Children Dining

Oct 14, 2003
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Heya all,

Seeing as children weren't permitted in the first class dining room, where would they eat? (Especially if they had no governess or nursemaid to worry over this little problem).

I'm assuming that 2nd and 3rd class children could eat with their parents. And also that the 1st class kids could eat in the restaurant (seeing as they were allowed to play in there).

Why didn't they just let the kids play in the lounge or the reading and writing room (let me guess...too much noise?).
 

Smith Mize

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Dec 20, 2002
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I read that some children (specific names) ate in there rooms, but i don't know that they all did that...
 

Lee Gilliland

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Feb 14, 2003
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One of the Veranda Cafes had been turned into a de facto playroom for most the First Class kids, so I imagine they probably ate there.
 
Jun 4, 2003
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Hi! How was that possible? Did not other passengers enter this area? Were crew members especially occupied with these activities? Thanks!!!
 

Lee Gilliland

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Feb 14, 2003
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I'm not sure how it worked, but I know Mrs. Frederic Spedden's son and Loraine Allison spent time there and used it for a playroom, at least.
 

Noel F. Jones

Active Member
May 14, 2002
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I cannot speak for Titanic but the usual practice is to run a children's mess before the main sitting in some convenient section of the dining room run by some long-suffering waiter(s) and attended by the Nursery Stewardess(es).

Children would definitely not eat in their rooms unless they were officially placed in clinical isolation. Or their parents were prepared to pay for such 'room service'.

As for playing space, surely all transatlantic 'liners' had a childrens' playroom, complete with the obligatory wendy house and rocking horse. Check the GA or the brochures.

Noel
 

Lee Gilliland

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Feb 14, 2003
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One of the interesting things about Titanic is that in so many aspects she seems a modern passenger ship - yet a bit around the edges is missing, outdoor tennis courts, a playroom, a movie theatre...
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Back in 1912 children didn't receive the same level of special consideration we would expect today. On the Titanic there was no playroom, and no stewards or stewardesses had official responsibility for looking after children, but I'm sure that informal arrangements could be made for baby-sitting with the prospect of an extra tip. The ruling against children eating with their parents did not apply to those aged 10 or above, who had been charged the full adult ticket price. For younger children who were travelling at half fare, Noel is right that they had a special (earlier) sitting in the dining room, and I suspect that some parents took that option by choice even if they paid a full fare for their child. It was standard practice even at home for the children of the upper classes to dine in the nursery with nanny rather than with the grown-ups.

Here's an interesting recollection from cross-channel passenger Eileen Lenox-Conyngham, who was 12 at the time: "I remember vaguely, the enormous dining room. Of course, it was very exciting for us because in those days children led a very nursery life, we didn’t have our meals with our parents, we had them in the school or nursery. And it was generally very plain food, I suppose, like milk puddings and rather dull things like that so it was very exciting to have this elaborate food".
 
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Stephanie Stokes

Guest
If the child was 1 or 2 years old where would they eat?I mean if no nannys or governess' were avaliable to watch over them.And what if the stewards(es) were not paid to watch them.And that goes for kids younger than 1 too.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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I read in a White Star Line brochure recently, that if there is space in the saloon (i.e. the ship was not booked out, and thus the saloon was not filled to capasity), childredn were allowed to dine with their parents during normal meal times.

Daniel.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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I think that was in the 1910 edition of 'Notes for First Class Passengers'. Lester has pointed out that there seems to have been a policy change as the provision is omitted from the 1912 edition.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Frankly, as a mother of sons, I think the whole thing must have been a nightmare of endless responsibility. It was bad enough on modern ferries. For a start you've got to have eyes everywhere to stop them hitching themselves up over the rail to watch the sea ..... and as for mealtimes! If you were 1st class, you probably had the money to pay for assistance; if you were third class, everyone probably took equal responsibility for children; but if you were second class ...probably stuck in the middle. And I've often wondered about the nappy (diaper) problem ... no disposables then. But I expect they just took it in their stride, it's us who would be hollering.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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You're right that they may not have seen it as much of a problem. In many working class households, nappies were washed only when absolutely necessary - if just 'wet' they were merely hung up to dry (in front of the fire when at home). And 4 days was regarded by some as a not unreasonable time between changes.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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The nappy rash can only be imagined. It can't have been very peaceful, those poor bawling babies. Not to mention the aroma. But we're spoiled these days. I sometimes describe to my horrified students the atmosphere in hot cinemas when I was a child; people clutching wet macs, smoking, and no modern deodorants.... are you quite sure you'd have wanted to go third class?
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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>>people clutching wet macs, smoking, and no modern deodorants<<

Pretty similar situation in my school's auditorium, minus the smoking of course! I never fancied lectures there. NO AIR CON!
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