The Cutty Sark, Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich, Greater London
The Cutty Sark was a tea clipper, a type of boat. She was built in 1869 for use in the China tea trade. She was the fastest ship of her time, bringing tea back from China for use in the UK. Following the opening of the Suez Canal (also in 1869), trade with China became less economical. The ship then sailed the Australian wool trade routes between 1877 and 1894-5. Following this she was sold to the Portuguese and re-rigged. In 1929 she was bought and restored by Captain William Downman. After his death in 1936 she was used by the Thames Nautical Training College. In 1954 she was brought to her present berth at Greenwich and maintained in a dry dock as a museum. The ship suffered a major fire on 21 May 2007. Restoration work is continuing and the museum is due to re-open in 2011.