The long neglected clipper ship City of Adelaide prepares to travel to Australia


Preparations are being made to take the oldest surviving clipper ship in the world, the City of Adelaide, to Australia, following a decision by the Scottish Government.

The Australian’s interest in the City of Adelaide is her historically important role in carrying emigrants to a new life in the country in a series of 29 regular voyages.

There have been competing attempts to keep her in the UK, including one from from Sunderland, where she was built. However, the Australian bid was identified as the winner.

The piece of steel in the photo may not look like much – but it’s part of a 100-ton A$1M cradle being assembled close to the City of Adelaide herself – she’s currently on a slipway at Irvine in Scotland, where she has stood for many years, slowly rusting away.

The cradle is to be used to transport the famous old ship to Adelaide, where it will be placed on land provided by the Australian Government. Once assembled and following technical load lifting certification, the cradle will be re-assembled under the ship in preparation for lifting and weighing – the final weight will determine which ship is to be booked to take the City of Adelaide on her last long voyage.

The task is being undertaken by two closely-connected Australian bodies working together: the Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Ltd (CSCOAL), a volunteer-run company set up to manage the ship’s transportation to Adelaide, South Australia; and the fund-raising City of Adelaide Preservation Trust. A CSCOAL team of qualified volunteers is on-site managing the project.

A brochure describing the project is available here, and there’s an interesting Wikipedia page here.