Our Series Producer, Marianne Kushmaniuk, and Executive Producer, Robert Lang, recently went to London England to explore stories we’ll pursue for our episode at the Royal Museums Greenwich for Season 3.
They met with the curators of the UK’s leading maritime museum and then sought out the best of its historic treasures and their stories for our upcoming episode.
The highlight of the scout was getting aboard the Cutty Sark, the last surviving Tea Clipper, which was the greatest and fastest of its time, in order to follow in the footsteps of the merchant seamen who sailed it over a century ago.
It was mind-blowing to imagine what life would have been like for them aboard the ship, as it made its way around the world. It’s remarkable that now people can check out the ship and recall how people lived on it for months on end.
The museum offers its guests several great view points of various parts of the ship. Visitors can easily walk into the living quarters where the captain and crew used to stay. They can also eat in the cafeteria, under the ship!
The museum houses other artifacts that are also connected to maritime history, including this last letter written by arctic explorer, John Franklin.
There is a large collection of 60 figureheads, which were first donated to the Cutty Sark Preservation Society in 1953 by a London business man named Sydney Cumbers.
Figureheads, as seen in the collection, were carved in wood, and placed on the ship prow. They served to identify a ship and represent the vessel’s spirit, while providing protection to the crew. They’re some of the finest examples of unique maritime art today.
Among the popular characters made into figureheads from history, legend and literature, are Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Fry, William Wilberforce, Disraeli, Hiawatha and Sir Lancelot.
Stay tuned for more news about our upcoming shoot at the Royal Museums Greenwich in the fall!
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