ALMOST exactly a century after the Titanic sank a painter and decorator was given a spine-tingling reminder of that maritime tragedy as he carried out refurbishment work at an historic Yorkshire house.
On or around April 14 1912 two tradesmen at Harewood House near Leeds decided to use a spare moment to mark their names on a piece of wood as they filled in and redecorated an old doorway.
Exactly a century and one month later, on May 14, Harewood’s chief decorator Robert Kay was stunned into silence when he came across a handwritten note on a piece of board hidden in the door frame.
Written by one of Mr Kay’s predecessors, Edgar Sunderland, it said:
Sunday April 14th 1912
1503 persons drowned
705 persons saved
Commander Capt: Smith
This disaster happened near (illegible). The boat was the largest afloat and on her maiden voyage.
Mr Kay, who has spent 37 years at Harewood and seen many marks left by stonemasons, carpenters and decorators, was gobsmacked at the note and the timing of its rediscovery.
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