OLD SHIPS COMPANY

JAMES CRAIG

The Great Iron Survivor

Documentary - Maritime History

Presented By: Chris Wisbey

Duration: 56 mins

 

SYNOPSIS

Rounding the Horn 23 times, James Craig was a hero among classic windjammers, who rode the ebb and flow of world trade. Reborn as a global trader after WW2, another bust saw her destined to end her days as a rusting hulk at the very end of the world. In a strange twist, a crew of steamship enthusiasts breathed life into the dead wreck. Through their dedication and tenacity, James Craig sails again, as queen of one of the world's great waterways, Sydney Harbour.

 

HISTORY

THE JAMES CRAIG

In 1972 when the rusted out wreck of the James Craig was hauled from a remote bay in Tasmania nobody really believed she could sail again.  James Craig - Iron Survivor is the story of one of the world’s great sailing ships, a unique survivor – iron-built in 1874 she rode the ebb and flow of trade in the golden era of sail - crossing the world's vast oceans. The mighty tall ship was abandoned in the 1920s on Tasmania’s remote south coast, left to rust away at the very edge of the world. Rediscovered in the 1970s, she was hauled 650 nautical miles north to Sydney where over 30 long years she was slowly bought back to life.  Reborn against insurmountable odds, the story of the rescue and restoration of James Craig is a story of hope and the undying dedication of a group of passionate ship savers.  

 

 RESTORATION

ABANDONED AND REBORN 

The remarkable story of the recovery and restoration of James Craig reflects over 20 years of commitment from a passionate group of volunteers. They transformed a rusting hulk beached in a remote southern Tasmanian bay to a sailing barque on Sydney Harbour. James Craig is now one of only four fully operational 19th century barques in the world. In 2003 she was awarded the World Ships Trust's International Maritime Heritage Medal for authentic restoration.

 

INTERVIEWS

Alan Edenborough
Alan Edenborough

Al is Project Director and Specialist Consultant at Sydney Maritime Museum. He has had more that 40 years involvement with Sydney Maritime Museum, and has served three terms on the Board of the Museum. Sydney Maritime Museum had been told that they had no chance of getting a permanent waterfront site unless a square-rigged sailing ship was included in their fleet display, so they were on the look-out for a suitable vessel.Project Shipwright Mark Singleton was lead shipwright on the May Queen preservation project.

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Michael York OAM
Michael York OAM

Michael York has been described as 'the iron man for the iron ship', with over 25 years remarkable and enthusiastic involvement with the restoration of the James Craig. In 1980 he became involved with the Sydney Maritime Museum, was elected President and is now a lifetime Governor.

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Tony Hunt
Tony Hunt

Rear Admiral Tony Hunt AO RAN (Rtd) is the current President of Sydney Heritage Fleet. After leaving the Navy he was shanghaied by the Governors of the museum to manage the final stages of the restoration. Tony is an engineer Admiral, able to bring together the project through first sea trials. Tony has been involved with Sydney Heritage Fleet for over 20 years.

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Alan Edenborough
Alan Edenborough

Al is Project Director and Specialist Consultant at Sydney Maritime Museum. He has had more that 40 years involvement with Sydney Maritime Museum, and has served three terms on the Board of the Museum. Sydney Maritime Museum had been told that they had no chance of getting a permanent waterfront site unless a square-rigged sailing ship was included in their fleet display, so they were on the look-out for a suitable vessel.Project Shipwright Mark Singleton was lead shipwright on the May Queen preservation project.

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MAKING THE CRAIG

Filmed on location in Tasmania and Sydney Harbour, and presented by broadcaster Chris Wisbey, this absorbing ‘against all odds’ story is built around detailed research and expert interviews with compelling characters. The production features commissioned original music,

a lush blend of beautiful contemporary visuals, dramatic coasts, and rich archival footage and photographs.