Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Petition to save the clipper ship City of Adelaide.

I have previously written about the clipper City of Adelaide whose hulk lies on a slipway in Irvine on the Clyde coast. There is a real threat that she will now be broken up.

Adrian Brown of Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Preservation Trust has created a petion to 10 Downing Street for UK residents or UK expats living in South Australia.

'We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to acquire the world heritage clipper ship ‘City of Adelaide’ and offer her as a cultural gift to the people of South Australia for their 175th birthday in 2011, or to the Royal Australian Navy for its 100th Birthday also in 2011.'

He provides further details of her current situation.

The Scottish Maritime Museum (SMM), which owns the ‘City of Adelaide’, has been served notice to vacate the site where the clipper is located. The SMM cannot afford to move her and have applied to demolish her with money from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Preserving the clipper by gifting her to the people of South Australia would be a far nobler outcome than the international community witnessing HLF funds being used to destroy this important piece of British and Australian history. Historic Scotland describes the ‘City of Adelaide’ as a vessel of high cultural significance at international level. Eminent History Professors have described her “as the only surviving sailing ship built to give regular passenger and cargo service between Europe and Australia, she represents a whole foundation era of Australian social and economic history. It is difficult to imagine a more vital icon of the making of modern Australia and of the relationship between Britain and the Australian colonies.”

The petion can be accessed here.

Read more about Australians' view of the City of Adelaide here.


  1. Do the people of Australia want it? And have they said they would pay to move it/restore it?

  2. Hello Peter, yes they do want it, it is of enormous cultural and historical importance. 250,000 South Australians (1/5 of the current population) are descended from people who emigrated on the City of Adelaide. She is like the midwife to the birth of a nation!

    Australians are currently fundraising to bring her back to Adelaide but developers in Irvine, Scotland have bought the old slipway on which she stands and surrounding lands for housing.

    The maritime museum that owns her cannot afford to move her elsewhere, so there is a real threat she will be broken up before the Australians can raise enough money to move her home.

  3. Thanks for the update.

    I hope it all works out well. Once the hulk is scrapped, it is gone forever. Not many ships from the past around any more.