The 143-year old tea clipper has undergone a £50m restoration, work on which had actually begun prior to the fire breaking out. The blaze did an estimated £10m worth of damage but could have been far worse. Due to the restoration works already being under way many of the original fittings on board had been placed in storage and were not damaged. The Cutty Sark Trust praised the work of the “heroic” fire fighters saying, “There was amazingly little damage to the ship’s original fabric”.
Originally due to reopen in 2010 plans were postponed, pushing the date back nine months to spring 2011. Another year has passed since then but restoration work with fire damage can often throw up unforeseen delays.
The reopening will provide another welcome boost to the tourist industry in the run up to the Olympic games this summer. The Cutty Sark is an important relic of imperial trade and has been a key part of Greenwich’s tourism since it first berthed in the area in 1954.