Photo credit: Frank Parsons
World's oldest clipper to be
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
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
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?