Cutty Sark and her history of tea and near disasters

The name, the Cutty Sark, immediately conjures up images of majestic sailing ships braving the seven seas without any of today’s modern navigational aids to bring tea back from China for the aristocracy of the country. The Cutty Sark history goes back a long way, to 1869 in fact, when it was first built to be part of Jock Willis’ shipping line and became the most famous, and fastest, tea clipper to ever sail.

In the same year that the Cutty Sark was built, the Suez Canal opened, thus making the journey to China a lot quicker. As this was also the time when sailing ships were soon to give way to steam, the Cutty Sark only carried tea for a few years before bowing out to the steam ships that were crossing back and forwards from the UK to China at record speeds.

The ship then joined the wool trade and was used to bring wool back from Australia, until she was retired as a trade vessel in 1995 when purchased by a Portuguese company in 1895 who renamed her Ferriera. She was, in 1916, de-masted off the Cape of Good Hope, re-masted in Cape Town and then sold on again, this time under the name of Maria Do Amporo.

She was bought by Cpt Wilfred Dowman in 1922 who gave her back her original name and brought her to the UK to use as a training ship. She served out this role during World War II and was moored on the Thames in 1951 for the Festival of Britain. After being bought yet again, she became a permanent resident at Greenwich in 1954, and was officially opened as a tourist attraction by the Queen in 1957 after a major makeover.

This grand old ship that had survived goodness knows what over the years was almost eradicated for good in May of 2007, when a fire broke out during her refurbishment. While the fire was devastating, much of the vital timbers were removed due to work going on, and a year later, in 2008, the Cutty Sark reopened for business. Fast forward to April 2012, when this lady of the sea was officially relaunched, as a testament of the years of British Maritime history.

There have been, of course, dozens of souvenirs released to commemorate this event, but in keeping with its history and past trading partners, Twinings have come up trumps. Their Cutty Sark Twinings tea caddies are not only functional but are extremely attractive and collectable. In Black and Green, each with a stunning image of the ship itself, these tea caddies are set to sell out very quickly.

You can  buy Cutty Sark tea in its  unique containers by going to the Twinings website where you can see them in all their glory, along with all the other fabulous products. It is a match made in heaven as you think tea, you think Cutty Sark and Twinings, so you get the best of both worlds in just a few clicks of a mouse.

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