The Cutty Sark clipper ship is dry-docked by Greenwich Pier. When she was built in 1869 she was the fastest tea clipper of her generation, sometimes sailing up to 360 miles a day. In 1871 she even set a record for the trip between London and China – completing the journey in just 107 days.
The opening of the Suez Canal a short time later cut journey times for every boat in the world, and the Cutty Sark’s speed was no longer an issue. She was sold to a Portuguese company in 1895, and bought back in 1954.
She now contains a fine collection of ship’s figureheads.
What does ‘Cutty Sark’ name mean?
The Cutty Sark takes her name from an old Robert Burns poem called Tam O’Shanter, which mentions a pretty young witch wearing nothing but a cutty sark – the old name for a short skirt.
Drummerboy – “When you go through the ticket bit you are straight into the cargo hold. They’ve got a load of crates in there so you can get an idea of what it must have been like back in the day. But the most enjoyable bit for me was the deck. You get to go up top and walk the entire length of the ship from stern to aft (are they the correct words?). The whole ship is rigged up with ropes too, right up to the very top of the mast, which must be about forty feet in the sky. It really is an impressive sight when you’re standing underneath it… continued.”