I was particularly saddened by the destruction of the Cutty Sark in 2007. Six years before this tea clipper ship caught fire, I was lucky to tour it while visiting London. Fortunately, most of the bow and stern portions of the ship survived. The good news is that the sixty figureheads on display had been removed because of ongoing restoration work.
The Cutty Sark was built in 1869 and dry-docked in Greenwich as a museum in 1954. “Cutty sark” is a Scots term for chemise. It’s the nickname of the witch Nannie Dee in Robert Burn’s poem Tam o’Shanter.
To the right is a photo of the ship’s figurehead. The linen draped below Nan’s breasts is the “cutty sark.” She’s holding the tail of Tam’s horse which came off in her hand as she pursued him.
Click here to learn more about the Cutty Sark Conservation Project
Best-selling author David McCullough postulates that history is about who we are and why we are the way we are. He says: The pull, the attraction of history, is in our human nature…history ought to be a source of pleasure…it's an enlargement of the experience of being alive…
Preserving scenes from the past—whether in the physical sense or through the written word—is how we ensure that experience for future generations.