First Class Saloon Chair from RMS Cedric

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First Class Saloon Chair from RMS Cedric

This is a chair from the first class saloon of the White Star liner, RMS Cedric (built in 1902). It has a solid heavy metal base, which was bolted to the deck, and a wooden swivel seat and carved back. The seat is stencilled CEDRIC 1st SALN. It was bought by my father in the 1930s from a shipbreakers' yard in Sheffield. He had started his working life in 1922 as a clerk in the White Star Line offices in Liverpool, and his mother was a stewardess on RMS Celtic, another of the White Star 'Big Four' transatlantic liners: the Adriatic, the Baltic, the Cedric and the Celtic. The shipbreakers, Thomas Ward, had several breakers' yards, including Inverkeithing, where the Cedric was broken up, and sold ships' fixtures and fittings in Sheffield. ("Done up like Tommy Ward's elephant", meaning laden with bags, was a saying in Sheffield dating from 1916 when the firm leased an elephant from a circus to haul scrap metal). My father had many memories of the White Star line and the Liverpool docks, including the 'Dockers Umbrella', the overhead railway which ran parallel to the docks. He bought this chair as a keepsake of an era which had disappeared.

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