There have been three HMS Worcesters off Greenhithe. The original, called HMS Worcester, came to Greenhithe in 1871 after she was moved from Erith. The second was originally called HMS Royal Sovereign but had her name changed to HMS Frederick William before she was launched. So far so good. The unfortunate thing about her was that she was launched in 1860, at exactly the same time as every wooden warship in the world had become obsolete overnight on the launching of HMS Warrior further up the Thames. She was loaned to the training establishment and renamed yet again, as HMS Worcester, taking her place in the 1880's. She served here for a long time and was replaced in about 1946 as by this time she had become unseaworthy. She sank under tow to a breakers in Grays, Essex. The third HMS Worcester was originally the TS Exmouth, moored off Grays until 1940. Built specifically as a training ship in 1905, she looks wooden but was in fact iron. The training establishment eventually came ashore to the MNC in the early 1970's and the last of Greenhithe's training ships left in 1978, ending an association that lasted over 100yrs.  What can be said about The Cutty Sark that's not already known? Undoubtedly one of the most famous sailing ships in the world. She was presented to HMS Worcester by the wife of her last seagoing captain in 1938. By this time she wasn't in the best of shape and couldn't be used for actual sail training so was mainly used as extra accomodation and class rooms. She stayed at Greenhithe until 1954 when she was presented to the nation. Unfortunately she was severly damaged by fire a few years ago but is nearing complete restoration and will soon be open to the public again. I'm glad to say that I was off watch at Greenwich Fire Station when she went up, so her destruction had nothing to do with me!



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