The world’s only surviving tea-clipper; the Cutty Sark celebrates turning 150 this year. The iconic, historic sailing ship and fastest of its time is now an award-winning visitor attraction in Greenwich, London. The 1st February 2019 marks the start of a year-long programme of events and celebrations that will be taking place at the Cutty Sark, starting from marking the anniversary of the signing of the contact to commence the build on 1st Feb to its launch on 22 November 1869 to the ship’s first official voyage on 16 February 1870. On its first voyage, Cutty Sark carried ‘large amounts of wine, spirits and beer’, and came back from Shanghai loaded with 1.3 million pounds of tea.
The Cutty Sark is a survivor and has a rich history, full of stories and ‘near misses’ from the beginning of its build in Dumbarton to be here in Greenwich today. Cutty Sark survived storms which ripped its rudder off on two occasions, a dismasting in the First World War and a terrible fire in 2007. In the year before the fire, the majority of Cutty Sark’soriginal fabric had been removed. This meant that, while devastating, the fire was nowhere near as destructive as it could have been. Over 90% of the ship’s hull structure that you see today is original to 1869.
To celebrate 150 years of the Cutty Sark, there will be a number of special events throughout the year including concerts, theatre and poetry performances relating to her impressive career, her Victorian maritime heritage and historic connections to the rest of the world.
The Cutty Sark is located in Cutty Sark gardens; a short walk away from Cutty Sark DLR and within walking distance of Royal Museums Greenwich’s other sites, the National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House and Royal Observatory Greenwich.