A fire on board the famous 19th Century ship Cutty Sark is now out and is being treated as suspicious by police.
An area around the 138-year-old tea clipper was evacuated amid fears that gas cylinders were on board but it has been confirmed that none were present.
Greenwich town centre in south-east London has been closed to traffic.
A Cutty Sark Trust spokesman said 50% of the ship was removed for restoration work. He said the Trust is devastated but it could have been worse.
Inspector Bruce Middlemiss from the Metropolitan police said detectives were looking into the possibility that the fire was deliberately started [Grrrrrrrrrr!] and would like to speak to some people seen in the area last night.
Sadly, there is a growing element of moronic louts bent on mindless destruction, in this country. However it’s heartening to know that there is, also, a contingent of interested and dedicated people who are willing and enthusiastic enough to mitigate that wanton damage.
A “cutty sark” is a short shift. It comes from a poem by Robbie Burns, Tam O’Shanter, when Tam, a young lad sees some witches dancing in the wood, one of whom is wearing a very revealing Cutty Sark. From: Twenty facts about Cutty Sark.
Her cutty sark, o’ Paisley harn,
That while a lassie she had worn,
In longitude tho’ sorely scanty,
It was her best, and she was vauntie.
“The tragedy is you can’t remake the fabric of the boat – these are timbers that were growing during the Battle of Agincourt [in 1415]. History itself has been lost.”
Archaeologists have discovered traces of ancient remains at Edinburgh Castle during preparation work for the construction of a new visitor centre. Experts said borehole samples revealed debris dating from before the Iron Age, more than 2,000 years ago.
The site of Edinburgh Castle was occupied as early as 900BC. By the time the Romans made their brief visits to Scotland in AD80 and AD139 it was an important fort of the Votadini people, later known as the Gododdin, who called it Din Eidyn.Din Eidyn was besieged and captured by the Angles in AD638.
Archaeologists have discovered a series of mosaics they believe formed part of ancient pleasure gardens built in Rome in the 1st Century BC.
The mosaics, in turquoise, gold and bright blue tones, were found nine metres (30ft) beneath street level.
Scholars say the images, which include Cupid riding a dolphin, probably lined a large nymphaeum (grotto).
The fabled gardens, created by retired Roman general Lucullus, became a model for other gardens in the city.