1948-1992 Post WWII
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Post WWII History
John Keeman, Glasgow, Scotland.
After World War II, the City of Adelaide was moved to Greenock and commissioned as a Navy Drill Ship. Eventually the Admiralty presented her to the R.N.V.R. Club of Scotland, who used her as a meeting room/club rooms for some time.
By the mid-1980's the Club realised that they could not afford to maintain their floating clubrooms. They commenced seeking ways of securing her future and passing on ownership, and contacted various bodies with potential interest including the, then, recently established Scottish Maritime Museum.
In 1989 there proved to be some need for haste, when the ship was flooded. The Club, in some desperation, took the option on their insurance of having the vessel declared a total loss. To facilitate the preservation of the ship itself, Glasgow District Council applied for Listed Building status. Historic Scotland agreed to take the unusual step of listing a historic vessel as Category A – normally only applied to historic buildings. Listing was viewed as a boost to the preservation project.
By 1990 a new body, the Clyde Ship Trust, had been formed and, in March of that year, had purchased the vessel. The Scottish Maritime Museum was not party to this new body. Under the control of the new Trust the vessel was dismasted and prepared for removal and in August, 1990, was successfully towed downstream to Princes Dock.
Early in 1991, for reasons that have not been clearly identified, the vessel sank at her moorings. The Clyde Ship Trust was placed in a position of embarrassment, for, being already in debt, they were unable to put forward the funds required for a major salvage operation. It became necessary for other organisations to step in to attempt to prevent the total loss of the ship.
In 1992, she was identified as part of the UK National Historic Ships Core Collection. At that time, she was the only 19th century sailing ship that was still capable of floating.
In January 1992, with the positive encouragement of Historic Scotland, the City of Adelaide was acquired by the Scottish Maritime Museum, after the Clyde Ship Trust was dissolved. A rescue package was put together with the financial assistance of a number of bodies. The vessel was raised in March of that same year and in May was successfully towed to Irvine Harbour.