Titanic shipbuilders inspire Black Country author's new novel

By Thomas Parkes | Sandwell | Sandwell entertainment | Published:

A woman from the Black Country has written a book inspired by the the forgotten shipbuilders in Belfast who built the Titanic.

Author Helen Murphy from Wednesbury, has written a book titled The Riveters.

Helen Murphy, from Wednesbury, wrote The Riveters after being inspired to tell their story and the losses suffering during the process.

The book follows a family of shipbuilders fighting for recognition in Ireland and its independence – and their work on the passenger liner.

She said: "I finished it a couple of months ago – it took me around two years to write – and it's about the men and boys who build the Titanic.

"Seventeen of them died before the ship – including a 15-year-old boy – and they've been mainly ignored, so I thought I'd write about them.

"I had to do tons of research about the Titanic, which wasn't an issue, but I had to put a note out on the internet about the workers.

Author Helen Murphy from Wednesbury, has written a book titled The Riveters.

"I got speaking on a Belfast forum and even to a person in Australia who told me about how riveting was done."

The book is set during the period where Ireland was fighting against home rule and follows a family and country's fight for independence – and even includes a reference to the Peaky Blinders.


Much of the book is set against a real historical backdrop, with a "lot of research" having gone into it to ensure everything was correct.

The 40-year-old, who works at a call centre for the AA, said: "I wasn't sure when I would finish because it kept getting longer and longer, but then coronavirus happened and I was furloughed and it gave me the time to dive right into it."

The e-book is available on Amazon – with a second, more light-hearted, book set to be released just before Christmas about how Santa Clause quits his job.

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Senior Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at

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