Cutty Sark Update
Sorry to everyone who caught my rambling rant this morning. I’ve now cut it out as being entirely irrelevant to the title of this post, save the bit that bemoans the loss of The Big Smoke, from the print-edition of Time Out, but which at least lives on in blog form, and is just as fine, if not finer than before. Newsy, interesting snippets of comment on issues actually important to Londoners – in other words stuff I actually want to read – like the fate of The Cutty Sark…
What may or may not be going on behind those hoardings has been a bone of contention for a while. For some time last Autumn, things got really unpleasant and I decided to leave the subject for a while, but now the glorious Big Smoke has mentioned it, I feel it’s time to start discussing it again.
There’s no point in my re-hashing what Steffan Meyric Hughes has discussed so beautifully in his article, save to say that the chief engineer of the project, Professor Peter Mason, has resigned over what he considers to be the ‘damaging’ plans to raise the ship so that a conference-centre type space can be squeezed in below.
I knew he was considering resignation, from an article in Professional Engineering magazine (don’t ask what I was doing reading that…) but I didn’t know that he actually had done the deed. The University of Greenwich did some modelling on the impact that effectively putting the old girl in stiletto heels for the rest of her days would do (one wonders why they weren’t commissioned to do this before work started) and concluded that the resulting damage would be untenable. The professor decided that he couldn’t bear vandalism to be done on his watch and did the honorable thing.
I thought I’d check the Cutty Sark’s official website to find out what’s going on. The ‘latest news’ section has not been updated since October 2008. As someone who has supported them in the past, I used to get occasional newsletters from them – they have dried up too.
In the absence of real news from the Trust, it’s easy to start speculating. They really need to address this.
With all this business about the Olympics, we (and yes, I include myself in this) have taken our eye off the Cutty Sark ball. We’re so used to seeing that eyesore in the middle of town, with it’s flapping, shredded plastic tarps and always-closed information point, that we’ve almost stopped seeing it. It’s time we started looking again. I have written to the Cutty Sark Trust, asking them what’s happening. I wonder if I’ll get a reply.