A green grand staircase


Jun 11, 2004
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Hi All,
I have at last taken the photos of the green paint scheme on Olympic

It is only visible where the panelling was covered when installed in the Haltwhistle offices in 1935 but it gives a true colour but I should have cleaned the dust off sorry 69 years of dust I will repost when I clean them

I have included both First Class and Second Class staircase panelling photos and as can be seen they were not painted green and were natural wood as several posts have said

Daniel has described very well the colours used in various areas and evidence of all the colours mentioned are evident on panelling we have stripped out however I have only included the Green in the photos
Regards
Raymond
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Sean Hankins

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May 15, 2004
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Thanks for posting those Mr. Cowell.

Ken Marschall is totally right. That color on all that beautiful woodwork IS nothing short of a crime! Looks more like the color of paint they would have used to decorate Gumby's house! The positive side is that wood can be stripped and refinished to its natural beauty, as shown in the examples posted earlier. Also maybe not as much of the staircase was painted this way as we tend to think, going by the pictures Mr. Cowell posted.
 
Jun 11, 2004
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>Hi Sean > > There is about two flights of staircase panelling in the works and none of it shows signs of the green paint There is plenty of green paint on corridor panells so my guess is that they left the staircases in natural wood You are right it is possible to restore to the natural wood finish I have posted examples that I have stripped on another thread " Olympic fittings auction " so you can see before and after photos I must admit that I am a natural wood nut but it is a fact that a lot of panelling was painted from the beginning both on Oak and Mahogany its is understandable as there would have to be the contrast in decor given the variety of accommodation available in this luxury Liner The last incarnation of this Green paint scheme did nothing for this great ship ( in my opinion) Regards Raymond Cowell
 
Jul 11, 2001
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Well, I guess that certainly clears up the mystery of the Green paint/stain debate!

After seeing those great paintings of the staircase in color by Ken, I'd have to say that the original was the best.
 

Jim Wilke

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Jul 12, 2004
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I looked at Daniel's reconstruction of the clock in wood and in green and found something interesting.

Side by side the wood looked better, but when I only looked at the green it looked like the painted paneling common in the 17th and 18th centuries. Something like a Williamsburg green, or Mount Vernon, which has paneled rooms in acid green and electric blue respectively - the "London style" that George Washington specifically requested for his house.

Like it or not, whoever specified that green knew of these traditions and historical reference, and chose it deliberately.
 

Sean Hankins

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May 15, 2004
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Hi Mr. Cowell.

Thanks again for the insight. I'm also really big on naturally finished wood. With all of the different woods they used to fit out the interiors it seemed like they already had enough contrast in the different types of wood without having to paint using "questionable" color choices. You're totally right that the green did nothing to enhance Olympic's interiors and if anything may have contributed to ending her career earlier than it should have been. I know that may sound a little extreme but that color on that beautiful woodwork......... What were they thinking!
 

Sean Hankins

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May 15, 2004
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I forgot to mention that painted rooms such as the Reception Room, Dining Room, Reading and Writing Room and so on were all some of the most beautiful rooms on the ship but I dont think anyone would question the use of white paint on these rooms. I mean can you imagine one of these rooms painted that green?!?!?! :)
 
Jun 11, 2004
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>Hi Sean, > > The woods used in the Olympic were indeed quality timber the Oak and Mahogany when stripped is fantastic and pannels range in thickness from about 3/8" to 5/8" the frames are also solid timber

A material that was used on the Olympic Class I believe for the first time was Ply wood it was called vamester if that is the correct spelling it was said that this new material would not shrink and be more stable than solid wood

I have found this material was used in the First class smoke room for the ceiling it is 1/4" thick it was re-installed in the "Olympic Hall" at Haltwhistle it is in excellent condition and not like the plywood you normally find today it is like akin to top quality cabinet grade ply

The ceiling panels were produced in sections the same shape as the moldings that were a star shape (I will post a photo as this will be easier than trying to explain) there was a small gap around the shape and I believe this would have been necessary to compensate for the twisting motion of the ship as if the panels were solid sheets they would tend to buckle I guess they still have the location numbers on also

Regards Raymond
 
Jun 11, 2004
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Hi Sean,

Here is the photo of the First class smoke room ceiling of the Olympic

The moldings are again solid wood I have not stripped any so I am not sure if they are Oak or Mahogany

The next posting shows the molding removed and the Plywood panels with the gaps that I spoke of in my previous post

Regards
Raymond
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Sean Hankins

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May 15, 2004
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Wow thats definitely a new find for me. Looking at the H&W pictures I never would have guessed that the molded pieces were a separate part of the panel. I always thought they were one piece. Thanks again for all the insight!
 
Jun 11, 2004
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>Hi Sean, > > Thanks for the reply The strip out for the auction has unearthed many details and items that untill now have not been know about

Regards Raymond
 

Sean Hankins

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May 15, 2004
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No, thank you for all the time you've put into answering all my questions. I know you must be really busy getting ready for the auction and it's really appreciated as I'm sure I'm not just speaking for myself. I wish I lived in the UK right about now so I could come to the auction and finally meet some of the new friends I've made here! I've always had a soft spot for Olympic and would consider myself lucky to be able to have even the smallest splinter from one of the deck planks! If there's anything that doesn't sell (seriously doubt that'll happen) you're more than welcome to use my house for storage :). All my bad jokes aside, thanks again!
 
Jun 11, 2004
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>Hi again Sean, > > Thanks for your comments it's been a pleasure posting the items

It's a pity you cannot make it to the auction but what are the transport cost's to your house just in case I take you up on your offer ( Only joking )

As you may have noted from my previous postings I am a wood turner so here is a bit of fun

I have turned a Barrel out of some Olympic Oak ( photo attached) and I will give it to the person who gives me the best reason why they should have it

I have also turned a Gavel out of Olympic Oak ( photo on next posting) so the best Two reasons will one or the other

Entries must be in by the 21st August and please remember this is a bit of fun although serious requests will be considered

And finally My Decision will be final

Best of luck Raymond
 
Jun 11, 2004
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Hurry Hurry

This is the last day of my competition for the above items

Offer closes at 12.00 Midnight

I will post the winners Sunday evening

Good luck
Raymond
 

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