential hazards, a profusion of interpretive signs to explain the blindingly obvious and the installation of "interactive displays" to satisfy the GameBoy generation. Then there is the "corporate use" factor. Can the project be hired out as a venue for weddings, conferences or the like?

The cumulative effect of all these will probably rob the preservation project  of almost all that was worth preserving in the first place.

Please don't think I have anything against making things accessible, particularly for the less able - I am rapidly heading that way myself. But cutting holes in the side of ships for access, installing lifts and wide, "safe", shallow stairways; knocking down bulkheads and widening doors to provide space for "interpretive displays" seems to defeat the object of preservation. Some of what the Cutty Sark Trust planned to do with "their" ship went, in my opinion, far beyond what was necessary or desirable.

Rick
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Daryl

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2007, 10:38:48 AM »

I tend to agree with Rick, look what has happend to SS Great Britain, steel mast have now been erected, the original had wood, emergancy exits cut into the hull with neon signs, the sky lights between No 1 and 2 masts on the port side have been stepped in to allow a ramp. This is to name but a few alterations. their blurb sya they want to preserve it as it was at the 1846 launch????

Daryl
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2007, 10:53:23 AM »

I sounds like what you are saying is that the restoration of HMS Warrior and HMS Victory was a waste of time.

Both these vessels have had extensive modifications and restorations over the years and now have to be seen to comply with modern regs and even though it is now debatable as to just what percentage of the original is left at least they are accessible for everyone to enjoy and be reminded of our Maritime Heritage.  

I would far rather we had that than not have them with us at all and if that means we have to modify them to make them attractive then that must be prefereable than them dissapearing forever.

I know I was dissapointed with the Victory in certain areas such as perspex covers on the gun ports but, at the end of the day, she is still there and I am still very proud of her and what she stands for.

The Great Britain now sits in a dock with half the ship "under water" and half of it open.  Without such clever use of modern technologies to achieve such things the ship would not be attractive to as many people and she would be in danger of not making enough money to survive.

I think saying that if we can't restore them to exactly as they were or not bother would be a great loss and we would miss an opportunity to get the "Game Boy" set at least to come and look at these things and pay a degree of attention to them.

We have just seen yet another Maritime Museum go to the wall in Liverpool as it couldn't make ends meet so now no-one gets to see the inside of a U-boat, inside our future Kings minesweeper, inside a Falklands sub or inside a Falklands frigate.  Strangely enough they were all, apart from the U-boat, pretty much left as was but if injecting some cash into them to modify them and make them more attractive to more people and the museum remain profitable they might all still be available to us.
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DickyD

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2007, 11:04:34 AM »

I for the most part agree with Rick except for the access for the disabled.
Being disabled myself and also having a disabled daughter I and many like me have been fighting for years for the disabled to have the same rights as the able bodied.
Why should we be prevented from enjoying our heritage because of disability.
Surely a few widened door openings, lifts or even the odd opening cut in the side of a ship to allow for disabled access is preferable to not preserving our heritage. You will notice I said "our"not your.
I and my daughter get as much pleasure as anyone else when visiting historic ships etc. One that springs to mind is the submarine museum at Gosport where they have actually [ god forbid ] cut a door in the side of a submarine to allow access. I think you will admit entering the sub using the deck hatches would be a little difficult.
So to sum up, yes preserve these wonderful ships, do not turn them into theme parks but make them accessable to as many people [disabled or able bodied] as possible.
Had me say.

Richard ;)
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RickF

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Re: Cutty Sark Fire
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2007, 12:24:14 PM »

I never suggested that anything should not be preserved, or that preservation was a waste of time - I only questioned whether the end justifies the means. Have you taken the time to look at what the Cutty Sark Trust planned to do. A large proportion of the proposed "improvements" were to enable it to be used for concerts, conferences and similar events and had nothing to do with the real preservation of the ship, only with making money. OK, that money may be needed for continued restoration, but it should not be necessary to prostitute the ship to get it.

In my opinion the urge to meet all the various criteria of all the interested parties, particularly the ones who put their hands in their pockets, can detract from the original aim. It's a difficult tightrope to walk, and I don't envy the people who have to take the decisions on what to save, what to modify and what to throw away. 

As I said, it's my opinion, but if the choice is between cutting a hole in the side of, say, HMS Gannet, or telling Richard he can't go below - well, that's a hard one to answer.

Rick
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