Connection between Titanic and Letterkenny Cathedral wood caving?

JohnN

Member
Jul 29, 2019
4
0
1
Ireland
Hi everyone, apologies if I have posted this in the wrong section. I am a member of the Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter group based in Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland. We have a building in our town called Saint Eunan's Cathedral which was opened in 1901. According to records, two of the men who worked on the carvings on this building could also have worked on the famous staircase on the Titanic. Their names were Gabriel Fisher Purdy and Charles Turner Millard and operated out of Belfast. There is reference to them working on this building (1891 - 1901) and a brief line about the two men 'possibly' working on the staircase. So far, I cannot find any definite reference/information to form a solid connection to RMS Titanic. Any help would be gratefully appreciated.
 
Dec 4, 2000
3,226
476
213
It's possible that the same men were hired for the church job and by H&W for carvings on the Olympic class. High class technicians like wood carvers were a somewhat wandering lot. For instance, one of Titanic's victims was a German (or perhaps Swiss) wood carver who came the the United States to make his fortune during the heyday of wooden carousels. He was employed by a New York company and was returning from installing a new machine in France.

-- David G. Brown
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnN

JohnN

Member
Jul 29, 2019
4
0
1
Ireland
The staircase on Olympic & Titanic were done in the work shops of H&W.
Thank you Ioannis, so it might be possible that these two men may have been sub-contracted by H&W to work on the staircase. With their office in another part of Belfast, it wouldn't take to much to travel back and forth to the H&W shipyard.
 
Last edited:

JohnN

Member
Jul 29, 2019
4
0
1
Ireland
It's possible that the same men were hired for the church job and by H&W for carvings on the Olympic class. High class technicians like wood carvers were a somewhat wandering lot. For instance, one of Titanic's victims was a German (or perhaps Swiss) wood carver who came the the United States to make his fortune during the heyday of wooden carousels. He was employed by a New York company and was returning from installing a new machine in France.

-- David G. Brown
So many people from so many different backgrounds ended up on the RMS Titanic either by choice or a twist of fate and were looking forward to arriving in the new world. Only for fate again and possibly bad judgement to step in during the hours proceeding the collision.
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,233
535
183
Germany
Thank you Ioannis, so it might be possible that these two men may have been sub-contracted by H&W to work on the staircase. With their office in another part of Belfast, it wouldn't take to much to travel back and forth to the H&W shipyard.
Actually it is very unlikely. H&W was a large Shipbuilding firm which had they own work shops producing most of the parts themselves. Other companies were hired to complete cabins as Dutch firm H.P. Mutters & Zoon which fitted out 12 of the 1st class suites on Titanic but most of the other work was done by H&W itself.
The wood work of 1st class staircase on Titanic was same as on Olympic & Britannic.

Is'n it interesting that all over the places we have companies claiming to have "helped" work on Titanic or fitted it out?! Seems a complete country was building only one ship...