I hear through the grapevine that Richard Doughty, who was at the helm of the Cutty Sark for some 13 years during its entire redevelopment programme, is jumping ship and joining the NMM down at Falmouth.
Richard, who hailed from the Fishery Museum at Grimsby, has been a stalwart character under the command of various trusts while here at Greenwich. I will well remember him by his iconic leap under the newly-elevated mass of the Cutty Sark for the TV cameras – typical of Richard who always comes up smiling on many dramatic and anxious occasions. I wish him well and envy his new life down at this Cornish port in its fantastic maritime setting. The museum has been constructed on the prime waterside site between the still very active ship repair yard and historic Falmouth. A must for a visit as its dramatic structure contains many of the small boat collections which once graced Neptune Hall in the mother museum here in Greenwich. The new museum focuses on the young, with interactive gadgets which seem to be the rage.
A view of the tall ships gathered at the end of August prior to their Regatta race to Greenwich will be a grandstand occasion for those who are lucky enough to be down there. The grand Parade of Sail prior to the start will attract thousands along the extensive shoreline and, no doubt, plenty of media attention before their arrival in the Thames.