In case you haven’t heard, the Cutty Sark is no more. The New York Times is treating the emotional impact of the loss of the clipper ship as something of a curiosity, which I suppose is understandable for a paper with a readership that likely has little to no connection with the Cutty Sark. But in Britain – and for many of us around the world – the Cutty Sark was something important, tied up in history and shared memories.

My own connection with the Cutty Sark comes from a simple photograph. Taken by my father in the mid-60s, it was framed and hung in every house we ever lived in as a family. The towns and furniture changed a dozen or more times, but the picture was a constant. Seeing the Cutty Sark in person on my first trip to Greenwich (20-something years ago, now that I think about it) was as exciting as anything else I’d ever seen.

And now it’s gone.

Cutty Sark

Image from Graham Binns.