The composite clipper Torrens, 1875-1910

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1830 – Present Day The composite clipper Torrens, 1875-1910

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #2405
    Michael Leek
    Participant

    I understand that a councillor from Sunderland had plans to build a full-size working replica of the composite ship Torrens. This was sometime in the 1980s, I believe.
    I’ve been led to believe that the councillor had copies of the original builder’s plans (rather than those by the late Harold A Underhill), and I would very much like to obtain copies. Unfortunately the councilor had a stroke or similiar incapacity and I believe the project was then shelved.
    If anyone has any further details of this proposal or indeed anything else on the Torrens, I would be grateful if they could make contact.
    Michael Leek

    #2406
    Frank Scott
    Participant

    I suspect that this would have been about the time of the 1993 Tall Ships’ gathering at Newcastle (prior to one of the races). It was very successful with lots of visitors, so lots of enthusiasm from local Councillors. In its aftermath Newcastle certainly mooted a wildly impractical plan for their own tall ship, and as a local rival no doubt Sunderland did the same.

    Torrens could not in any case have served as a sensible model for a vessel meeting modern regulations, and if the project had been pursued the result would have been so modified as to bear no resemblance to the original vessel. A politician’s idea of what comprised ‘full plans’ is also likely to fall well short of that expected by anyone with a serious knowledge of the subject.

    Very good models of the Torrens do exist – one as I recall at the London HQ of the Hon Co of Master Mariners.
    Frank Scott

    #2407
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Joseph Conrad was asked by Lawrence Holt to produce a specification for a sailing ship for training Holt cadets; his proposal was for a vessel on the lines of the Liverpool Sierras, but it was not taken up.
    Charles Dawson

    #2408
    Frank Scott
    Participant

    I had not heard of the Conrad proposal before and would be interested to know when he made it. Even by the time he died in 1924 at least one former Sierra was still going strong – the US flagged Tusitala (ex Sierra Lucena, ex Inveruglas) – and others were still afloat.
    As they were not built to a common plan (and were often bought in) I wonder which one he had in mind as his model. A framed letter from Conrad was prominently displayed in the Master’s cabin of the Tusitala and as the last full-rigger to wear the US flag she has a big place in American maritime folklore.
    Frank Scott

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.