Monday, 7 May 2012

200words: cutty sark

“Your cords hang loose; they cannot hold the mast firm in its place or keep the sail spread out. Then prey and spoil in abundance will be divided; even the lame will take the prey.” Isaiah 33v23

The new Cutty Sark has been received grumpily, and it is a sitting duck for dull derision, fish in a barrel for such criticism. Journalistic maritime melancholy abounds in this formerly nautical nation and it will not be the first time the anxious press have vented their English identity crisis unduly at white elephants and beached whales in the Greenwich vicinity. And so with only half hearted trepidation I travelled the happy clickity clack of the DLR to find this “Concorde-of-its-day”. True, it is ignobly static, stolidly glooped like a brass signet ring into a waxy bubble of faceted would-be curves, entangled in its own net of over-engineered panels. A crushing defeat for the former cutting edge clipper, like an insect, belly up on fly paper. But look at the bold brass batoning and gang planking! Quiver that muscular hull! I'm on Red Rackham's Unicorn, I'm on the Dawn Treader, I am danger, I am abroad, I have salt wind tearing through my hair, I am a child and London is my playground in the Cutty Sark of my mind's eye. However, if you are an adult and you actually want to go inside, that will be £12.

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