Activities for Children

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Erin S. Jacobson

Guest
This is partly inspired by the "Children on Titanic" thread, but it's also a question that has been in my mind for a few days. What did children do on Titanic? I'm assuming that they just did what their parents did, because (now I'm assuming here; I have no clue) back then society wasn't into keeping the children amused as much as today. Everything was geared for the adults on Titanic, if I'm correct.

From,

Erin
 

Kate Bortner

Member
May 17, 2001
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Help me here someone, but I think I read they turned one of the cafes into a "playroom" for the first class children. Did I dream this or did I read this somewhere? I would guess most of the children USED THEIR IMAGINATION and just played on deck or where ever they were and with each other. We also know that little Freddie Spedden played with his top (and some grownups it would appear) on deck at least before the ship hit the high seas. Note: If I were a little kid on a big ship, the possibilities for "pretend" would be limitless. I remember many days as a 4 or 5 year old sitting on the back of an arm chair pretending I was an important woman going on an airplane. . . (and that was in the 1960's when imagainations had been dulled by television)
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Just some thoughts. Anyone else? Sounds like a fun idea for a thread: "what would you have pretended if you were a child on the Titanic-in 1912-and looking to play" (possibly in interesting thread, but not very scholarly and I believe Philip would like us to keep to that vein. Oh well never mind
lame.gif


-kate
 

Kate Bortner

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May 17, 2001
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What I mean is that they allowed the 1st class children to play in a cafe DURING THE DAY, not converted it into a play room.
oooops
-k.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Hello Kate,

The starboard Verandah was used as a playroom of sorts during the day. I have read that Loraine and Trevor Allison played in there with some of the other first class children.

On the subject of what children could have done for fun, children were not forgotten on the Titanic. In first class, the gymnasium was reserved for children between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. daily. It has been said that the gym instructor, T.W. McCawley, particularly enjoyed children. They could also play quoits or shuffleboard on deck.

In second class, Mrs. Selena Rogers Cook recalled watching some children play a game called "horse racing" on deck.

In third class, young Frank Goldsmith remembered swinging on the huge baggage cranes in the well deck and getting his hands covered with oily grease. He and a group of friends he met onboard ran up and down the stairs exploring every part of the ship open to third class children. They even looked down into the boiler rooms and waved at the stokers shoveling coal.

This info. was taken from "882 1/2 Amazing Answers to your Questions about the Titanic."

Cheers,
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-B.W.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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I think this comes from Lynch/Marschall's Illustrated History, that Lorraine Allison and Douglas Spedden played in the Verandah Café. I think Frank Browne had also spotted them in the Lounge (I could be wrong).

Perhaps I'm a little dull, but a big thrill to me, if I were 5 or so and on Titanic, would be to do what Douglas Spedden did, throw my teddy down the well of the grand staircase and watch it go 5 floors down ... to E deck. Then make my way to E deck, retrieve the teddy ... back up to A deck and all over again ... !!! What fun! Anyone agree?
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Daniel.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Hello Daniel,

It is "Illustrated History" where I read that. I remember repeatedly checking the book out of my highschool library.

I agree that that would be fun! The thought never occured to me.


Cheers,
happy.gif


-B.W.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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There are any number of Victorian pastimes for children books still on the market for nostalgia buffs. First Class nannies and nurses always had a game in mind for their little charges. Children were regularly "aired", exercized and "napped" in those days on a real routine- and sent to bed early. Marshall Drew liked to draw - when no pencil was available back in New York, he sat on the steps of his hotel lobby and with a common pin, picked out in holes a design of the Titanic on a piece of paper. Reading, and being read to was part of the day- bathtime and mealtimes took up a great deal of time too. Nearly all little girls had a dolly- even poor steerage children had rag babies to dress. A ball would keep a child amused for an hour. Drawing books, paper dolls, card games, -all simple pleasures sadly ignored by today's tot. I remembered being in a rapture over a new coloring book and box of pointy fresh crayons- and EVERYBODY had a paintbox of watercolors, and what the Brits called plasticine- clay for making little animals and modeling. Am feeling all weepy for the old days now. I want my yo-yo and skipping rope! And then there were the word games- remember "I spy with my little eye?"- hours of joy!
 

Kris Muhvic

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Sep 26, 2008
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Other than the famous doll's head, I know of only one other toy that was found from Titanic: a model airplane, or "aeroplane", complete with rubberbands for winding up the propeller. I remember playing with a similiar gizmo, made of balsa wood, that always seemed to break apart just when I thought I mastered the technique!
Actually, the found toy plane was in it's box, apparently never played with... if it was meant to be a gift, the poor kid never got it. Great, now I'm feeling a bit weepy myself!
Play On!
Kris
 

Kate Bortner

Member
May 17, 2001
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I love the teddy bear over the railing!! And new crayolas, Shelley, you have me wanting to color now!!! Oh and I still want some Miss Lizzie paper dolls. After your big weekend at THE house, drop we a line and let me know where I can get some.
Yes, "airings", "nappings", and baths & meal rituals took up a lot of time. Couple those with the game of toss with your prized teddy and your day was full!
happy.gif

-kate.
 
Jul 22, 2001
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kent uk
I expect that a lot of fun was had by the third class children running up and down those long eerie passageways scaring some of the poor unsuspecting crew..or perhaps thats just what I would have been up to my mum always said I was a really horrible child!!!
 
Dec 21, 2003
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I think that children, wich are very very curious about things would run around all day and explorer such a big ship, maybe a game of hide and seek would be a good idea, well that's what i would do if i was a small child there!
 
Jan 28, 2003
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And if I were one of the parents, I would have been beside myself with anxiety. It was bad enough on a modern ferry 15 years ago, never mind a week's crossing on the Atlantic. But they managed ..... and you are right, Sonja, such fun for the children!
 
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Brian R Peterson

Guest
Hi All,

The idea that there were little provisions for the amusement of children aboard the ship is a correct one. The Edwardian Age still upheld the edict that children should be seen and not heard, an ideal which still rings true to some blue blooded societies to this day.

I do remember reading that children played in the Veranda and also an account of a few being spotted in the Lounge. However, while no one would directly say anything to you as a child in the Lounge, an observant steward would probably tell your father about it.

I remember as a child being bored in tall buildings with wells like the GSC, of also finding objects to throw down and watch fall, usually never my own though, I also recall a fascination with elevators, where I would continually ride them to the top floor and back down again, much to the chagrin of the employees of course.
smile.gif


Best Regards,

Brian
 
Feb 24, 2004
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The unoccupied rooms were also great places for children to play and pass the time. And there were plenty of unoccupied rooms.
 
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diana handley

Guest
some how i dont think the children would be allowed to play in the empty rooms. I think i read some where that the rooms that were not in use were locked up.
 
Feb 24, 2004
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Hi, Diane!

It wasn't anything that had occurred to me either, until I heard Don Lynch mention it in his JC's Titanic commentary.

Sometimes I think we attach too much of a one-size-fits-all way of thinking to what people were, or were not, allowed to do in 1912. Even in 1912, people were people (understatement) and they'd find a way to do pretty much whatever they wanted. They were just a little more orderly about it, that's all.

Roy
 
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diana handley

Guest
Hi Roy
Re children playing in empty rooms
Can you imagine the stewards having to go through all the empty rooms checking to see if they are clean and tidy.If they were in a mess,they would having to clean and tidy them all up.Even first class children had an element of being naughty if they were left to there own devices.....
Old saying..let the tiger out of the cage and see what happens
 

Cara Ginter

Member
Aug 7, 2005
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Well weren't there only 6 children in first class? Therefore, watching them probably wouldn't have been much hassle.
 

Noel F. Jones

Active Member
May 14, 2002
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When I was on the South America run, as a spectator sport, our feral children were immersing the free end of the toilet roll in the WC bowl then keeping the running flush button pressed to see the roll unravel at speed and disappear round the bend - great fun!

We were experiencing quite a run on bog rolls before the BR's twigged what was happening.

Noel