Titanic wood carving and HH Martyn & Co


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Greg L

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I've seen some increasing claims in the Cheltenham, England area that H.H. Martyn & Co. (one of the top production companies for wood carving in the Edwardian era, as well as stone, marble, and decorative metal castings) provided some of the wood panelling and furnishings for the Titanic.

For instance:
http://cheltonia.wordpress.com/page/8/

http://www.tewkesbury.net/news/newsarticle.asp?NewsID=229

http://www.hwnp.org/history/vola1/ha1_6.php

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/markcummings/2010/04/gloucestershires_greatest_expo.html

However, I can't find any sources that would confirm this.

My impression was that the interior design work for the ship was primarily done by the company Aldam Heaton & Co. (by then owned by the IMM), with the actual building and carving of most of the furniture and panelling by Harland & Wolff's own studios in Belfast, with some final touch-up work done by the Harland & Wolff workshops in Southampton for the final fitting out.

Some of the master carvers for Titanic mentioned in books like "Titanic Voices", such as Charles Wilson and a "Mr. Moss", who may have had family or other connections in the Cheltenham area, may have worked for H.H. Martyn on other projects sometime after the Titanic construction. But for the work they did on the Titanic I believe they were either direct employees or under contract or commission by H&W or AH&co.

H.H. Martyn & Co. definitely provided superb panelling for some of the Cunarders being built at the John Brown yard, such as the Lusitania and the Mauritania and perhaps later on with the first Queen Mary. But these were all direct competitors of White Star and Harland & Wolff, so I'm skeptical the company would be involved with the Titanic as well.

My suspicion is that over the years a statement like "Your great uncle worked as a wood carver on the Titanic and later worked for H.H. Martyn" became "My great uncle worked as a wood carver on the Titanic for H.H. Martyn" and an urban myth was born.

Does anyone know if there is any evidence (or even suspicion) that H.H. Martyn & Co. was involved with the Titanic and if so, what their contribution was?

I'm asking as I'm investigating a claim that some wood carving in a local mansion done by H.H. Martyn & Co. in 1911 has a Titanic link.
 
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