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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 February 2006, 12:26 GMT
No hope for clipper's homecoming
City of Adelaide
The vessel was built in Sunderland in 1864
Hopes that a ship built on the River Wear could return to the north-east of England after almost 140 years have finally been scuppered.

The City of Adelaide was built in 1864 by a Sunderland shipyard. It is the oldest surviving clipper in the world - the only other is the Cutty Sark.

It was hoped the vessel could return to Sunderland, from its current home in Scotland, as a floating museum.

But the Scottish Maritime Museum says the ship is now likely to be scrapped.

In 2002, Sunderland City Council commissioned a 25,000 study to see if the 176-ft long former passenger and cargo sailing ship could be brought back to its Wearside home.

Heritage groups

Sunderland Maritime Heritage Group hoped the vessel would become a popular attraction in the city.

But it now appears the vessel is beyond saving and is set to be broken up, although the Scottish Maritime Museum has hinted that sections of the vessel could be available to heritage groups.

The City of Adelaide, later renamed The Carrick, made 23 voyages to South Australia transporting families from Britain and Ireland to the colony.

After serving as a passenger ship, cargo vessel and Royal Navy training clipper, she was eventually sold to the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on the River Clyde in Scotland.

Sunderland-based historian Stuart Miller said: "The vessel was quite spectacular when she was launched all those years ago.

"It would be a great shame if the ship was lost."

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