We are proud that the remarkable Cutty Sark celebrates her 150th anniversary this year; a significant achievement as clipper ships, such as Cutty Sark, would usually survive no more than 30 years.
In November 1869 Cutty Sark was launched in Dumbarton, Scotland starting off her career as a tea clipper, later she moved on to the wool trade between the UK and Australia. In 1938, Cutty Sark served as an auxiliary vessel for the cadet training ship HMS Worcester; where she was used to train officers for service in the Royal and Merchant Navies, which was soon to be vital with the outbreak of the Second World War.
In 1951 she was positioned in Greenwich in a specially constructed dry dock and in 1954 she opened as a memorial to the Merchant Navy, principally for those who lost their lives in the two world wars.
Tales from aboard Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark is the gateway to ‘Maritime Greenwich’ and shares tales of adventure, international trade and speed at sea. Here are two testimonies of people’s lives that have been touched by their experiences at sea:
I would learn about geography, map reading…about the stars, about different ways of navigating and about the places themselves because that was just part of being there, it was like having a geography lesson laid out in front of you.Judith Nichol
Judith was the daughter of a Merchant Navy captain and accompanied her father aboard ship as a child
The biggest changing factor when you’re at deep sea of course is the weather because the weather is controlling everything… that’s the piece that changes. From being in the tropics and flat calm and absolutely boiling hot, to being in a monsoon, to being in a tropical revolving storm or a hurricane somewhere… You never know what you’re going to encounter the next day.Glyn Jones
Glyn was a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Navy
These stories are a true testament to the significance of Cutty Sark. We are committed to securing her a sustainable future, maintaining her condition, bringing her stories to life for generations to come.
Help keep Cutty Sark and other attractions going
A top-10 UK visitor attraction, Royal Museums Greenwich is home to the iconic historic sailing ship Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House art gallery. All our attractions are located within walking distance of each other within a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A bequest from you in favour of Royal Museums Greenwich, no matter how large or small, will be warmly welcome and gratefully received. Such a gift is among the most far-reaching and valuable contribution you can make, directly benefiting future generations of museum visitors. A gift can reflect your particular interests and will be used to support our continuing vital collections care, acquisitions, research activities and learning and community programmes.