HRH The Duke of Gloucester visited the Cutty Sark in Greenwich this week to view the ship’s restoration work in anticipation of the official opening later this Spring.
The Duke attended in a small group with Construction Youth Trust, of which the Duke, himself an architect, has been Patron since 1987. The visit was arranged courtesy of Byrne Group, a key supporter of the Trust, whose subsidiary Ellmer Construction has been restoring the wooden planks to the hull of the historic 19th century tea clipper.
Built in 1869, Cutty Sark served as a merchant vessel then as a training ship. She is one of only three clipper ships of original composite construction (wooden hull on an iron frame) from the nineteenth century.
Badly damaged by fire in May 2007 while undergoing conservation, the vessel is being restored by The Cutty Sark Trust and will be reopened in the Spring of 2012.
During the site visit, HRH met with young beneficiaries of the Trust who were also treated to the tour, including Chloe Agg who won the engineering award at The Duke of Gloucester’s Young Achievers Scheme in November 2011. As part of her prize, Chloe is being mentored throughout 2012 by Ben White a Senior Engineer at Byrne Group.
Site visits are one of the many ways in which the Trust introduces young people to the world of construction and to employers in the industry. The Trust also runs free OCN accredited construction skills training courses and employer engagement programmes to help young, unemployed people aged 16-30 to gain employment in construction.
Abdul Momen, 17, who took part in Budding Brunels said:
“It’s been brilliant to see the Cutty Sark today I had no idea how much work had gone into the restoration. It’s nice to meet the people who have worked on it and to find out what’s involved - I’d love to work on a project like this!”