Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Sunday, 3 January 2010

Ship protester hails breakthrough

Peter Maddison protesting on the ship
Peter Maddison staged an occupation on board the City of Adelaide

A campaigner trying to save one of the world's oldest passenger clipper ships claims he has had a breakthrough.

Peter Maddison, who hit the headlines last year when he staged an occupation on board the City of Adelaide, said an engineering firm was willing to help.

It plans to take the ship from Irvine, Ayrshire, to Sunderland, in the north east of England, where it was built.

Mr Maddison wants to stop the Scottish Maritime Museum scientifically deconstructing the 145-year old vessel.

He said: "Our company secretary and lawyer is right now attempting to get permission from Scottish Maritime and Ayrshire Metals to get a site visit on January 4 or 5.

We've got the city of Sunderland behind us. I've got two hotels in Irvine ready to take 30 volunteers from Sunderland
Peter Maddison
Campaigner

"Clearly, if we are to recover the ship, we must have access to the site to allow our naval architect and engineers to plan the recovery.

"I wish it could be straightforward, but it won't be. Every inch of the way we have to contend with awkwardness and obstruction."

The vessel took people and wool between Australia and Britain on 28 round trips.

'No viable option'

Mr Maddison, a Sunderland councillor, faces rival bids from Australia, where the vessel - later known as Carrick - is seen as an integral part of the country's history.

But he said: "We've got the city of Sunderland behind us. I've got two hotels in Irvine ready to take 30 volunteers from Sunderland.

"The volunteers are highly skilled and highly motivated former shipyard workers ready to graft again and prepare the Adelaide for her return journey.

"Half the bars and clubs in Sunderland are on stand-by ready to hold fundraising events to support our volunteers in Irvine."

Following recent discussions, Historic Scotland said: "Sadly, and despite the recent widespread publicity about her future, no viable option for her restoration has yet been presented."

Deconstruction is "the most appropriate conclusion", a spokeswoman added.



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SEE ALSO
Lack of water ends ship protest
16 Oct 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Councillor occupies historic ship
12 Oct 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
New 1.5m clipper bid is launched
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Call to rethink clipper's future
21 May 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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