Life For The Second Class

Lily Peters

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Jun 18, 2005
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I have been interested in Titanic for many years now, ever since I saw a documentary about it when I was younger. Now I'm almost sixteen, an aspiring writer, and am working on a Titanic novel with a friend of mine. Our story centers around two very different, fictional second class families. I love history, so in order to be historically accurate and authentic, I have some questions...

-What deck were most second class passengers on? Lawerence Beesley, a second class passenger, was staying in that area, so I placed the family I'm writing about in rooms D32 and D33. Were those unoccupied staterooms? I looked at the deck plans, but couldn't find the rooms in question.
-What special treatment (besides the second class library) did the second class get to occupy their time aboard?
-Would second class passengers be allowed to enter steerage even during a party?
-Where and when did the second class church service take place?
-If you were on D Deck, would you be on the starboard or port side during the lowering of lifeboats?
-What dining rooms were available to the second class?

Thank you for your help; this will help immensely. I'm new to the forums, so hello! ^_^

~Lily~
 
Sep 1, 2004
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Hello Lily!
Second class had also smoking rooms, gymnasium on Boat deck was for 1st and 2nd class (I have seen photos of Lawrence Beesley).

Church service was taken in 2nd class dining room on D-Deck (behind galley) by purser (I think). Chairs were fixed to floor and had numbers, each passenger had his own sitting place.

As I said, dining room was on stern of on D-Deck behind galley. By galley was also Titanic hospital.

I don't understand your question about lowering lifeboats(???)
 

Lily Peters

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Jun 18, 2005
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What I meant was this: if you were on D Deck, would you be on the side where only women and children could be put into the boats? Or would you be on the side where men were allowed into the boats when there were no women?

I also need to know the location of the purser's office.

~Lily~
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Hallo, Lily, and welcome. Your fictional 2nd Class passengers should be berthed on D, E or F deck towards the stern. No matter where their cabin was, the stairs up to the boat deck were on the centreline and when they emerged they could go to either side. Apart from a small number of cabins we know to have been occupied (like Beesley's) we have no idea which others were in use, so take your pick - but not D32/33 as those were 1st Class cabins! Pick from the range D51-89.

The 2nd Class Purser's Enquiry Office was on E deck. forward of the aft 2nd Class staircase. 2nd Class passengers had no access to the gymnasium - Beesley was photographed there before the ship left Southampton, when the 2nd Class people were allowed a quick tour of the 1st Class public areas. Apart from the lounge/library and smoking room, the only lesisure facility provided was the orchestra, who were assigned to play in 2nd Class at certain times of day and in 1st Class at others. They could also make their own entertainments of course, like the hymn session which Beesley attended on the Sunday evening.

For 1st and 2nd Class passengers, access to 3rd Class areas was strictly forbidden (no matter how good the parties!). But that's not to say it was entirely impossible for anybody determined to break the rules.
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Lily Peters

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Jun 18, 2005
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Was Purser McElroy in charge of all the valuables for both first and second class? He's the one I heard about in Beesley's story, I think.

~Lily~
 

Bob Godfrey

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McElroy had overall responsibility as Chief Purser, but the man in charge of the Office (and the safe) in 2nd Class was the 2nd Purser, Reginald Barker. He also conducted the Sunday morning service in the 2nd Class saloon, and shared a table in the dining room with Beesley and six other passengers.
 
Sep 1, 2004
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On a stern of boat deck was promenade deck for 2nd class passengers and their entrance.

On B-Deck was smoking room in Louis XVI. style. The floor was laid with linoleum tiles, the latest floor covering in 1912. On either corner of this room was a bar for spirits and a lavatory for the passengers' comfort.
O
n C-Deck was library (main saloon of 2nd class passengers). The room was decorated in Adams style. There was mahagony bookcase operated by a steward and around the walls were small writing tables. On covered decks on left and right side was playground for children.

A dining saloon located on D-Deck behind the galley could eat 394 passengers together, there were silver cutlery and fresh flowers.

Travelling in second class on Titanic was like traveling first-class on earlier ships.

I hope this will help you.
Regards, Vitezslav
 

Lily Peters

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Jun 18, 2005
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Thank you very much! Are there any descriptions of second-class rooms, or how they were decorated? What deck would the second class be on upon first entering the ship via the gangway?

Also, were the beds in second class bunks or real beds?

~Lily~
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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The 2nd Class cabins were similar to the cheapest accommodation in 1st Class. Plain white-painted walls, dark mahogany furnishings and linoleum tiled floor. 2-berth cabins had upper and lower bunks and a sofa. 4-berth cabins had the two bunks plus a convertible sofa. There would also be at least one wardrobe, a folding washstand and a folding wall-seat if there was room for it. Ducted warm arm air heating, but no electric heaters - only 1st Class got those.

Most cabins had natural light from a porthole. For those not located immediately adjacent to the hull, this was at the end of a narrow extension, as you can see in your deck plans. Cabins which were close to the centreline had no natural light, so those were cheaper.

2nd Class passengers came aboard on C deck, through doors adjacent to the library.
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Lily Peters

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Jun 18, 2005
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In the second class rooms, did they have little bells to summon their stewards with? I just want to clarify that.

~Lily~
 

Lily Peters

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Jun 18, 2005
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What did the second class saloon look like, a less fancier version of the first class restaraunts? Would the ala carte restaraunt on B Deck be available to the second class as well?

~Lily~
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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The Restaurant was a facility for 1st Class passengers - nobody else could afford to eat there anyway!

Lily, if you are serious about writing a novel, you really need to get hold of a well-illustrated book which will show you exactly what the various rooms and other spaces on board looked like and will help you to 'find your way around' the ship. I recommend Titanic - an Illustrated History by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall. Also, use a search engine like Google to find Titanic photos online - there are plenty out there. Verbal descriptions are no substitute.
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Lily Peters

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Jun 18, 2005
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I tried looking at the deck plans on the website, but could not find D88 or D89 (the two cabins one of the families reserved). Any idea where they'd be?

~Lily~
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Lily,

D-88 and D-89 are on opposite sides of the ship.

Go to the deck plans on this web-site. Near the after end of the deck is the 3rd Class Stairway. Port and Starboard of that on each side of the ship are two sets of lavatories and a set of bathrooms.
On the port side D-88 is the outside room immediately forward of the 2-bathrooms.
D-89 is the after most of the inside rooms on the starboard side. The room closest to the 3rd Class stairs.
 

Lily Peters

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Jun 18, 2005
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Were second class passengers allowed on the upper decks as long as they didn't enter first class facilities? I seem to recall that Lawrence Beesley was on B Deck a lot during the voyage.

~Lily~
 

Lily Peters

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Jun 18, 2005
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Would they have had classic literature in the second class library, specifically "The Three Musketeers" by Alexandre Dumas? That's the favorite book of a character, so I wanted to be sure they had it.

~Lily~