Mudcat Café message #2777153 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #125385   Message #2777153
Posted By: Ross Campbell
30-Nov-09 - 07:42 PM
Thread Name: Save historic ship The City Of Adelaide
Subject: RE: Save historic ship The City Of Adelaide
Visiting Sydney a couple of years ago, I met one of the people who had been involved in the restoration of the "James Craig", for some years now a feature on the Darling Harbour waterfront and out sailing the waters of Sydney Harbour and beyond.

Round about the time the "Great Britain" was being recovered from its South Atlantic resting place to Bristol, and appeals for financing were generating great interest in the UK, a group of maritime enthusiasts in Sydney heard a talk on the "James Craig", then a hulk beached in Recherche Bay, Tasmania, from a visiting American marine archaeologist. He indicated very firmly that if there was no local interest in recovering and restoring the vessel, there were several museums on the American Pacific coast with the interest and the deep pockets necessary for such a project. This galvanized the Sydney group into action, the hulk was re-floated in 1972 and brought back to Sydney in 1981.

The organization were given a licence to run raffles to fund the project. (The same method was used to fund the cost over-runs on Sydney Opera House). Serious prizes generated serious interest, and the location of the restoration site in Black-Wattle Bay ensured a high visibility throughout the long project. The road that passes by the dock was renamed "James Craig Drive" in the ship's honour.

With full sailing capability since 2001, the ship has joined the Sydney Heritage Fleet and is a prominent feature on the harbour on high days and holidays, occasional winner of the Tall Ships Race in Sydney Harbour's Australia Day celebrations. Their regular shanty-man is John Warner, who with other members of the Roaring Forties hosts a monthly gathering of sea-song and shanty enthusiasts aboard the vessel just next to Sydney's National Maritime Museum on Darling Harbour, Pyrmont.

It can be done!