Olympic Reading and Writing Room Paneling


Matt Simons

Member
Mar 12, 2005
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I have a couple of questions about the Reading and Writing Room Panneling.

1.) During the 1935 auction, where did the paneling and molding end up, and where is it today. Are they lost. Also what about the furniture and lights.

2.) When the alcove was taken out, did they use the alcove panneling to patch up the entrance to the alcove, and if so, what happened to the rest of the paneling and molding. Also was this panneling sold during the auction.

3.) Is there any record of the original drawings of this room. I believe the lights are at a museam in London, but what about the panneling and molding.

4.) Not about the R/W Room, but what happened to the Lounge electrolier, is its location known today, or its original buyer, or price.

These questions might be unanswerable, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.
 

Damon Hill

Member
Jun 13, 2004
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Hi Matt. The large electrolier from Olympics Lounge is still around the place as far as I know. From memory it is in Cutlers Hall in England. There are photos taken of it in the last few years either on this website or on the Titanic research and Modelling website. As to what thread they are in I can't remember. I havent looked at them for well over a year or so. One of the photos of the Electrolier is taken from directly underneath looking up and is in colour. The other place this photo might have been was on Stuart Kelly's Olympic site but I'm not sure if that is still online.
Damon
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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UK
Cutlers' Hall in Sheffield has several of the electroliers and a lot of maple panelling. These can be seen in the vestibules to the banqueting hall, where they form the setting for the City's magnificent silver collection. Cutler's Hall is a very worthy resting place for these relics - its Grand Staircase is more than a match for anything ever seen on an ocean liner!
 

Matt Simons

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Mar 12, 2005
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I wish I could go to these places. But there in England. I'll post if I find one of the places Damon is talking about.
 

Lucy Burkhill

Member
Mar 31, 2006
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Re Olympic's fittings in Sheffield's Cutler's Hall

I was pleasantly surprised to learn of this. Many a time I have stood opposite the hall at the tram stop. I have never been inside this magnificent building, and was completely unaware that such treasures as these lay within! If and when the Cutler's Hall is next thrown open to the public, I will try and visit it to see these fittings.

Anyone know of any other places in and around Sheffield which have any items from the Olympic? I know that the Marquis of Granby Hotel used to have an "Olympic Room" with panelling (I first learned of this from the Four Stackers-Majesty at Sea book, which had a photo of the room) but I was disappointed to learn from this board that the fittings had been sold a few years ago, a pity, as I had always planned to visit it at sometime, if I could have found the place.
During the last few years Sheffield has been undergoing much redevelopment, and places where fittings from the Olympic (and other old liners which were broken up by the Sheffield scrap firm of Thos. Ward), may have been reinstalled, such as old pubs and hotels, have been demolished or have been extensively altered internally. In particular, the relics of old industrial Sheffield, such as working men's institutes and offices/boardrooms of traditional engineering firms, where for example, panelling might have been refitted (like at the Haltwhistle factory), have disappeared at an alarming rate. There is a strong possibility that if there were any fittings from the Olympic in the Sheffield area, they may have been lost to the developers or, if any still exist, may be in danger. If anything should survive, there is the question of positively identifying it- is the provenance of it documented or recorded, remember it is 70 or so years since it was removed from the ship, and those from that era who are the ones likely to remember are, inevitably, becoming fewer with each passing year.
Who knows, I may even be able to do an "Olympic Tour" of Sheffield, anyone fancy joining me?!!

All the best,
Lucy
 

Aidan Bowe

Member
Aug 11, 2004
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Fantastic to see the electrolier in colour.We are all so used to seeing the old black and white shots of it in situ on the Olympic.From those photos it is apparent it is almost flush fitted to the ceiling of the lounge...it appears here it is has been extended to hang freely.It just breaks your heart to imagine that the same fitting lasted just days on Titanic before plunging to the abyss never to be seen again...the quality of the fiitings and fixtures from both ships never ceases to amaze me.If the Olympic had been a stately home there would have been a preservation order slapped on her at the end...Any other photos of the panelling etc that is in Cutlers Hall anywhere? Is it open to the public?
 

JJAstorII

Member
Mar 14, 2017
129
42
73
Los Angeles, CA
I have a couple of questions about the Reading and Writing Room Panneling.

1.) During the 1935 auction, where did the paneling and molding end up, and where is it today. Are they lost. Also what about the furniture and lights.

2.) When the alcove was taken out, did they use the alcove panneling to patch up the entrance to the alcove, and if so, what happened to the rest of the paneling and molding. Also was this panneling sold during the auction.

3.) Is there any record of the original drawings of this room. I believe the lights are at a museam in London, but what about the panneling and molding.

4.) Not about the R/W Room, but what happened to the Lounge electrolier, is its location known today, or its original buyer, or price.

These questions might be unanswerable, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.
Heya! RE your question 1 I found this while thumbing through the catalog of the 1935 auction:

They label it as the Drawing Room, but there was no Drawing Room. At the auction it was sandwiched in between the 1st class lounge lot so I'm pretty sure this was the Reading & Writing Room.

"3502 THE PAINTED WOOD PANELLING, with ornamental shell and leaf mouldings and floral and scroll frieze, fitted carved mahogany door and frame, with ornamental ormolu fittings, floor spring and stop, having painted and carved mantelpiece, enclosing polished brass stove, with canopy and pierced terminals fitted for electricity, with tiled surround and hearth, and Sienna marble jambs, the glazed bow windows with casement openings and fittings complete, the ornamental painted ceiling, with scroll and ribbon decorations, with centre arch and supporting pillar, and the gilt brass pierced pipe covering at floor level, Room about 29 ft. by 24 ft. by 14 ft. 6 high"

Welcome to North Atlantic Run
 

Andy Burgess

Member
Dec 20, 2018
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I have known for a while that some of the reading and writing room's windows and panelling can be seen at the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick, Northumberland. You can sit and look out of the windows, but as I remember the view is not that fantastic! When I visited (many years ago) they also had a metal model (about 5 foot long) of the Olympic above a cabinet.

You can see some pictures of the windows here:

THE WHITE SWAN HOTEL (Alnwick) - Reviews, Photos & Price Comparison - TripAdvisor
 

JJAstorII

Member
Mar 14, 2017
129
42
73
Los Angeles, CA
Hi there! Really appreciate you joining the conversation! Do you happen to have a direct link to those pictures? I tried looking several times and couldn't find anything resembling the Reading and Writing Room windows/paneling. I contacted the hotel and inquired and she said the only Olympic stuff they have is from the "first class Smoking Lounge" which ...I didn't want to correct her, is incorrect. As we all know it's the 1st Class Lounge they have (as well as staircase pieces). But now my curiosity is quite peaked. So if you happen to have any direct links I'd super appreciate it!
 

Andy Burgess

Member
Dec 20, 2018
3
0
1
If you search for "white swan hotel alnwick olympic room" - you should see some images.

When I visited the hotel (probably back in the 1990s - when I lived in North East England) I don't remember the room being very big - like in some of the photos - it certainly didn't seem "Olympic-class" size - it seemed more like the image attached to this link (only a portion of the room):

3 The White Swan Hotel Updated 2018 Prices U0026 Reviews Alnwick Exotic Pub And Dining Room Nice 11 [HASHTAG]#3832[/HASHTAG]

I certainly remember sitting by the leaded windows and making a sketch of them (but I've since lost that).

HTH.
Andy
 

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