A Scottish author has told of her delight as the shipwreck which lay for years in Irvine harbour was honoured in its new Australian home.

Rita Bradd watched as the Carrick, now back to its original name of the City of Adelaide, was brought onto land to allow major renovation to take place.

The Carrick sank on the River Clyde in 1991, before being brought to Irvine a year later.

The 1864 composite-built clipper is the oldest surviving ship of its kind, Cutty Sark being five years younger.

Now using her original name, the City of Adelaide, the clipper finally left Irvine on a barge in September 2013 after being rescued from demolition by a group of South Australian businessmen.

(Image: Rita Bradd)

While the ship has remained on a barge all those years, great progress has been ongoing inside, where tours have been taking place since her arrival in Adelaide.

And Rita was there to watch the latest developments in the ship's journey.

She said: "I arrived in Adelaide from Scotland on June 6 specifically to witness the latest phases in the life of 1864 City of Adelaide aka Carrick in Glasgow.

"I have been following the fate of the ship since she charmed me in 1999 when I found out from a flyer at the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race at Greenock that she was under threat of demolition.

Rita with the Carrick, now The City of AdelaideRita with the Carrick, now The City of Adelaide (Image: Rita Bradd)

"I was shocked that the world might lose such a precious piece of maritime history.

"Twenty-five years down the line you can imagine my thrill to see her finally back safe on land after 10 years being moored on a barge in Port Adelaide."

Rita continued: "Excavations of the pit City of Adelaide was to be placed in were already underway when I arrived.

"A tight team of volunteer 'tradies', tradesmen who have worked solidly together over many years, were preparing a solid base that would take the load of City of Adelaide.

"Over the next few days the area was transformed. Huge concrete blocks resembling Lego bricks began to arrive. These would form a retaining wall to hold back any collapse of soil into the pit.

The pit where work will continue on the shipThe pit where work will continue on the ship (Image: Rita Bradd)

"The majority of materials have been donated, the work undertaken has been done by a team of dedicated volunteers.

"Proceedings to drive the ship off the barge began at 11 am on June 16 to the skirl of bagpipes.

"A large crowd of family and friends of volunteers and invited guests had gathered. Several drones flew overhead whilst tripods with cameras mounted on them flew into action.

"We were all in awe as the ship began to roll forward on the self-propelled multi-wheeled transporter over two ramps.

"Soon she was on a temporary slip that led her to firm ground. She was on her way.

(Image: Rita Bradd)

"We watched her turn to navigate her way down the slight slope into the pit. It was almost like landing a plane on a runway. Standing in front of this majestic vessel as she approached at walking pace and have her towering above me made me feel very, very small."

Rita said: "Somehow City of Adelaide casts a spell over people who take her into their hearts. She is cherished here as the ship that brought forebears out from the United Kingdom and northern Europe who sought to play a part in the development of South Australia.

"Bringing her to Adelaide from Irvine has been a massive, intricate, complex series of engineering ingenuity, generosity and sensitive negotiation mixed with a great deal of faith and trust, selfless dedication and devotion in this honouring of City of Adelaide who means so much to the State of South Australia."