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Model maker donates Cutty Sark to Darwen school
9:00am Sunday 7th October 2012 in News
A MODEL-MAKER who has spent two-and-a-half years creating a scale replica of the famous Cutty Sark ship has presented it to local schoolchildren.
The metre long model, lovingly hand-built by Peter Coughlin, was given to Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA) in Sudell Road to display in its reception area.
The vessel, made of timber, was built by the retired builder in a specially converted craft room at his home in Lynwood Avenue, Darwen.
The model represents a 1:75 scale and each tiny part has been handcrafted by Peter and painstakingly put into position.
Peter said: “This model took me about two and a half years to build. The only part of it I haven’t made is the sail cloth.
“It took two months of research before I sent away for drawings to a firm in London.
“The Cutty Sark has such a chequered history and it is one of my favourite ships.
“I wanted the model to be in Darwen as I was born in Darwen.”
Kath Robinson from the Academy said: “The model is awe-inspiring. It’s absolutely amazing. We would like to thank Mr Coughlin for his generosity.”
Peter has been building model sailing ships for the last 35 years. The hobby began after visiting the SS Manxman at Preston Docks with his wife Marie and seeing a number of model boats in glass cases.
He said: “I said to my wife ‘I would love to build one of these’, but I didn’t do anything about it.
“When I woke up on that Christmas morning, there was a box with a model ship inside from my wife.
“When it was finished I took it to the Marina Hall at Fleetwood and entered it into a model cimpetition and it won. The hobby has snowballed since then.”
Peter has been commissioned to create replica ships for people around the world and some have sold for up to £3,500 each. His work is now owned by people in America, Spain and the former Yugoslavia.
PANEL The Cutty Sark was ordered by John ‘Jock’ Willis who operated a shipping company founded by his father.
It was named after Cutty Sark, the nickname of the witch Nannie Dee in Robert Burns' 1791 poem Tam o' Shanter.
The company had a fleet of merchant ships, known as clippers, and regularly took part in the tea trade from China to Britain.
The Cutty Sark was built on the Clyde in Scotland in 1869 and was one of the world’s most famous ships.
The 65m vessel was one of the last tea clippers to be built, and one of the fastest.
It was built in Dumbarton by Scott and Linton, William Denny and Brothers and is now owned by the Thames Nautical Training College.
The ship was badly damaged by fire on May 21, 2007, while undergoing conservation.
The vessel has been restored and was reopened to the public on 25 April 2012.