First dibs on breaking the arms, legs and face of the bastard who set the old girl on fire, if it does turn out to be arson. (On which note, I’d also happily break this Wikipedia user‘s face for their “hilarious” prank of deleting the Cutty Sark’s entry this morning at five to eight…)
A truly beautiful ship, and one to which photographs really can’t do justice – certainly not in the Greenwich dry dock she’s occupied for the last God knows how many years, because she was just too large and sleekly streamlined to take in from the cramped surroundings by the Royal Naval College. A ship like that should never have been trapped in a dry dock anyway, traipsed over day-in, day-out by bored schoolkids and American tourists going “Gee!” – she should have been free to roam the oceans once again, zipping over the waves to grab costly natural resources from subjugated native tribes, before pacing it back to London for a hefty profit. She may have been built a bit too late to really qualify as part of the golden age of sail – she was launched 32 years after Brunel’s SS Great Western had proved the viability of steam, and heralded the dawn of the modern shipping age – but that was all part of her charm.
Keep an eye on the website – doubtless they’ll need some more funds fairly soon, and thanks to the sodding Olympics nicking all the lottery cash, there won’t be any left for this sort of thing. (A big rant about Gordon Brown’s complicity in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s seemingly systematic destruction of the heritage sector during the utterly anti-historical Blair years, despite all Brown’s protestations of love for Britain and Britishness, etc., may well follow nearer to his coronation…)