I READ, with interest, the reprint of Philip Kershaw’s article, “The Last Passage of the Cutty Sark”, in the April 2019 edition of Sea Breezes, not least because it reminded me of a connection I had with this illustrious vessel.
I grew up in the Shetland Islands, and the name Cutty Sark would have been well known to most of us boys there in the early 1950s. At the time, the then popular boy’s magazine, The Eagle, did a feature on her proposed preservation and offered an opportunity to support it. The deal was, you sent a two shilling, ten pence in today’s currency, postal order and in return you received a Cutty Sark lapel badge and a certificate to confirm that you had become a “Junior Shipmate” of the Cutty Sark. To the right is a copy of my certificate with the little blue and silver lapel badge lying on it.
There were two other benefits bestowed by membership. The first was that you were permitted to put the initials, J S C S after your name, and the second was that, should you happen to find yourself in Greenwich at any time, you would, on production of your badge, be permitted free entry to the vessel. I did, on occasion, use the initials purely for fun. However, it wasn’t until the early 1990s that I found myself in London for the first time and, sad to say, the staff on the pay kiosk had never heard of any such concession! As far as I recall, I have only met one other shipmate, but I’m sure there must be more out there somewhere.
JSCS Lerwick, Shetland