City of Adelaide arrives at Chatham - 25 September 2013

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'City of Adelaide' arrives at Chatham - Bound For South Australia - 25 September 2013

The clipper City of Adelaide - the only surviving purpose-built sailing ship to bring migrants from Europe to Australia - arrived in Chatham Docks, England, on Wednesday 25th September a day ahead of its scheduled arrival. She was towed into port on a barge towed by the tug Dutch Pioneer.

The pilot boarded the Dutch Pioneer at 10:45. With the assistance of a second tug, the clipper was guided into Chatham Docks at 16:50, first mooring rope went ashore at 16:55, and she was berthed by 17:10. The whole operation was very smooth and seemingly effortless.

The clipper will now be prepared at Chatham Docks before being taken to her original homeport of London.  A celebration and formal farewell at historic Greenwich on the River Thames will be held in October. This will include a ceremony on 18 October with HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

'City of Adelaide' arriving at Chatham Docks on 25 September 2013. Photo ©Simon Burchett.
'City of Adelaide' arriving at Chatham Docks on 25 September 2013. Photo ©Simon Burchett.




Images in the gallery immediately above may be used for non-commercial purposes for the positive portrayal of the CSCOAL project to rescue the 'City of Adelaide', with attribution to Peter Roberts. Professional media may obtain high resolution images on request to Rann Communication.




The clipper City of Adelaide was renamed HMS Carrick when purchased by the Royal Navy in 1923. This was to avoid confusion with the new cruiser HMAS Adelaide that had recently been commissioned in the Royal Australian Navy. In 2001, the clipper's name reverted to City of Adelaide after a Conference convened by HRH Duke of Edinburgh to discuss the future of the historic ship. A formal renaming ceremony is being planned.

The City of Adelaide clipper weighs over 450 tonnes. In her sailing days she would have weighed 1500 tonnes. In its current state (hull only), the clipper is 54 metres long, which is longer than an Olympic swimming pool (50 metres). Originally - with jib-boom - she was 74 metres – 4 metres longer than a 747 aircraft.

The City of Adelaide was built in 1864, five years before the Cutty Sark. She is one of only four surviving sailing ships to have taken emigrants from the British Isles to any destination in the world, and the last survivor of the timber trade between North America and the United Kingdom. She is the world’s fifth oldest surviving merchant ship, and was designed and built specifically to serve the colony of South Australia.

The City of Adelaide is famous for being specially designed as a passenger ship. Over a quarter of a century the City of Adelaide carried thousands of English, Scottish, Cornish, German, Danish, Irish and other migrants to South Australia. Today, the descendants of her passengers can be found throughout Australia.

Greenwich has played a key role in the story of Britain's sea power for over 400 years and today its many museums celebrate its maritime history. Greenwich, at the world’s Prime Meridian, is on the portion of the Thames from where the City of Adelaide departed for each of its 23 annual voyages from London to South Australia. These attributes, combined with close links to England 's Tudor and Stuart sovereigns, give Greenwich an unrivalled symbolic presence.

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