Monthly Archives : January 2015

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Ship’s Blog : Mast Head Vane

Once gilded, this vane would have been fitted to the top of Cutty Sark’s main mast whenever the ship was in port. It depicts a ‘cutty sark’—the namesake for Clipper Ship Cutty Sark, after the undergarment worn by the witch Nannie in Robert Burns’ poem Tam O’Shanter. This vane was…

Cutty Sark in Australia

Shipowner John Willis built Cutty Sark in 1869 specifically to exploit the booming tea trade in Britain at the time. In fact, the report of her launch in the Dumbarton Herald in November 1869 notes “The Cutty Sark is intended for the China tea trade, and is expected by her…

Cutty Sark’s Scottish roots and Robert Burns’ tale

Although Cutty Sark’s home port of registry was London throughout her career under the Red Ensign, it was in Dumbarton, Scotland that the ship was built by a young Scottish company called Scott & Linton. Once rigged in Greenock, the ship was never to return to her country of origin,…