City of Adelaide protester strikes again

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A CAMPAIGNER, who is calling for the world’s oldest surviving clipper ship to be returned to Wearside, has staged a new on board protest.

Peter Maddison has boarded the City of Adelaide as he speaks out about plans to move it to Australia.

The former Sunderland councillor launched a similar demonstration in 2009 when the boat was threatened with being scrapped, and is continuing his efforts to bring it back to the city’s port.

He believes it could be used to create a heritage attraction for the city and ensure it is safeguarded for future generations.

The vessel, which was built in Sunderland in 1864, has lain on a slipway in Ayrshire, Scotland for more than a decade, but is due to be moved to Adelaide, Australia.

Mr Maddison, chairman of the Sunderland City of Adelaide Recovery Fund, and group secretary Allyn Walton are reported to have boarded the ship with a documentary crew last night.

The campaigner, who named his daughter after the boat and has led the fight for 12 years, is said to have enough provisions for a sustained occupation.

The Adelaide, five years older than the Cutty Sark, sailed between London and the Australian city Adelaide carrying passengers and wool.

Its working days ended in 1893, and it was bought by Southampton Corporation for use as a sanatorium and isolation hospital.

Two years ago, the Scottish government announced a group from Australia as the preferred group to move and restore it.