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Australians bid to prevent HMS Adelaide from going under

January 20 2010

Australians bid to prevent HMS Adelaide from going under
An Australian delegation is to meet Scottish Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop in an attempt to secure the future of HMS Adelaide as a museum in its Aussie namesake.

Originally known as The City of Adelaide the ship is famous down under for ferrying 19th century emigrants to the New World but today she languishes as a forgotten hulk in Irvine, facing an ever present threat of demolition. 

Directors of the firm Clipper Ship City of Adelaide have traveled to the UK for a two week round of negotiations in an attempt to break a funding deadlock over the clipper, the last remaining sailing ship to have brought emigrants to Australia.

The state of South Australia, where a quarter of the population is believed to be descended from Adelaide emigrants, is celebrating its 175th birthday next year.

Government officials are keen to purchase the vessel in recognition of its cultural significance and for its technological prowess. Built in Sunderland in 1864 it is one of only two surviving composite hull clipper ships, the other being the Cutty Sark.

It is estimated restoration would cost around £10m whilst transporting the remains safely to the southern hemisphere would cost a further £1.1m.

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