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May 22, 2007

Can she be saved?

What goes through the minds of the morons who see something of priceless value and decide to destroy it? Vandal is the word that we apply to those who perpetrate such acts, but it may well be a misnomer, since we use it for a range of far less devastating actions by this small and virulent running sore of a minority that infest our inner cities. These are the same yobs that bring our nation into disgrace when they go abraod as fottball supporters, or visit themselves upon the Spanish resorts. These are the same mindless sprayers of graffiti who deface our buildings, our monuments and litter our streets with their vomit when they can no longer hold their liquor or the latest designer drug.

The magnificent Cutty Sark in her dock before the fire yesterday.

The one saving grace is that she was undergoing a complete restoration and had been stripped to a bare hull. Her masts and her deckhouses are currently at Chatham dockyard being stored or conserved so they are unaffected. Sadly however her original timbers on her decks and and the upper part of her hull are badly charred. While some of these can certainly be salvaged, it will be at a cost of loss of thickness and mass. More serious is the fact that this ship's uniqueness is in part down to her having been built in a "composite" form, that is, wrought irn frames covered by oak planking. It is those frames that have suffered most through the fire. If they can be straightened, then she can be saved and restored. If not, someone is going to have to be creative.

She had a budget of £25 million for the restoration. It now seems likely that she will need a further £10 million at least to correct the damage she has suffered through the fire. Perhaps we should ask the government to divert some of the money they waste each year keeping the most disruptive elements of our society spraying graffiti and swilling beer and drugs, to divert the money the yobs who do this sort of thing would have had, to the rebuilding project.

Nice thought, but most unlikely!

Will we see anyone prosecuted? Possibly, but don't hold your breath, if the perpetrators are caught, which is unlikely, they probably won't be prosecuted because they come from a "deprived" culture or background. Or, if they are, they will be given a light sentence (probably suspended) for the same reason.

Posted by The Gray Monk at May 22, 2007 12:26 PM

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