Friday, September 16, 2016

Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark is a British Tea clipper ship now permanently housed at Greenwich, (London) England.  She was 'laid down' on the River Clyde (Glasgow) in February 1869 and was launched in November of that year.  She was obsolete almost immediately by the advent of steam powered ships.

Just like today, speed is everything when goods are to be shipped and Cutty Sark was a very fast ship.  Her name comes from that of witch Nannie Dee in Robert Burns poem 'Tam O'Shanter'.  Sark is an old Scots word for a linen under garment and Cutty simply means that it is too short.  The bow of Cutty Sark features a figurehead of a Nannie Dee clutching a piece of horse hair.  In the poem, the sight of Nannie Dee dancing in her short under garment prompted Tam to shout 'Well Done Cutty Sark!'

In this photo, Nannie Dee is getting a fresh coat of paint on a warm English afternoon.

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