Cutty Sark – Portuguese connections

The news on Sky two days ago gave a lot of coverage to the official opening of the restored Cutty Sark by the Queen. After a £50m restoration lasting six years (interrupted by the famous fire), the clipper opened again to the public on 26 April. This made me think that it must surely have visited Funchal at some point, but no end of “Googling” would turn up anything positive (complicated by lots of references to the Tall Ships race visiting Funchal and of course a whisky by the same name). However, interestingly, it clearly has had strong Portuguese connections in the past:

Wikipedia explains:

The ” Cutty Sark was destined for the tea trade, then an intensely competitive race across the globe from China to London, with a substantial bonus to the ship which arrived with the first tea of the year. Her first round trip voyage under captain George Moodie began 16 February 1870 from London with a cargo of wine, spirits and beer bound for Shanghai. The return journey with 1450 tons of tea from Shanghai began 25 June, arriving 13 October in London via the Cape of Good Hope. The ship completed eight round trip annual journeys, but the Suez Canal had opened to shipping in 1869 just as Cutty Sark was being launched. In the end, of course, clippers lost out to steamships, which could use the shorter route through the Canal and deliver goods more reliably, if not quite so quickly, which proved to be better business.


Eventually steamships began to dominate the wool trade too and it ceased to be profitable for a sailing ship. In 1895 Jock Willis sold Cutty Sark to the Portuguese firm Ferreira for £2,100 and she was renamed Ferreira after the firm. Her crews referred to her as Pequena Camisola ("little shirt", a straight translation of the Scots "cutty sark").

The ship traded various cargoes between Portugal, Rio, New Orleans, Mozambique, Angola, and Britain. In May 1916 she was dismasted off the Cape of Good Hope because of the rolling of the ship in bad weather and had to be towed into Table Bay off Cape Town. The war meant that it was impossible to obtain suitable materials to replace the masts so she was re-rigged over 18 months to a barquentine sail arrangement.

In 1922 Ferreira was the last clipper operating anywhere in the world. Caught in a storm in the English channel she put into Falmouth harbour where she was spotted by retired windjammer captain Wilfred Dowman, of Trevissome House, Flushing, Cornwall, who was then operating the training ship Lady of Avenel. The ship returned to Lisbon, where she was sold to new owners and renamed Maria do Amparo. However, Dowman persevered in his determination to buy the ship, which he did for £3,750 and she was returned to Falmouth harbour.

9 thoughts on “Cutty Sark – Portuguese connections”

  1. has anyone taken a box of flowers back to UK on easyjet? is it part of your 20kg hold luggage or counted as a 2nd item -therefore charged,or does it go free -no charge

  2. Fee for luggage is for one bag up to 20kg in weight. If you take a box of flowers as hold luggage (as well as your bag that you are checking in as hold luggage,) then the box counts as a second piece of luggage and they will charge you for a second bag. People can frequently be seen taking flowers out of boxes at the airport in check-in. Easyjet don’t seem to mind a bunch of flowers being taken in your hand but then you risk squashing them. We did once get a flower box from a shop and cut it down so it fitted the hand- luggage -size measuring gauge they have at check-in, but again it would have to be one passenger’s hand-luggage as you can only have one piece each. I have also carried a flower box inside my suitcase.This works fine if you make holes in the bottom of the box and tie the stems of the flowers down so the flowers don’t move around in the box.

  3. Shame, as all the other Airlines accept the flower boxes for free….it’s not as if the flowers weigh much! Used to be part of the tradition of returning home with a flower or two from Madeira …… cheers EasyJet.

  4. It is a shame, but if everybody took a flower box plus a piece of maximum size canon luggage there would not be enough locker space. We avoid luggage charges by using a large carry on case.
    Any packages from the duty free area can be taken on as additional luggage, perhaps somebody should start selling flowers in the duty free area!

  5. If anyone interested who looking for a phone. Look at RTX DUALphone 3088 for Skype (No PC Required). You may find it useful. They is reviews on how the phone works on the net and how to set the phone up.

  6. Used a DUALphone for years – warmly recommended. Connects by cable to your private local network. Works, in principle, like an ordinary telephone that believes is is located wherever you choose to place your Skype In subscription – you may decide you want (for example) a Birmingham local number: that means anyone calling you from over there just makes a “local call”.

  7. Sven The only other type of phone that come on the market is, Binatone iHome Phone
    works on Android operating system. Only uk phone sadly for land line.

  8. Any more news on the police raids on government offices?

    Has The president been arrested ?

    2 billion being searched for.

    Diaro said staff were even prevented from going to the “bathroom” whilst searches were no

  9. I don’t often post things on here, but as a few peeps asked about the latest news on the missing billions, there is an article that a chap has published on a local Madeira Politics blogspot that some might find interesting: Copied from the blogspot:

    Transparency, Debt and limit of Mandates
    The Public Prosecutor’s Office has denied it has found any new hole in the Madeira accounts, but does this invalidate the readings that the debt may now be over 8 billion? No, or rather, we simply don’t know. It seems to be a simple game of semantics.

    And why don’t we know? Because there is no democratic system of check and control. The Parliament, does not function. The Government never goes there and on the rare occasions it does so, goes there on its own terms: it does not provide the requested information and allows no debate. It simply appears to make speeches. Last summer, for instance, the Secretary of Finances went to the Parliament to say the regional debt amounted to little over 1 billion; weeks later it had to admit that is was over 6 billion.

    There is absolutely no transparency in the Madeira accounts and none of the State entities, Parliament, Justice System, Public Prosecutor’s Office, function in way resembling those of a Democracy.

    Why, is the President of the Government of the Autonomous Region of Madeira the ONLY elected post without a limit of mandates? Simply because the whole Democratic system has been screwed and manipulated to perpetuate the power and the abuse of power of one man – a man who cannot be held accountable to Parliament – or any other institution, for that matter – and who now spends his Sunday mornings preaching his theories to churchgoers in the churchyard after Sunday mass.

    Many journalists and politicans absurdly refer to him as Europe’s longest serving elected leader. There can be no comparison since no elected leader in Europe can serve for more than two or three terms in office … and this rule is made precisely to prevent corruption and chronyism and so that noone can stay in power long enough to manipulate the whole system in his favour – to perpetuate himself in power (with abundant election violations from which he is imune from prosecution!).
    Publicada por Eduardo Welsh em 06:24


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