Rescue concerned over City of Adelaide’s future

Time is fast running out to save historic clipper ship The City of Adelaide from deconstruction. The Scottish Government’s ‘preferred bidder, Australian group, Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Limited (CSCoAL), is seemingly unable to demonstrate that it can provide the ship with a sustainable future, but  HS and the SMM appear to be giving every assistance to CSCoAL to remove the ship by a deadline in March 2012.

It seems incredible that this historic ship, of recognised national and international historic value, currently in the collections of a nationally recognised museum, the oldest ship registered by National Historic ships UK as part of the 200-strong National Historic Fleet, and the only ship to enjoy a Category A listed building status in Scotland, is also to be found on the Scottish Buildings at Risk Register.  If no reliable new custodian can be found SMM have permission to take it to pieces.

RESCUE:  The British Archaeological Trust  is concerned that there is a very real danger that this internationally important British heritage asset will be exported to Australia without any assurance that the substantial resources required to preserve it are available and that a change of location will simply duplicate the current unsatisfactory situation.  It is not a solution to simply move the ship to another part of the world, where it may well be left to rot, and claim this as a reasonable outcome to an intransigent UK problem.

Please find below copies of our initial letter Fiona Hyslop,   Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, the response on her behalf from Historic Scotland, and our follow-up letter to the Scottish Maritime Museum.

Update: The latest situation is summarised in a detailed article, on the fate of the City of Adelaide, which  has been published by the Vlaamse Vereniging voor Industriële Archeologie vzw ( VVIA, theFlemish Association for Industrial Archaeology) in the Flemish-Dutch journal ‘Erfgoed van Industrie en Techniek’ (Heritage of Industry and Technology). The issues involved were also  presented onJune 14th during VVIA’s  annual Flemish-Dutch meeting on industrial archaeology, in the Harbour Museum in Rotterdam.

VVIA is a founding member of the European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage / European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage – and the Forum of Heritage Associations , now ‘ Herita’. See their website: or Visit their Facebook group ‘ Industrial Heritage – Flanders’.

You can read an english language version of the article here



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