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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 08:52 GMT
Firm helps to restore Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark on fire
Fire hit in May but much of the ship had been removed for treatment
A company from East Sussex has been chosen to help renovate the 138-year-old fire-damaged Cutty Sark.

Sussex Blast Cleaning, from Hailsham, will cleanse, repair and re-paint the wrought ironwork of the tea clipper.

The vessel was damaged by fire in its dry dock in Greenwich, south-east London, in May, and renovation work will take about a year to complete.

Martin Griffin, managing director, said he was pleased to be involved in such a historic project.

25m restoration

"The contract involves blast cleaning the metalwork back to its raw state and then applying layers of coating to specifications which will preserve the ship for years beyond our lifetime," he said.

The 19th Century vessel was undergoing a 25m restoration when fire broke out.

Half the planking and the masts had already been taken away as part of the project.

The Cutty Sark left London on her maiden voyage on 16 February 1870, sailing around The Cape of Good Hope to Shanghai in three-and-a-half months.

She made eight journeys to China as part of the tea trade, until steam ships replaced sail on the high seas.

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