Cutty Sark Fire

Discussion in 'Zealot Archives' started by wunwinglow, May 21, 2007.

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  1. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

  2. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Could someone post a one- or two-sentence summary?

    BBC is blocked in mainland China. I can usually get around The Great Firewall using web-based proxy servers, but this has never been possible with anything at Most US and other western news sources (e.g. New York Times, AP, CNN) are accessible). For some reason the Chinese authorities *really* dislike the BBC.

    Anyway .. what happened! I hope nothing too serious!!!
  3. ekuth

    ekuth Active Member

    Direct cut/paste from the page:

    Fire rips through the Cutty Sark

    Police are treating the fire as suspicious

    A fire on board the famous 19th Century ship Cutty Sark is now out and is being treated as suspicious by police.
    An area around the 138-year-old tea clipper was evacuated amid fears that gas cylinders were on board but it has been confirmed that none were present.

    Greenwich town centre in south-east London has been closed to traffic.

    A Cutty Sark Trust spokesman said 50% of the ship was removed for restoration work. He said the Trust is devastated but it could have been worse.

    Charred planking

    Chris Livett, Chairman of Cutty Sark Enterprises, speaking at the scene said: "We had removed 50% of the planking, so 50% of the planking wasn't on site and that's safe and secure.

    "And from where I stand there is not a huge amount of damage to the planking that was left on.

    "There are pockets of charred planking and some have gone, but it doesn't look as bad as first envisaged."

    When you lose original fabric, you lose the touch of the craftsman, you lose history itself

    Richard Doughty, Chief Executive of the Cutty Sark Trust

    Police are analysing CCTV images which are thought to show people in the area shortly before the fire started at about 0500 GMT.

    Eight fire engines were sent to tackle the fire.

    Speaking to BBC News the Chief Executive of the Cutty Sark Trust, Richard Doughty, said he feared what would be lost in the blaze.

    Built in fact 1869
    Named after witch in Robert Burns poem Tam O' Shanter
    Designed by Hercules Linton at Dumbarton
    Attracts 15m visitors a year
    Preserved as a tribute to merchant navy workers

    "When you lose original fabric, you lose the touch of the craftsman, you lose history itself," he said.

    "And what is special about Cutty Sark is the timbers, the iron frames, that went to the South China Seas, and to think that that is threatened in any way is unbelievable, it's an unimaginable shock."

    He said the ship would be "irreplaceable".

    He added that the Cutty Sark was not just an important part of maritime heritage but an important part of British identity.

    Mr Doughty described the ship as the epitome of speed under sail.

    The Cutty Sark is the world's oldest surviving tea clipper

    An eyewitness, who saw the fire as she was driving across the Thames, said: "I can see all this smoke billowing out from round by where the Cutty Sark is.

    "It was black, thick black smoke... as I've come over the bridge there's all police cars blocking the road and everyone's being diverted."

    Residents living near the ship were evacuated from their homes and taken to a Greenwich hotel, Scotland Yard confirmed.

    The ship was undergoing £25m renovation works and was closed to visitors.

    The conservation work was being carried out as sea salt had accelerated the corrosion of her iron framework.
  4. paperbeam

    paperbeam Member

  5. Maurice

    Maurice Member

    Can you get to
    (where the "a" stands for Oz :grin:) They might not be as scared of it as they are of the BBC, it's comparable, and is as current on this story.
    The big worry with such an intense fire must be how much distortion has been caused to the ship's iron frames.
  6. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Terrible news.

    ekuth, thanks for the cut-n-paste!

    Maurice, thanks for the link, and ... hooray for Oz! :)
  7. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    Maaannn.. I caught this on the news this evening.. What a shame.. I'm not a maritime man, but it was a lovely old ship, and I feel for all the craftsmen, that no doubt put their heart and sole into the restoration work.... I'm probably jumping to conclusions but if it WAS deliberate.. I say a spot of public flogging would be a great history lesson for the perpetrators.
  8. David H

    David H Member

    Can you imagine the state of mind of the curator or officer commanding HMS Victory went in to work with today, or the USS Constitution... [add historic ship of choice].

    No matter how hard we try to engineer out the idiot evolution just keeps on building better idiots.

  9. kronos

    kronos Member

    I cant understand why anyone would want to burn a piece of history. Ive allways loved this ship ive built several styrene models of her over the years. My part of indiana is known for its 19th century coverd bridges there is a fall fest people come from all over the world to see them we had several burnt by a arsonist a couple of years ago they caught the butthead he wont see daylight again for a long long time
  10. sdk2knbk

    sdk2knbk Guest

  11. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

  12. Padre

    Padre Guest

  13. paperbeam

    paperbeam Member

    I.e. City of Adelaide

    Padre - Maybe there is some way they could use parts from the City of Adelaide to help rebuild the Cutty Sark? Just an idea...

  14. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Awful, awful news.

    Thank you for the additonal link, sdk2knbk. The story is on all the wire services now.

    I hope the curators of Brunel's Great Britain are installing (concealed) smoke detectors and a spinkler system.
  15. Bill Clapper

    Bill Clapper New Member

    Some years ago in Ohio, two teenagers burned and old schoolhouse some 120 years old. They were caught and when asked why they did it they said they thought it would be fun! They thought the old dry wood would burn really great. They were simply ordered to pay for the cost of restoration. My hope is the job was properly done and they are still paying it off.

    On the Cutty Sark, my hope is they are introduced into a room full of ship historians armed with baseball bats (this is England, maybe cricket bats would be more appropriate) and allowed to plead their case. THEN they pay for the extra restoration costs. I will gladly go over and attend. I will even buy a new cricket bat for the occassion.

    Still not calm enough to properly vent anger,

  16. paperbeam

    paperbeam Member

    SS Tutshi Fire

    Now that I recall, in 1990 in Carcross, Yukon the paddlewheeler S.S. Tutshi (which one was one of only three surviving paddlewheelers in Yukon at the time) burnt to the ground under very suspicious circumstances. That ship, too, was in the middle of an expensive renovation effort.

    I heard unsubstantiated rumours that some of the local youth (which considered the Tutshi nothing more than an archaic symbol of colonial opression) may have been involved, but nothing ever came to the light of day. The cause of the fire still remains a mystery.

    And this just in the news right now:

    I certainly hope this isn't a trend...

  17. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    Reasonable idea but probably wouldn't work because the frames would have been handcrafted back in the 19th century. The idea of interchangeable parts is a 20th century concept. I'm not sure that iron from the 1880s would be of much use after more than a century exposed to salt water.

    I heard a radio interview with the director of the Cutty Sark restoration - he sounded almost relieved that most of the irreplaceable teak planking had been removed from the Cutty Sark before the fire. Apparently teak wood is in such short supply that they got their new deck timbers (not installed fortunately) for the Cutty Sark from a demolished building in India.


  18. paperbeam

    paperbeam Member

    Now I see they were probably going to have to replace most of the remaining planks on the hull and wooden fittings anyways, so some good might actually come out of this fire - namely more publicity and needed donations in their coffers.

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