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Last Updated: Friday, 22 June 2007, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
New 1.5m clipper bid is launched
City of Adelaide
Money needs to be raised to return the clipper to Sunderland
A last-ditch appeal to bring one of the world's oldest clippers back to its birthplace has begun.

The City of Adelaide, built in Sunderland in 1864, is five years older than the Cutty Sark, which was severely damaged in a blaze earlier this year.

The vessel is on a slipway in Irvine, Ayrshire, under the ownership of the Scottish Maritime Museum.

But the Sunderland City of Adelaide Recovery Fund is hoping to raise 1.5m to return the ship to the River Wear.

The fund-raising bid was launched on Friday after it emerged that the lease allowing the ship to be berthed in Scotland had expired and it must be moved or taken apart.

In February this year Scottish Maritime Museum, which cannot afford to restore the ship, was given consent to break it down.

Group chairman Peter Maddison, of the recovery fund, said: "The main objective now is to get it back to Sunderland but time is a factor.

Isolation hospital

"People have been talking about this for seven years, but the time for talking is now over and action needs to be taken.

"Clipper ships are works of art, dramatic symbols and the greyhounds of the sea."

The ship voyaged annually from London to Adelaide and back for 23 years with passengers and a cargo of wool.

Her sailing days ended in 1893 and she was purchased by Southampton Corporation for use as a sanatorium and floating isolation hospital following a cholera.

She has been in Irvine since May 1992.

Jim Tildesley, adviser to the trustees of the Scottish Maritime Museum, said: "The trustees of the museum have always said that any scheme that could rescue the vessel is worth running with."

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08 Aug 01 |  Scotland

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