- “This is a very old ship called the Cutty Sark. It used to bring tea all the way from China.”
- ―Thomas' driver, A Visit to London for Thomas the Tank Engine
The Cutty Sark is a big sailing ship which used to bring tea all the way from China.
Thomas and Annie once saw the Cutty Sark on their way to the Queen's birthday. Thomas mistook the old ship for a regular boat, but his driver assured him that it was no simple boat and explained the Cutty Sark's history.
The Cutty Sark is a real ship which was used in the tea trade between Britain and China, known as "tea clippers". Due to the rise of steamships and the opening of the Suez Canal, she soon became outdated in the role and was eventually changed to the Australian wool trade. Steamships eventually took this traffic, and in 1895 she was sold to a Portuguese company and renamed Ferreira. By 1922 she was the last clipper operating anywhere in the world and was renamed again to Maria do Amparo. Later in the year, she was sold back to British ownership and restored to original condition. She was sold again in 1936 to the Thames Nautical Training College for use as a training ship. In 1954, she was moved to a specially constructed dry-dock in Greenwich, London, where she is now preserved.
The Cutty Sark is painted dark blue with gold lining and decals and a brown hull. Her masts are white and she has a white figurehead on her prow.