Cutty Sark: National Treasure (2012)
pecial programme telling the dramatic story of Cutty Sark, the world famous clipper ship, from her launch in 1869 to the modern-day conservation work to save her. With unique access to the ship during the conservation project, the film features exclusive interviews with the key people responsible for bringing this national treasure back to life, including HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, whose affinity with the ship spans more than half a century. Work began to conserve Cutty Sark in 2006, with a vision that was both audacious and controversial: to lift the ship three metres into the air and surround her in a sea of glass and steel. Just months into the project, in the early hours of the morning, fire broke out and one of the most historically significant ships in the world went up in smoke - or so it seemed. With the damage less serious than first thought, Cutty Sark was not lost. The whole episode was simply another example of the world's last remaining tea clipper surviving against all odds. Over the years, the conservation team has gone to great lengths to preserve the ship's authenticity. We meet the men and women using pioneering techniques and traditional skills to save this rich slice of British history. In May 2011, the ship faced the most crucial, and potentially catastrophic, stage of her rebirth. In an enormous feat of engineering, she was lifted three metres off the ground and edged into her final resting position, looking out over London's River Thames. Cutty Sark's conservation continues, and is due to be completed in spring 2012 when this legendary ship will be open to the public again - ready to inspire a new generation.