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Olympic Auction


OPINIONS STILL DIVIDED OVER OLYMPIC AUCTION
Published on Friday, September 3rd 2004


By HELEN COMPSON

THE finest collection in the world of fixtures and fittings from the Titanic’s sister ship, the HMS Olympic, is due to be auctioned in Haltwhistle tomorrow.

The sale, which starts at 10am, could realise anywhere between £250,000 and £500,000 for owner Ray Cowell and his business partners.

Today is the second day the collection has been available for public inspection at the Hadrian Enterprise Park.

It is a sale that many people across Haltwhistle did not want to see happen.

When Mr Cowell first revealed his plans, local residents vented their spleen in letters to the Courant, while members of Haltwhistle Town Council voiced their disappointment and concern.

Former employees of the Smith and Walton paint factory – which is now the site of the enterprise park – have been particularly vocal in their protests.

But as council chairman Coun. Alan Sharp said at the time: “I have made some inquiries about the legality of the sale, but the Olympic collection was conveyed, along with the whole of the premises, by Akzo Nobel to Ray Cowell.

“I don’t think anything can be done to prevent it.”

Coun. Anne Burns said this week: “The feeling of 95 per cent of the people in this town is that they are very, very bitter about the sale.

“I myself feel very sad about it. The Olympic fittings have been part of Haltwhistle’s history for a long time now.”

However, Mr Cowell hit back at his detractors this week.

He said that he had had a meeting with both the heritage conservation officer for Tynedale Council and a member of English Heritage with a view to retaining the Olympic collection in Haltwhistle.

“I said if they could come up with a proposal to keep it on site, I would stop the auction,” said Mr Cowell.

“I said if they could come up with a figure round about the auctioneer’s value, they could take the fittings and I would rent them the building.

“But I had no response from them whatsoever. Not one phone call from either of them.

“I am a businessman and I rent out buildings for a living, and I have had no interest in the Olympic building as it stands.

“It would cost me £25,000 a year in rates, insurance, maintenance and the like to leave it standing empty.

“People are living in cloud cuckoo land if they think I could afford to do that.”

He said that feasibility studies carried out by tourism experts had revealed that using the Olympic fittings as the basis of a visitors’ centre was not a financially-viable option.

It would not attract enough visitors, and it would be costly to upgrade the building for disabled access.

Mr Cowell’s son, Gary, added that his father had done much to further employment in Haltwhistle.

“Currently around 60 people are employed at the former Akzo Nobel site,” he said.
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Why dont people do what they say nowadays http://www.freewebs.com/hms-kellington/
http://www.freewebs.com/graham7760/index.htm
http://www.freewebs.com/hmsroyaloak/
Sep/5/2004, 11:38 pm Link to this post Send Email to graham 01   Send PM to graham 01 Blog
 
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Re: Olympic Auction


Geeze, wish I had know, I'd a been there.

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Every day an adventure
Sep/8/2004, 9:01 pm Link to this post Send Email to Teamtunafish   Send PM to Teamtunafish ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo Blog
 
graham 01 Profile
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Re: Olympic Auction


Hi TTF

Sorry got the info up as son as I got it, I cannot find ay results from it though

Graham

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Why dont people do what they say nowadays http://www.freewebs.com/hms-kellington/
http://www.freewebs.com/graham7760/index.htm
http://www.freewebs.com/hmsroyaloak/
Sep/10/2004, 6:12 pm Link to this post Send Email to graham 01   Send PM to graham 01 Blog
 
graham 01 Profile
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Re: Olympic Auction


OK so speak of the devil and it shall come!!!


OLYMPIC FITTINGS SOLD AT AUCTION
Published on Friday, September 10th 2004


By HELEN COMPSON

The RMS Olympic is set for a new lease of life following the auction of its fixtures and fittings on Saturday.

Specialist collectors round the world tuned in to Haltwhistle, whether by telephone, Internet or lodging their bids by post, as everything from a sweeping staircase to ornate carved panelling and classic furniture went under the hammer.

The auctioneers revealed this week that some of the items had been bought for an exhibition about the Olympic and its sister ship, The Titanic, which will run in Barcelona until 2007.

While only a modest crowd gathered for the sale itself at Hadrian Enterprise Park, the bidding was such that owners Ray Cowell and partners were not disappointed.

The forecast was that the Olympic material would raise somewhere between £250,000 and £500,000, and the auctioneers confirmed the final figure would lie somewhere between the two.

Co-director of Ocean Liner Auctions Paul Louden-Brown said: “We have been delighted with the level of trading.

“We had a few things left over on Saturday, but such was the enthusiasm that customers who had bought stuff at the auction came back and wanted more the next day.

“We sold quite a few thousands of pounds worth of stuff on Sunday morning.

“We are a relatively small auction company, so this was a once in a life-time opportunity to deal with a ship as famous as this.

“We’re delighted with the results, because it has taken almost ten months’ work, talking to Ray Cowell just about every day, to set up a one-day auction.”

While a sprinkling of the bidders were local, most came from out of the area.

However, the difficulty in getting maritime historians to travel as far north as Haltwhistle for the auction had backed up the findings of a study into setting up an Olympic-themed attraction here.

Tourism experts said it would not attract enough visitors.

“This is a beautiful area, but with respect to Haltwhistle it is a long way from everywhere,” said Paul.

“Despite all the advertising we have done for the auction and the interest that has been shown generally, we have had problems getting people to leave London and come up for it.”

He added that many more people would now see the Olympic material than had been able to see it while incorporated into the fabric of the Hadrian Enterprise Park head office.

The fixtures and fittings bought for the exhibition in Barcelona were going to be returned to their original condition, giving a flavour of how they would have looked on board ship in 1911.

Meanwhile, Ray Cowell plans to refurbish his head office and rent it out.

source

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Why dont people do what they say nowadays http://www.freewebs.com/hms-kellington/
http://www.freewebs.com/graham7760/index.htm
http://www.freewebs.com/hmsroyaloak/
Sep/11/2004, 8:59 am Link to this post Send Email to graham 01   Send PM to graham 01 Blog
 


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