The building at 30 James Street was White Star's headquarters from 31 December 1897 until 1 July 1929, when the main office was moved to Royal Mail's headquarters in London. Sources: The Times (London), 1 July 1929; Anderson's White Star; Mallett and Bell's The Pirrie-Kylsant Motorships.
Were 1st and 2nd class areas only separated by convention/staff? I know 3rd was closed off from 1st and 2nd due to immigration laws, but was it theoretically possible for a 2nd class passenger to enter 1st class areas without encountering any physical barriers, and vice versa? I'm assuming yes, especially since some facilities were shared, but thought I would check.
The rules were that no passenger of any Class was allowed into the spaces allocated to other Classes. But in every case the segregation was achieved mainly by notices and by the watchful presence of crew members rather than by locked doors or insurmountable barriers. When you say that some facilities were shared by 1st and 2nd Class, what did you have in mind?
Someone above mentioned the gym as being shared by 1st and 2nd. Also, as a question of access, the band must have been able to get into both, which was why I assumed there weren't the physical barriers as with 3rd.
2nd Class passengers had the opportunity to tour the 1st Class public rooms, including the gym, before the ship sailed. After that they were prohibited from wandering beyond the limits of their own designated areas.
Many crew members, not just the band, needed to pass freely between the passenger accommodation areas for all three Classes, so there were plenty of locations where that could be done just by passing through an unlocked gate or door. 3rd Class wasn't physically sealed off.
Ah thanks. I did wonder about crew getting into and out of 3rd class, but assumed they'd have keys or whatever which passengers wouldn't. Perhaps my impression of the degree of separation was too stringent.
For my purposes, anyway, I've got the answer: people didn't wander into other classes because of signs, crew, barriers in some cases, or mostly because they didn't try and just kept to their own part.
Re the gym though - assume that was counted as a designated area for 1st and 2nd? There's that picture of Lawrence Beesley there, unless that was taken during the tour. Someone did mention that above but I've forgotten exactly what they said - sorry!
Yes, the pic of Beesley in the gym was taken while the ship was still in port. During the voyage the gym was a facility for 1st Class only. Nothing was shared with 2nd Class.
You have it about right with the means of segregation. Just as in a train - the 1st Class compartments are accessible, we know they're not locked and we could go into one and sit down. But generally we don't because we know we'll be in trouble if we're caught there without a 1st Class ticket.
>>Re the gym though - assume that was counted as a designated area for 1st and 2nd?<<
It wasn't. As Bob indicated, the 2cnd class was given an opportunity to look over the public rooms in the 1st cabin, perhaps with an eye towards getting some to upgrade for the voyage or consider doing so for the next. There's nothing like getting the ship to advertise herself by showing off the premium accomadations.
Thanks for clearing it up about the gym; that had me confused for a while.
I think I read somewhere that someone managed to upgrade herself from 2nd to 1st at very little extra cost because the ship was fairly empty. I now can't remember where I read it though, and don't know if it's true or not. Made me laugh because I thought of all those hints about 'how to get an upgrade' on planes - seems it might have been going on for a while!
You are probably thinking of Mrs Cassebeer. In The Night Lives On, Walter Lord wrote that "she boarded as a Second Class passenger, ....... Knowing, that expensive cabins often went begging in the off-season ..........."
Not true. She was always booked to sail 1st Class. According to the Contract Ticket List she was a 1st Class passenger and paid the minimum 1st Class fare from Paris, £27 14s 5d. That was twice as much as a 2nd Class fare. She was also by her own account https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/cassebeer_account.html in a room on D-deck, which were not "the most expensive rooms".
On the other hand Alfred Nourney travelling as the Baron von Drachstedt did upgrade from 2nd Class to 1st Class.