My name is Sabine van Vugt and I’m the Marketing Manager at Cutty Sark, where I’ve been working since the summer of 2014. I had moved to London from Amsterdam that January, and was delighted to be able to work at such a famous ship, known all over the world.
It has been fascinating to learn more about British history and the Victorian age through the amazing journeys the ship has been on. What I love most about Cutty Sark is that she is still very much alive. It’s incredible to think that you can touch the authentic structure of the ship that braved international waters almost 150 years ago. And to think she was only meant to last for 30 years!
Every year, Cutty Sark welcomes over 250,000 visitors from all over the world on board, and it’s up to me to make sure people know about the ship. Through trailers, photography, social media, press and outdoor posters, I get to tell part of Cutty Sark’s story and hopefully inspire people to visit Greenwich for the day. Working closely with top creative and media agencies, I develop the artwork and schedule the media for our marketing campaigns. So if you see one of these posters on the London Underground, that’s me! I also work with other organisations such as Visit Greenwich and London and Partners to help spread the word.
Much like the olden days, no day on board Cutty Sark is the same. Although a big chunk of my time is spent behind the computer – writing copy, planning campaigns and liaising with partners and colleagues from all units of the organisation, from press and curatorial to operations and education – I also get to spend a lot of the time out and about and on site. One day I might be running around with a film crew or setting up a photoshoot, another day I’m meeting with Greenwich Training to discuss supporting our runners in the London Marathon, and the next I could be live tweeting from the Tall Ships Festival. Plus, there are family workshops, trails and character actors on board. And then there’s the Cutty Sark Theatre…
With a degree in Arts, and having worked in media and theatre in the Netherlands for most of my career, I suppose it’s not surprising that I have a special place in my heart for the Michael Edwards Studio Theatre, situated in the ship’s hull. The theatre first opened in 2014, and we’ve seen the likes of Alan Davies, Richard Herring, OperaUpClose, Karine Polward, The Fisherman’s Friends and Dame Diana Rigg take the stage. Now, two years later, and having rebranded the Theatre to better fit the offer and audience, we are really starting to build a name for Cutty Sark as a venue for opera, folk, theatre and comedy, which is amazing.
With the year coming to an end, and Christmas in the air (quite literally; just look up to see the Cutty Sark Christmas mast lighting!), I look forward to a new year of telling the world about this amazing historic ship and welcoming even more people on board.