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History of the tea clipper

News

1869 Cutty Sark was built as a cargo ship bringing exotic Chinese tea to England. Fresh tea was prized, and the first delivery each year commanded the highest market prices. As a result tea clippers were built for speed and raced home.

1877 She carried her last cargo of tea in and became a general cargo vessel before distinguishing herself on the Australian wool run.

1895 Cutty Sark was sold to Portuguese owners and was used for trading between Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans.

1922 The ship was bought and returned to Britain as a museum ship.

1938 She was donated to a nautical training college on the Thames.

1951 She was exhibited as part of the Festival of Britain.

1954 Ownership was transferred to the Cutty Sark Preservation Society and she was floated into her present dry dock home in Greenwich.

1957 Restored and opened to the public.

2006: Restoration starts

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