Shipping & Shipbuilding News -  29 May 2007 - The Brightest Maritime Daily

Photo credit: Frank Parsons

World's oldest clipper to be scrapped
Shocking decision from Scottish council will see the last of two clippers consigned to history

Glasgow's Evening Times newspaper reported today that the world's oldest clipper, the sv CARRICK, is to be scrapped.

North Ayrshire Council have decided that the ship should be 'deconstructed', despite pleas from Sunderland and Australia as well as voices in Scotland pointing out the historic merits of the Sunderland-built ship.

North Ayrshire Council planning committee took the decision to log the the dismantling of the ship, built in 1864, after years of negotiations with other interested parties to give the ship a new home failed.

The Scottish Maritime Museum at Irvine, where she has lain, rotting on a slip since being taken there after a disastrous spell when she was sunk in Princes Dock in Glasgow, say that they can't even fund the 'deconstruction' of the historic vessel.

It had been hoped, as expressed here at Shipping Times, that publicity generated through the fire on the world's only other composite-built clipper, the CUTTY SARK, would mean a reprieve for the ex CITY OF ADELAIDE.


This is the worst decision possible, and should go down in the annals of Scottish history as amongst the worst decision ever taken by a council. It is myopic in extreme. It is a local funding related decision with no regards to international significance.

If it is the case that if the ship were to be restored she would be just a replica, as claimed, then it is time now to look back on what has happened to this vessel and who is to blame for the disgraceful, slow demise of the world's oldest surviving composite clipper.

She sat gracefully for long enough on the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow, then she sank there. Then was taken by a Trust to Princes Dock where she sank AGAIN. Thereafter she was towed to Irvine and in short, she has rotted there ever since.

This final decision, and the treatment of this ancient vessel, is nothing short of a national embarrassment for Scotland, an insult to Sunderland, where she was built, and a poke in the eye to Australia, where she played such a significant role in supplying that former colony with many of her early settlers.

Heads should roll - questions need to be asked. Above all, we have to ask ourselves - what price history?



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