21 May 2007 – Cutty Sark virtually destroyed by fire! In the early hours of the morning of 21 May, the majestic Clipper Ship was engulfed by fire in her dry dock home in Greenwich, London. Until then, she was the world’s last intact clipper sailing ship, preserved in the 1920s and in the process of undergoing substantial restoration work. She was built in 1869, intended for the tea trade but made redundant by the completion of the Suez Canal, which made steam ships more economic on this route. Instead she earned her living, and incredible reputation for speed and beauty, in the wool trade from Australia – where the huge distances involved made sail the only practical option.