City of Adelaide (1864)

Coordinates: 55°36′29″N 4°41′09″W / 55.60806°N 4.68583°W / 55.60806; -4.68583

SV City Adelaide Dutton Lithograph.jpg
Clipper Ship, 'City of Adelaide', 1000 tons, David Bruce, Commander. Hand-coloured lithograph by Thomas Dutton, August 1864. Dedicated "To Messrs. Devitt and Moore Owners, Messrs Wm Pile, Hay & Co. Builders & the Officers of the Ship this print is most respectfully dedicated by their obedient servant, Wm. Foster”.
Name: City of Adelaide (1864-1922)
HMS Carrick (1922–1948)
Carrick (1948–2001)
City of Adelaide (since 2001)
Owner: Bruce, Moore, Harrold Bros. & Martin (1864–1887)
C H Mowll (1887–1888)
T S Dixon & Son (1888–1893)
Southampton Corp. (1893-1922)
Royal Navy (1922–1948)
RNVR Club, Glasgow (1948–1989)
Clyde Ship Trust (1990–1992)
Scottish Maritime Museum (1992- )
Operator: Devitt and Moore (1864–1887)
As per owners since 1887
Port of registry: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland London (1864–1888)
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Belfast (1888–1893)
 Royal Navy (1922–1948)
Route: London—Plymouth—Adelaide—Port Augusta—London (typical 1864–1887)
Builder: William Pile, Hay & Co
Launched: 7 May 1864
Commissioned: 1923
Decommissioned: 1948
Maiden voyage: 6 August 1864
Out of service: 1893-1922; since 1948
Struck: Removed from register 7 February 1895
Homeport: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland London (1864–1888)
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Belfast (1888–93)
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Southampton (1893–1895)
England Southampton (1895-1922)
Scotland Glasgow (1948-1992)
Scotland Irvine (since 1992)
Identification: Code Letters WCLQ
ICS Whiskey.svgICS Charlie.svgICS Lima.svgICS Quebec.svg
UK Official Number 50036
Nickname: The City
Status: Archaeological deconstruction or removal to Sunderland, UK, or Adelaide, South Australia, under consideration
Badge: on stern
City of Adelaide Coat of Arms
General characteristics
Class and type: Composite Clipper
Passenger ship (1864–1887)
Collier (1887–1888)
Cargo ship (1888–1893)
Hospital ship (1893-1922)
Training ship (1922–1948)
RNVR Clubrooms (1948–1991)
Museum ship (since 1991)
Displacement: 791 tons
Tons burthen: 1,500 Tons
Length: 244 ft 1 in (74.40 m)
Beam: 32 ft 2 in (9.80 m)
Sail plan: Full rigged ship (1864–1881)
Barque (1881–1893)
Derigged since 1893

The City of Adelaide was built in 1864 by William Pile, Hay and Co. in Sunderland, England, and was launched on 7 May 1864. The ship was commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Carrick between 1923 and 1948 and, after decommissioning, was known as Carrick until 2001. At a conference convened by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 2001, the ship's name reverted to City of Adelaide.

The City of Adelaide is:

  • the world's oldest surviving clipper ship,
  • one of only two surviving composite clippers (the other is the Cutty Sark; built 1869),
  • one of only three surviving sailing ships (and the only one of these a passenger ship) to have taken emigrants from the British Isles to any destination in the world (the other two are the Edwin Fox and the Star of India),
  • the last survivor of the timber trade between North America and the United Kingdom,
  • an A-listed structure in Scotland,
  • part of the National Historic Fleet of the United Kingdom,
  • listed in the prestigious Core Collection of the United Kingdom.

As a fast sailing ship, between 1864 and 1887 the City of Adelaide made 23 annual return voyages transporting passengers and goods from London and Plymouth to Adelaide, South Australia. On the return voyages, the ship carried passengers, wool and copper from Adelaide and Port Augusta to London. During this period it played an important part in the immigration of Australia.

Between 1923 and 1989, the ship was an iconic landmark on the River Clyde in Glasgow, known as the Carrick. After a series of events stemming from a flooding mishap in 1989, the ship's ownership passed to the Scottish Maritime Museum and in 1992/1993 was moved to a private slipway adjacent to the Scottish Maritime Museum's site in Irvine, Scotland.

A restoration commenced but was halted in 1999 after funding difficulties when Scotland regained its own parliament. After being served with an eviction notice by the owners of the slipway, the museum applied for permission from North Ayrshire Council to demolish the listed structure.

In June 2010 the Scottish Minister for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop offered a reprieve for City of Adelaide by commissioning a study to look at four options for the ship:[1]

  • an archaeological deconstruction (demolition),
  • transport to a different site in Scotland,
  • transport to Sunderland in England, or
  • transport to Adelaide in South Australia.

In August 2010, it was announced that the preferred option was for the ship to be transported to Australia for preservation.[2]

Irvine, North Ayrshire, in Scotland.
The 'City of Adelaide' is located at Irvine, North Ayrshire, in Scotland.



Captain David Bruce, first master and quarter-owner

After having gained much experience on the London to Adelaide run with his ship the Irene, Captain David Bruce had the City of Adelaide built expressly for the South Australia trade.[3] The order for the new ship was given to William Pile, Hay, and Company of Sunderland who built the ship and launched it on 7 May 1864.[4]

The City of Adelaide is frequently referred to as being owned by the British shipping firm Devitt and Moore, but they were only the managing agents in London. It was only partner Joseph Moore snr. who personally became a syndicate member, holding a quarter-share in the ship.[5] Captain Bruce also took a quarter-share ownership.[6] The remaining two quarter-shares were taken up by Australian interests - Harrold Brothers[7] who were the agents in Adelaide, and Henry Martin,[8] the working proprietor of the Yudnamutana and Blinman copper mines in the Flinders Ranges.


First Class cabins of 'City of Adelaide', c1894
Midship Section of a Composite Ship, by Henri Paasch, 1885

The City of Adelaide was designed to carry both passengers and cargo between England and Australia. Cabins could accommodate first-class and second-class passengers, and the hold could be fitted out for carrying steerage-class emigrants when needed.

The City of Adelaide is of composite construction with timber planking on a wrought iron frame. This method of construction provides the structural strength of an iron ship combined with the insulation of a timber hull. Unlike iron ships, where copper would cause corrosion in contact with the iron, the timber bottoms of composite ships could be sheathed with copper to prevent fouling. The iron frames also meant that composite ships could carry large amounts of canvas sail. Composite ships were therefore some of the fastest ships afloat.

Composite ships were built for a relatively short period from circa 1860 to 1880. The City of Adelaide was built in 1864 before Lloyd's Register recognised and endorsed composite ships in 1867. Before this, all composite ships were labelled by Lloyds as being "Experimental".[9] Being a developmental technology in 1864, meant that many of the structural features on the City of Adelaide are now regarded as being 'over-engineered', particularly when compared to other later composite ships like the Cutty Sark (1869). For example, the frame spacing on the City of Adelaide is much closer together than seen on other composite ships. This extra strength from 'over-engineering', together with the good fate to have benefited from human habitation and/or husbandry through to the late 1990s, has likely been a major factor why the City of Adelaide has survived, even after being grounded on Kirkcaldy Beach in South Australia for a week in 1874 - see below.

Today, only four (former) sea-going ships of composite construction survive, in various states of preservation or decay: the City of Adelaide (1864), the Cutty Sark (1869) tea-clipper in Greenwich, the skeletal remains of the Ambassador (1869) tea-clipper in Chile,[10] and HMS Gannet (1878) a Naval Sloop in Chatham.

Service history

'City of Adelaide' stranded on Kirkcaldy Beach in South Australia, in August 1874.
Historic copper smelters of Yudnamutana (1910).

The South Australian Trade

The ship spent 23 years making annual runs to and from South Australia, playing an important role in the development of the colony. Researchers have estimated that a quarter of a million South Australians can trace their origins to passengers on the City of Adelaide.[11]

At least six diaries, kept by passengers and describing respective voyages, have survived from the 23 return voyages between London and Adelaide.[12]

On 24 August 1874, the ship was stranded on Kirkcaldy Beach near Grange, six miles south of Semaphore opposite Adelaide. On board at the time, were over 320 people, including one of the diarists, a Scot named James McLauchlan. An outbreak of Scarlet Fever had occurred during the voyage and seven people died. Two babies were born on board during the voyage - one was "born dead".[13]

Upon reaching South Australian waters at the end of this voyage, severe gales were encountered resulting in the stranding of the City of Adelaide. The storms also caused accidents and losses of other vessels along the South Australian coast. By coincidence, the schooner Mayflower, on its way from Port Broughton to Port Adelaide, lost its mate Richard Burton, 32, overboard and he drowned. He was on his way to Port Adelaide to meet his wife, Isabella, 29, who was one of the immigrants on board the City of Adelaide.[14]

Amongst the cargo on this voyage were two Scottish Deerhounds, bred by the Marquis of Lorne, John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll, and being imported by Sir Thomas Elder.[15]

A day after the stranding, the passengers were removed by steam tugs. The City of Adelaide was refloated on 4 September after much of the cargo had been discharged and much of the rigging temporarily removed. The ship was virtually undamaged.

The 1874 voyage was but one of twenty three such voyages. Not all were as eventful.

By the 1880s, the City of Adelaide was also calling at Port Augusta, South Australia, on the return voyages. At Port Augusta, copper from Henry Martin's Blinman and Yudnamutana copper mines in the Flinders Ranges, and wool from outback sheep stations would be loaded before racing to the wool sales in London.

During this time, in 1881, the ship was rerigged as a barque.

Route of 1874 Voyage

The following map traces the route of the 1874 voyage from the Latitudes and Longitudes provided in the diary of James McLauchlan.[13]

Voyage of the 'City of Adelaide' from London to Adelaide in 1874.
30 May
6 Jun
18 Jun
21 Jun
6 Jul
15 Jul
16 Jul
21 Jul
26 Jul
29 Jul
24 Aug
Voyage of the 'City of Adelaide' from London to Adelaide in 1874 from the Diary of James Mclauchlan. Positions of deaths (blue) are approximate.
Butting square timber, Quebec City, QC, 1872.
The 'City of Adelaide' as an Isolation Hospital off Millbrook, c1894.
View of hospital ward on 'City of Adelaide' when being used as a hospital ship off Millbrook, c1894

Notable Passengers

Coal Trade

In 1887, the City of Adelaide was sold to Dover coal merchant, Charles Havelock Mowll, for use in the collier trade carrying coal from Tyne to Dover.

Timber Trade

In 1888, the City of Adelaide was sold to Belfast based timber merchants, Daniel and Thomas Stewart Dixon, and used to carry timber in the North Atlantic trade.

By the start of the eighteenth century, Britain had basically exhausted its supplies of the great oaks that had built the Royal Navy. The lack of large trees was especially problematic as they were a necessity for masts for both its war and merchant shipping. A thriving timber import business developed between Britain and the Baltic region but was unpopular for economic and strategic reasons[16] The Napoleonic Wars and a Continental blockade had a large impact on the Baltic trade and so Britain looked to the North American colonies that were still loyal.

The North Atlantic timber trade became a massive business and timber was British North America's most important commodity. In one summer, 1,200 ships were loaded with timber at Quebec City alone.

As timber is a very bulky cargo, it required many ships to carry it from North America to Britain, but there was little demand for carrying goods on the return voyages. However, there was a market for carrying migrants, and so many of the timber ships turned to the migrant trade to fill their unused capacity for the return voyages from the British Isles to British North America. Since timber exports tended to peak at the same time as conflicts in Europe, a great mass of refugees sought this cheap passage across the Atlantic. This created an unprecedented influx of new immigrants in North America.

The timber trade not only brought immigrants to British North America, but also played a very important role in keeping them there as well. While many of those disembarking from the timber trade ships would head south to the United States, many others would stay in British North America. At the peak of the trade in the 1840s, 15,000 Irish loggers were employed in the Gatineau region alone at a time when the population of Montreal was only ten thousand.

The City of Adelaide was homeported in Belfast and from there frequented several British North American ports. Of these ports, it would most frequently visit Miramichi, New Brunswick. Of the thousands of sailing ships involved in the timber trade between North America and the United Kingdom, the City of Adelaide is now the last survivor.

Hospital Ship

The City of Adelaide ended its sailing career in 1893, when purchased by the Southampton Corporation for £1750 to serve as a floating isolation hospital in Southampton. During one year of operation, 23 cases of Scarlet Fever were cared for. In 2009, the National Health Service (England) named a new hospital at Millbrook, Southampton, in honour of the ship - the Adelaide Health Centre.[17]

Royal Navy & Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

In 1923, the City of Adelaide was purchased by the Admiralty and towed to Irvine, Scotland, where it was placed on the very same slipway it was to return later to in 1992. After conversion to a training ship, it was then towed to Greenock and commissioned as a Naval Drill Ship for the newly constituted Clyde Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR).[18] As the new cruiser HMAS Adelaide had been commissioned only the previous year, to avoid confusion of two British Empire ships named Adelaide, the clipper ship was renamed HMS Carrick.

After the war, the ship was scheduled for breaking up, but through the work of Commodore the Duke of Montrose, Vice-Admiral Cedric S. Holland and Admiral Sir Charles Morgan, it was presented by the Admiralty to the R.N.V.R Club (Scotland), an organisation formed in the autumn of 1947. The towing of the HMS Carrick upriver, from Greenock to Harland and Wolff's shipyard at Scotstoun on 26 April 1948, was known as 'Operation Ararat'. A grant of 5,000 pounds was received from the King George's Fund for Sailors and 500 pounds was donated from the City of Glasgow War Fund.[18]

After fitting out, Carrick was towed further up-river to a berth at Custom House Quay, just above Jamaica Bridge. A plaque on board commemorates the opening ceremony of the Club, which was carried out by Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope. The ship stayed there until January 1954 when the Clyde Navigation Trust decided to move it to the opposite side of the river at Carlton Place.[18]

The City of Adelaide sank in Princes Dock, Glasgow, in 1991 under mysterious circumstances. Photo by SMM.

Flooding and Sinking

By the mid-1980s the Club realised that they could not afford to maintain their floating clubrooms. They commenced seeking ways of securing the ships future and passing on ownership, and contacted various bodies with potential interest including the, then, recently established Scottish Maritime Museum.

In 1989 there proved to be some need for haste, when the ship was flooded when the deck edge was trapped beneath the wharf on a very low tide. The Club, in some desperation, took the option on their insurance of having the vessel declared a total loss. To facilitate the preservation of the ship itself, Glasgow District Council applied for Listed Building status. Historic Scotland agreed to take the unusual step of listing a historic vessel as Category A – normally only applied to historic buildings. Listing was viewed as a boost to the preservation project.

By 1990 a new body, the Clyde Ship Trust, had been formed and, in March of that year, had purchased the vessel for £1. Under the control of the new Trust the vessel was dismasted and prepared for removal and in August 1990, was successfully towed downstream to Princes Dock.

Early in 1991, for reasons that have not been clearly identified, the vessel sank at her moorings. The Clyde Ship Trust was placed in a position of embarrassment, for, being already in debt, they were unable to put forward the funds required for a major salvage operation. It became necessary for other organisations to step in to attempt to prevent the total loss of the ship.

City of Adelaide being raised at Govan in 1992, SMM.
The City of Adelaide was salvaged by the Scottish Maritime Museum in 1992 and towed to Irvine. Photo by SMM.

Recovery by the Scottish Maritime Museum

In 1992, with the encouragement of Historic Scotland and Strathclyde Regional Council, the ship was salvaged by the Scottish Maritime Museum and moved it to Irvine, North Ayrshire, with the expectation to preserve them and eventually restore the vessel.[19] The ship was also identified as part of the UK National Historic Ships Core Collection.[20]

In September 1993 the City of Adelaide was slipped on the same slipway near the Scottish Maritime Museum where the ship had been converted in 1923. From then a programme of work was planned and operated on two fronts. The first was the preservation and restoration. The second was to allow public access and good quality interpretation.

In May 1999 Scotland regained its own parliament. A side effect of this is that previous UK funding sources for the Scottish Maritime Museum dried up.[21] This then had a snowball effect on the Scottish Maritime Museum. An application for funding for the Museum’s other major project, under the UK Heritage Lottery Fund, was rejected. Due to the eroded revenue position, the local municipality then reduced its funding, and then other grant aiding organisations adopted a similar position.

Following the restructuring of Local Government in Scotland the Scottish Maritime Museum, as an independent charitable trust, appealed to the Scottish Executive for support. The Executive commissioned a report through the Scottish Museums Council which recommended the sale of the City of Adelaide. The Museum began to receive government support but it was conditional on no government funds being spent on the vessel. In 1999 all work on the City of Adelaide stopped and the shipwrights were moved to other projects.[19]

In May 2000 the trustees of the Scottish Maritime Museum applied to North Ayrshire Council for consent to demolish the "Listed Building" City of Adelaide. The Council subsequently received over 100 objections to the Museum's application to demolish the vessel. For the first time the Authority received objections from other countries. There were representations from nine significant worldwide organisations who are involved in the history and preservation of ships. Many Members of the UK and Scottish Parliaments objected as well as the Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Australian ex-Senator and diplomat Robert Hill.[22]

The North Ayrshire Council refused demolition in February 2001. The Scottish Maritime Museum was left in a dire financial predicament with rental for the slipway beginning to accrue.

Rescue Efforts

Duke of Edinburgh Conference

South Australian and Sunderland delegates on board the 'City of Adelaide' during the conference convened by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

A conference was convened in Glasgow as a result of an initiative from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on 19 September 2001 and reached a number of important conclusions:[23]

  • Carrick - City of Adelaide is one of the most important historic vessels in the UK and every effort should be made to ensure the future of the vessel. Resources available in Scotland to preserve the vessel at the Scottish Maritime Museum were insufficient to make any real progress and the Museum's stewardship of the vessel could result in the whole of the museum's collections being placed in jeopardy.
  • HRH The Duke of Edinburgh proposed that the Maritime Trust and Scottish Maritime Museum should work in partnership to fund a first phase of work. This phase would see the vessel removed from the slipway, on which the initial work had been completed, and placed on a barge or similar vessel and her transhipment to another location. The Maritime Trust would take the lead in raising the funding support for the first phase.
  • The Sunderland Maritime Heritage and Save the City of Adelaide 1864 Group, Adelaide, South Australia, both presented the conference with proposals for the vessel. The conference agreed that both organisations should now look to securing funding support for their proposals and an active dialogue would be maintained by all concerned. The aim of the Maritime Trust and the Scottish Maritime Museum would be that final transfer to either the Sunderland Maritime Trust or the Save the City of Adelaide 1864 Group would take place as quickly as possible. The Maritime Trust and the Scottish Maritime Museum would work in partnership to ensure this outcome.
  • The final decision of the conference was that as the significance of the vessel lay in her activities under the name City of Adelaide she should in future be known simply as City of Adelaide.

The conference was chaired by Admiral of the Fleet Sir Julian Oswald, and in addition to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was attended by representatives of High Commission of Australia in London, Save the City of Adelaide 1864 Group, City of Sunderland Council, Cutty Sark Trust, DCMS, Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, North Ayrshire Council, National Historic Ships Committee, Scottish Executive, Scottish Maritime Museum, Government of South Australia, and Sunderland Maritime Heritage.

Tourist Sailing Ship Proposal

City of Adelaide in April 2005

In 2003 businessman Mike Edwards donated funds for preservation and a feasibility study for the ship's restoration as a tourist adventure sailing ship for Travelsphere Limited. In February 2006 the results of the feasibility studies identified that the cost to comply with current maritime passenger safety regulations for sea-going vessels would be more expensive than building a replica. The studies concluded that it would be more cost-effective to turn the City of Adelaide into a static exhibit. Edwards decided not to take up his original option of acquiring the City of Adelaide but his charitable efforts had extended a life-line to the City of Adelaide that ultimately gave her another three years of reprieve as well as a protective cover to protect her from the elements.

Demolition Proposals

After three years the Scottish Maritime Museum was back in its original predicament. This predicament was worsened as the volunteer organisations that had previously been campaigning to acquire the City of Adelaide had now been put in hiatus for three years. The Scottish Maritime Museum applied again to North Ayrshire Council to demolish the ship at an estimated cost of £650,000.[24]

When the proposal was gazetted by the council, some 132 letters of objection were received. Some of these came from maritime-related organisations who are involved in the history and preservation of ships as well as:[25]

On World Heritage Day, 18 April 2007, the North Ayrshire Council advised that they agreed to the deconstruction of the clipper subject to:

  • Referral of the application to Historic Scotland under Section 12 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997, and
  • A plan for demolition be developed by a Steering Committee based on the recommendations of National Historic Ships Committee (NHSC) and be agreed in writing by North Ayrshire Council as Planning Authority and by Historic Scotland.[26]

The proposals for demolition were due to be discussed at the end of May 2007, but postponed due to the fire on the Cutty Sark.[27]

Rescue Proposals

Simulated bus advertisement used to promote an e-Petition to the British Prime Minister[28]

The SCARF group plans to initially keep the City of Adelaide in storage on private land in the city whilst working on plans to develop a Maritime Museum around a restored City of Adelaide.[29]

The South Australian organisation Clipper Ship 'City of Adelaide' Ltd.[30] is also working to secure the future of the City of Adelaide. They plan to return the City of Adelaide to Port Adelaide in South Australia in time for the state's 175th Jubilee in 2011 and display her with the local ships Falie and Nelcebee. The Nelcebee is an 1883 tug lighter which assisted clippers including the City of Adelaide in and out of Port Augusta.

In March 2009, a British e-petition[28] asking the British Prime Minister to intervene to save the City of Adelaide was created on the Number 10 Downing Street website.

An Australian e-petition[31] to the Australian Senate to save the City of Adelaide is featured in the gallery Living Democracy: The Power of the People in the new Museum of Australian Democracy[32] at Old Parliament House, Canberra.

Open Letter from Australians

In November 2009, sixty-six eminent Australians wrote an Open Letter[33] appeal to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the First Minister of Scotland to prevent the demolition of the City of Adelaide. Led by the Queen’s representative and Governor of South Australia, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce (patron of the City of Adelaide Preservation Trust), other notable Australians who signed the letter include:

Demolition Tender

City of Adelaide in May 2009

The Scottish Maritime Museum called for tenders for the deconstruction of the City of Adelaide which closed on 23 November 2009. The Adelaide based non profit organisation Clipper Ship 'City of Adelaide' Ltd. submitted a tender,[34] but unlike other tenders, its proposal involved removing the ship as a whole.

In January 2010, the Scottish Maritime Museum received a revised proposal from the South Australian City of Adelaide Preservation Trust (Clipper Ship 'City of Adelaide' Ltd.) accepted as being technically feasible by the Museum. The Trust subsequently made a planning application to North Ayrshire Council to remove the vessel. While the Trust is yet to provide evidence they have the funds to complete the project, the South Australian proposal is the only detailed proposal for the preservation of the complete vessel to have been received by the Scottish Maritime Museum.[19]

Questions in the Scottish Parliament

In March 2010, in response to questions from Irene Oldfather MSP in the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Minister for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said the Scottish Government was working closely with a number of stakeholders to explore realistic options for securing the future of the City of Adelaide and that Historic Scotland had commenced an assessment of these options.

Fiona Hyslop said she had personally met with a delegation from the Clipper Ship 'City of Adelaide' Ltd. and had subsequently spoken to the South Australian Minister for Transport (Patrick Conlon).[35]

Government Reprieve and Historic Scotland Assessment

The Scottish Maritime Museum found itself in the Catch-22 position. Although the slipway had been leased to the Museum at £1 per year, failure to remove the vessel when required by the site owner could result in additional and punitive charges.[19] They were now being evicted from the slipway and the punitive charges were being applied. If they did not remove the ship from the slipway before a March 2010 deadline the debt would bankrupt them, but they also did not have sufficient funds to scientifically deconstruct the vessel.[36]

Scientific deconstruction is quite expensive and a simple demolition would be significantly cheaper. In order to switch to a demolition would require a new planning application. Such an application would take significantly more time than the March deadline allowed and was unlikely be approved. As a result the museum asked the Scottish Government to provide funds for the scientific deconstruction of the City of Adelaide.

The Scottish Government found itself in a complicated and politically sensitive position. If the Scottish Maritime Museum goes into administration its collection would likely be sold off to pay creditors. This means that the nation could lose this important collection of Scottish maritime history. In order to prevent this loss the Scottish Government can then either fund the deconstruction of the City of Adelaide or help fund the removal of the City of Adelaide.

In order to properly evaluate these options the Scottish Government gave assurances to the Scottish Maritime Museum that the government would cover the risks associated with passing the March 2010 deadline. With the assurances given, the Museum temporarily halted the deconstruction until May 2010 and the Scottish Government charged Historic Scotland with evaluating the options and making a recommendation. While it was initially reported by the Scottish Maritime Museum[19] that the reprieve was to allow the Australian campaigners time to raise funds (the reprieve came soon after a visit by the Australians), the Scottish Minister for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop clarified that the reprieve is for the Scottish Government and Historic Scotland to fully evaluate the following four options:[1]

  • Removal to Sunderland
  • Removal to Adelaide in South Australia
  • Retention in a different location in Scotland
  • Managed (archaeological) Deconstruction of the vessel

In April 2010, Fiona Hyslop announced that Historic Scotland has commissioned DTZ to undertake an Options Appraisal for the historic clipper. DTZ appointed Sir Neil Cossons, the former Director of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and a former Chair of English Heritage, to provide technical expertise for the project based on his extensive experience, particularly in the realm of maritime heritage.[37]

Recent activities

James McLauchlan author of 1874 diary, with wife Caroline and five of their nine children (c1889)

Diary presentation

In May 2010, Minister Fiona Hyslop (National Party) accepted from Irene Oldfather MSP (Labour Party) a copy of a diary by James Anderson McLauchlan.[38] James McLauchlan was a 21 year old Scot who migrated to South Australia on the City of Adelaide in 1874. The diary[13] begins with his departure from Dundee, Scotland, aboard the steamer SS Anglia before joining the City of Adelaide in Gravesend for the 80 day voyage to the colony of South Australia. Ms Oldfather's presentation was to highlight the importance of the City of Adelaide from the human perspective and the experiences "shared by thousands of other people who made the journey across the globe for a new life".

Duke of Edinburgh Radio Interview

In July 2010, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh gave a rare radio interview reflecting on the 40 year anniversary of the rescue of the SS Great Britain, and commented on the hideous trap that the City of Adelaide is in.[39]

Australian Bid Selection

Scottish Minister for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop announced on 28 August 2010 that the City of Adelaide would not be deconstructed, and that Adelaide has been identified as the preferred bidder. Extensive work will be undertaken to allow the ship to be moved and displayed in Adelaide during 2011, the 175th anniversary of the settlement of South Australia,[40] the first stage of which was completed in December 2010.[41] The group based at Sunderland congratulated the Australian group but stated that their campaign to keep the ship in the United Kingdom would continue.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Adelaide clipper gets new reprieve". AdelaideNow. 11 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Blow to bid to bring 1864 ship home to Sunderland". BBC News Online. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE.". South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839-1900) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia): p. 2. 8 November 1864. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "1864 Conception". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Devitt and Moore". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Capt. David Bruce". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Harrold Brothers". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "Henry Martin". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "Construction". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  10. ^ Seidel, Guido. "Last port: ULTIMO PUERTO DE AMARRE - AMBASSADOR" (in Spanish). HISTARMAR - Historia y Arqueologia Marítima. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  11. ^ "1/4 Million Descendants". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  12. ^ "Diary Transcripts". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  13. ^ a b c "Diary of James Anderson McLauchlan". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1874.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1954) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia): p. 5. 8 September 1874. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  15. ^ "VIII.—AGRICULTURAL.". The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858-1889) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia): p. 5. 10 September 1874. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  16. ^ Tim Ball, "Timber!", Beaver, April 987, Vol. 67#2 pp 45-56
  17. ^ "Welcome to the Adelaide Health Centre" (Press release). National Health Service. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  18. ^ a b c "Account of Maree Moore". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  19. ^ a b c d e "City of Adelaide". Scottish Maritime Museum. Retrieved 15 July 2010. [dead link]
  20. ^ "City of Adelaide". National Register of Historic Vessels. National Historic Ships. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  21. ^ "1992-2001 Scottish Maritime Museum". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  22. ^ "Demolition of clipper ship 'Carrick' - City of Adelaide". North Ayrshire Council. 26 February 2001. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  23. ^ "2001 Conference". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  24. ^ "Deconstruction of clipper ship 'Carrick - City of Adelaide'". North Ayrshire Council. 15 January 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  25. ^ "Representees list". North Ayrshire Council. 15 January 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  26. ^ "Recommendation and Conditions". North Ayrshire Council. 15 January 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  27. ^ "Call to rethink clipper's future". BBC Scotland. 21 May 2007. 
  28. ^ a b "British e-petition". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  29. ^ SCARF website
  30. ^ Clipper Ship 'City of Adelaide' Ltd
  31. ^ "Australian e-petition". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  32. ^ Museum of Australian Democracy
  33. ^ "Australian Open Letter plea to UK Prime Minister to not destroy City of Adelaide". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  34. ^ "Campaign to save City of Adelaide". City of Adelaide - the Splendid Clipper Ship. CSCOAL. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  35. ^ "Minister considers options for the SV Carrick" (Press release). Historic Scotland. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  36. ^ Gary Noakes (1 February 2010). "Disposing of Ship Could Bankrupt Scots Museum". Museums Journal (Museuams Association) (110/02): 5. 
  37. ^ "Historic Scotland appoints DTZ to undertake options appraisal for Carrick" (Press release). Historic Scotland. 28 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  38. ^ "Carrick diary reveals fascinating legacy". Irvine Herald. 21 May 2010. 
  39. ^ "Prince Philip reflects on revival of SS Great Britain". BBC News. 4 July 2010. 
  40. ^ Castello, Renato. "Famed clipper Adelaide finally coming home from Scotland". Adelaide Now. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  41. ^ McGowan, Eric (10 December 2010). "Carrick gets ship-shape for Oz voyage". Irvine Herald. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 

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