Harland and Wolff - Shipbuilding and Engineering Works

ENG/DO Typing Pool

The girls of the EngDO Typing Pool spend their working lives in what could be described as the “Penthouse” of the Main Office building. Perched higher than any other office in the shipyard — on the third floor of the “extension” — it overlooks the old Queen’s Shipyard and the River Lagan and from its windows one can still see the last remains of the gantry under which great ships like “Olympic” and “Titanic” were built.

Not that there is much time for looking out of the window, for the Typing Pool is a hive of industry, supplying the secretarial needs of Engineering Drawing Office, which embraces the Machinery Specification Department, Pipe Drawing Office and Pipe Ordering Department. Presiding over (he Typing Pool with a quiet efficiency is Muriel Frizelle, who distributes and checks the work, and helps out with the typing when there’s a “rush” on.

One feels that when duty calls, Muriel is no laggard, for many of her out-of-work hours are spent in training children for the Church choir, in Sunday School teaching and in rehearsing the youngsters for their various Special Services.

Church activities play a large part in the off-duty life of several of the girls. On Sundays, Hazel Lindsay dons the blue gown, resplendent with its white jabot and collar, and the Oxford cap of Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church Choir in Bangor. She also teaches in the Sunday School there.

Maureen Maddock, in her home town of Newtownards, is a soprano in Regent Street Presbyterian Church. An ardent indoors howler, she enthusiastic- ally participates in the Church’s matches and tournaments. Maureen was a Civil Servant until her marriage six years ago, and has also worked in a shorthand and typing agency.

Malvena Farmer’s interests are both ancient and modern, for she enjoys disco dancing and reading about the Stone Age. Her current ambition is to visit Egypt and see the Pyramids.

The youngest member of the team, Rosemary Boyles, does not agree with the adage that school days are the best days of one’s life, for she affirms “It’s much better here than at school,’ Rosemary helps with the 110th “B” Company of the Girl Guides at Castlereagh and is hoping soon to obtain the Warrant which will commission her as an Officer. Time obviously does not hang on her hands, for she is also an active member of two Youth Clubs (Church Road and Lisnasharragh Secondary School) and is a member of a Youth Choir at Braniel.

Another connection with Braniel is found with Betty Dawson, who is a Committee Member of the Braniel Tenants’ Association, taking an enthusiastic interest in both the administrative and sporting activities connected with the Estate.

In addition to the work of the Drawing Offices the Pool also looks after the typing needs of Mr Edward Moller, EngDO/O. Mr Moller, in addition to his many other duties, is the firm’s linguist and deals with the translation of a considerable volume of incoming letters and articles from foreign parts. Elsie Turtle usually types for him, and as the translations are from the Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish languages, they introduce an exotic element into what is normally a fairly routine technical task. Elsie thoroughly enjoys her work and Mr Moller is happy with the arrangement -- “She Can read my writing without any trouble,” he declares! With so many diverse interests and working activities, one is not quite sure whether, when she says “Some months it’s really hard going,” Muriel Frizelle is thinking of the girls’ work inside the firm or outside it!


“Will you type this for me, please?” Mr Edward Moller hands over some work to Elsie Turtle.

In the “Penthouse’, left to right, Hazel Lindsay, Maureen Maddock, Betty Dawson, Rosemary Boyles, Malvena Farmer, Elsie Turtle and Muriel Frizelle.