Gates?


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bethany kay simmons

Guest
There is always a constant question that is in my head...Where there gates to hold the 3 rd passengers in? As in James Cameron's Titanic he clearly showed that there were but in some places you read you see that there were actually no gates....but then on the other hand I have read that there were. So does anyone really know?
 
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Jacquelyn Nickles

Guest
I am currently doing a research paper on the Titanic (you should go to the "sinking theories" part of the B.Board and make a comment if you wish)and I have watched the Imax video Titanica and the narrator stated that they found the gates and they were still locked.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hi Bethany,

This has been discussed before. In the Message Board; use 'Search" and type in: Third Class Escape Routes. Here are some of the links:

Life on Board: Third Class Escape Routes

Passenger Research: Archive through 1 August, 2002: How were the third class passengers trapped and where did they assemble?

Passenger Research: Archive through 25 March, 2000: Where the third class passengers really locked down ?

Titanica Research Articles: "The Fatal Journey Of Third Class Men On The Titanic" by David Gleicher

Passenger Research: Archive through 16 October, 2000: Where were the third class passengers between the collision and 1.35?

To answer your question it seems that Cameron got it wrong.

I hope the links help,
Lester
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hi Jacquelyn,

Did the film state where the gates were? Were they the ones from the well decks? which could be climbed over as opposed to the internal [and it would seem largely non-existent] gates that Cameron depicted.

Lester
 

Kyrila Scully

Member
Apr 15, 2001
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While I was at the TSOD, I took a tour with a guide I hadn't been with before. He described the "locked gates" as gates to where the food storage was located, and that the gates were locked to keep the third class passengers (and perhaps communicable disease) out of the foodstuffs. I invite any of the cast members who lurk here to comment on this as I had never heard of this before. But I do believe the locked gates had to do with cargo, and not with keeping third class passengers away from the lifeboats.

Kyrila
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hi Kyrila,

The main food storage area was on G-deck aft of the Turbine Engine Casing. Deck plans indicate "internal stairs" leading up to D-deck. According to the Shipbuilder there was also a lift. There were no internal doorways into the 2nd [could be used as 3rd Class] passenger accommodations located aft of the food storage area.

The cargo areas seem to have no internal doorways leading between the compartments; so access would have been via the Hatches.

There were doorways leading from the Working Deck alleyway on E-deck into 1st and 2nd Class. I doubt that they had steps and question because of both the disease issue and not having 3rd Class able to look into the other class areas whether they were grill doorways or solid doorways.

Regards,
Lester
 
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Susan Leighton

Guest
Jacquelyn,
You said:
"I am currently doing a research paper on the Titanic (you should go to the "sinking theories" part of the B.Board and make a comment if you wish)and I have watched the Imax video Titanica and the narrator stated that they found the gates and they were still locked."

...Which specific gates is the narrator referring to?
Susan Y. Leighton
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
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I haven't seen the 'Titanica' production but I guess they couldn't penetrate far enough into the wreck at that time to find any internal barriers. The gate in question must surely be the external 'garden gate' which is still in place at the top of the (missing) stairway from the forward well deck. As Lester has said, hardly an insurmountable barrier - it even has 'rungs' to climb over.
 
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bethany kay simmons

Guest
So were there GATES? No one really answered my question. I know that no one really knows the truth but I wish I knew if maybe there were.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Bethany,

There was a gate from the forward Well Deck and two from the after Well Deck. They were not the type shown by Cameron. They were low rail height gates that could be climbed over.
They were gates or doorways leading from the main fore-aft passageway on E-deck near the Grand Staircase and near the two 2nd Class stairways. As I said in my earlier post; no stairs. However, I do not know if they were solid doors or grill type gates.

It is possible that there were 2 stairways as depicted by Cameron with full-height grill gates at the top [or bottom] of them. Which stairway would have been blocked off would depend if rooms G-1 to G-40 were part of 3rd Class or part of 2nd Class. For a full understanding of that situation you need to look at Titanic's deck plans. - 3rd Class passengers in those rooms had their own stairs, to E-deck; so they would not have been trapped; just unable to reach the after 2nd Class stairway until they had used their own stairs to E-deck. - Look at the deck plans on this web-site. G-deck; aft of the Food Storage area [the Pantries] and Turbine Engine casing the stairs forward of the No 5 Hatch were part of the after 2nd Class stairway; those on the port-side were 3rd Class and went up to E-deck. - There was no-exit on F-deck. On E-deck the stairs came up near rooms 108/111.

Further aft on G-deck and aft on F and E-decks there were no doorways between 2nd and 3rd Class.

Did you look at the posts I referred you to? Sorry I do not know how to post the links within the Message Board; but if you give me your e-mail address I can send them to you and you can open and read them.

I hope this helps,
Lester
 
Jan 2, 2006
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So were the 3rd class passengers intentionally kept from the lifeboats? If not how come so few of them survived compared to 1st class?
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hi Tammy,

The answer is probably a mixture of No and Yes. Some gates seem to have been open; at others they were held back. There have been a number of posts that have discussed this subject. Here are two you might like to look at:
Passenger Research: Archive through 25 March, 2000: Where the third class passengers really locked down ? and
Passenger Research: Archive through 16 October, 2000: Where were the third class passengers between the collision and 1.35?

There are indications that many 3rd Class passengers reached the boat deck; but for varing reasons did not board a lifeboat.

Hope that helps,
Lester
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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I came across this very interesting answer from Boxhall to a question about locked gates and trapped passengers:

quote:

In answer to a question concerning the harrowing scene presented in the film of third-class passengers clambering to get through a closed sliding gate aft, he said it may or may not have been true. American immigration laws insisted on this gate; if it had not been there, no immigrants would have been allowed to land. At night it was opened to allow the crew to wash down, but whether it had been closed again on this particular night he could not say.
It's intriguing that Boxhall, many decades after the disaster, conceded the possibility that some passengers might have been trapped in this manner. Of course, given the lapse of decades, it's possible he might not be remembering the gate and procedure correctly. However, it does raise an interesting and disturbing question.​
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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John Hart, the only 3rd Class steward to give testimony, was asked at the British Inquiry about gates and barriers placed to deter passengers from straying into the areas assigned to other Classes. In his reply he mentioned two types - a 'gate that fixes in' to mark the limits of 3rd Class and a 'barrier that lifts over' between 2nd and 1st Class. But each of these, he said, could easily be opened by hand and in his experience such gates and barriers were never locked, on this or other ships. Security was ensured rather by having a crewman on watch nearby. Following the collision, he claimed that all the gates, barriers and emergency doors that he passed by or through had been opened.
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Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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G'day Bob!

Ayup, I know that there is much debate on the nature and even the existance of substantive barriers in the form of gates, and if anything the consensus (with some notable dissenters!) these days leans towards the idea that there nothing of the nature beloved by Titanic filmmakers. Hart's testimony has of course been questioned in other areas. As I said in my post, Boxhall's comment was made long after the fact and he might not even have been clear on what ship he was recalling. I do find it very interesting, however, that he conceded it was a possibility. He and his colleagues must surely have discussed this point, as the rumours of locked gates dated to immediately after the disaster. I wonder if this observation reflects the view that the officers arrived at in discussing these stories of obstructions?
 
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Bruce Beveridge

Guest
Hi all,

I just want to add a bit to this. After reading the BOT regulations pertaining to Immigration ships from 1911, I found that they did acknowledge emergency passages. In fact any emergency passage from steerage through an upper class compartment was to be avoided, but was allowed if the design of the ship required it and was approved by the surveyor. In any case, it was illegal to have locks on these doors, intended for Steerage through upper class compartments, where the locking mechanism was on the upper class side of the door. In other words, the doors along Scotland Road that communicated directly with the 1st class staircase, and 2nd class staircases had the locking/securing mechanism on the Scotland Road side. From looking at the 2nd class purser's area in a photo, the emergency door was paneled to fit the decor of the room. I believe the design of these doors would have made them basically hidden from view on the upper class side - or in this case the starboard side. This is probably why there was no door visible along the bulkhead of the 1st class companionway on E deck in one particular dive Cameron was on - not because there was no door there, but because the hardware was on the other side.

With all of this said. The biggest problem with 3rd class escaping had really nothing to do with them being locked down - because they weren't. Unless you were one who happened to walk into a stairwell that was locked. There were many other ways of escape, and the the main escape was via Scotland Road. The 3rd class passengers that did decide to go, in most cases, had no idea how to get up to the boat deck. This is probably why the Olympic and other ships finally issued emergency station - or escape plans to passengers.

Bruce
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Cathy Akers-Jordan gave an interesting Powerpoint presentation at last years symposium that some might find interesting reading. Takes awhile to load, but if you have Powerpoint, it's well worth reading through. You can get to the site through This Hotlink then just click on Cathy's Powerpoint presentation when you get there.
 
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Bruce Beveridge

Guest
Thanks Mike,

I read the Power Point slides, and she is correct. She did her homework, and there is not much more to say about it. I just wanted to point out that contrary to popular belief, the BOT did have regulations in play specifically for the safety of steerage before 1912. Most people are unaware that the escapes with their unlocked doors or gates were actually a regulation not a show of White Star's kindness. And as for Titanic, there were plenty of escape routes over and above hopping a bulwark swing gate. As I said, the main escape route was via Scotland Road according to the G/A plans- though the problem here seems to be lack of education as to where to go for these people. All a steerage passenger would have to do to get to a 2nd or 1st class stairway, was go up either their fore or aft main companionways into the wells, or head to Scotland Road. This was a route they took everyday for meal times, and the doors were right there, and according to at least one report from baker Joughlin (misspelled I know), the doors were open and waiting. I guess there were no exit signs.

Maybe someday we'll see a TV special dismantling some of the Titanic myths! I've already spoke about it to the producer who interviewed me for TV, so let's see if he, or someone else comes out with something.

Bruce
 

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