Lights on at the time of the collision am I going mad


Paul Lee

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Hi all,
I know this has been covered a few times before but I am seeking something and I can't find it with the search facility.

We know that the 1st class smoking room was open at the time of the collision, as was the 2nd class one (according to Beesley), but I recall reading somewhere that at least one other public room remained open, with the lights on, and the stewards were hovering round hoping that the occupants would leave so they could tidy up, switch the lights off and go to bed. For the life of me, I can't remember which room it was!

Cheers

Paul

 
Jan 5, 2001
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Wasn't that the first class lounge. I seem to remember Miss Rosenbaum saying that the stewards asked people to leave around 11.30pm. She handed the letters she had been writing to the steward to post. Miss Gibson also mentioned being asked to finish her game of bridge. She had been playing with her mother, Mr Seward and Mr Sloper.
 

Pat Cook

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Paul wrote:

"We know that the 1st class smoking room was open at the time of the collision, as was the 2nd class one (according to Beesley),..."

I believe Beesley, in his book, referred to the First Class Smoke Room as per his visit with Douglas Norman. He states the he first went to the top deck (boat deck) and then, with Norman, went to the next deck down to look through the windows of the room - that would make it the First Class Smoke room, wouldn't it?

As ever,
Cook
 

Bob Godfrey

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For Beesley, using the 2nd Class staircase, the next deck down from the boat deck was B deck. The stair well passed down through A deck but was sealed off from it. It's clear also from his recollections that the men he spoke to in the smoking room were 2nd Class passengers.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Pat,

It is highly unlikely that Beesley made it all the way to the 1st class deck to look through the 1st class windows of the Smoke Room. Which of course were stained glass, and unless swung open, you couldn't see anything inside. Being a cold night, I'm sure they were closed. He should have been able to see inside the 2nd class windows though, they were just clear glass.

And as Bob points out, for 2nd class, the next deck down after boat deck was B deck. I believe there was no elevator terminal on A deck, and the stairs here were not open to the deck and merely carried down to B deck.

Daniel.
 

Pat Cook

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Hey guys,

I had always wondered about this point. What really didn't make sense, if it was the first class smoke room, was the people he spoke with. Beesley mentions that one of the gentlemen was a man traveling with a model of a new carburetter (his spelling here) and Craig Springer graciously wrote me earlier saying this would have been Denzeil Jarvis (Craig has a newspaper account detailing this) and Jarvis, like Beesley, was also Second Class.

However, wouldn't this necessitate Beesley going down 2 flights of stairs and, on the way, passing through the Palm Court? Or am I looking at the deck plans wrong?

In any case, much appreciated! You guys just saved me tons of homework!

Best regards, all around,
Cook
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Pat,

The 2nd class staircase at A deck was completely sealed off from 1st class. As I said there was no elevator terminal and the staircase merely continued to connect boat with B deck. It was all walls. If you were standing on that deck all you would see is the paneling, and a flight of stairs coming down to A deck, and one going down from A deck. No lift or other doors or openings of any kind.

Daniel.
 
Jul 11, 2001
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The only way I can think of Beesley seeing the firstclass smoking room was as he was being lowered in a lifeboat. And that would be through the A-deck promenade windows. But then again, the Smoke room windows were stained glass and not transparent. Maybe he meant the 2nd class smoke room?

David
 

Bob Godfrey

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I think it's safe to say we're all agreed on that, David.

This discussion illustrates a general point. When reading through the recollections and testimonies of people who were actually there on Titanic, we read their statements in the light of a more detailed knowledge of the layout of the whole ship and we might assume that they had that same knowledge. But of course most of the passengers and some of the crew knew the layout only in terms of the limited areas they lived or worked in and the routes they used to move from one particular location to another. An understandable lack of awareness of how many decks were traversed by a particular staircase is commonly found when trying to identify, for instance, routes taken to the boat deck by 3rd Class survivors. Things often fall into place only when we put ourselves in the footsteps of the witness and try to view the scenery through the eyes of somebody not equipped with a set of deckplans.
 

Pat Cook

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So then Beesley must've gone down 2 flights of stairs, rather than one (albeit paneled off from the first class smoke room).

Again, thanks guys!

Best regards,
Cook
 

Pat Cook

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Back on topic here -

Paul wrote: "I recall reading somewhere that at least one other public room remained open, with the lights on, and the stewards were hovering round hoping that the occupants would leave so they could tidy up, switch the lights off and go to bed. For the life of me, I can't remember which room it was!"

According to the Times newspaper, April 20, 1912, there was a bridge game going on in the Cafe Parisien with Pierre Marechal, Alfred Ormont, Paul Chevre and Lucien Smith at the time of the collision. Ormont's later statement to the British Commission corroborates this location.

Best regards,
Cook
 

Bob Godfrey

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I wonder if the lights were still on in the restaurant also. At least one of the staff, the senior cashier, was still there working at the time of the collision. The 1st Class dining room might also have been partly lit. According to James Johnson, who was night watchman responsibility for the reception area, dining room and pantries, he and several others of the night staff were gathered at one of the dining room tables near the entrance, waiting for the regular bedroom stewards to 'knock off' at midnight.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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So then Beesley must've gone down 2 flights of stairs, rather than one (albeit paneled off from the first class smoke room).
Beesley described going up from his cabin on D deck to the boat deck as climbing "three flights of stairs" to the vestibule door leading to the top deck. The first flight up from D deck was C deck, the next flight was to B deck, and the last flight up was to the boat deck. The climb from B deck to the boat deck was considered as a single flight of stairs. The path down from the boat deck would be on the port side of the elevator shaft down to the 1st landing between the boat deck and A deck, then down the stairs on the starboard side to the landing on A deck (but no access out), then down the port side stairs to the landing between A and B decks, then down the starboard side stairs to C deck facing aft toward the 2[sup]nd[/sup] class smoke room.

The stairwell arrangement can be seen in the attached diagram.
86846.gif
 

Paul Lee

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What were the lighting conditions like just before the ship sank. ISTR one survivor saying the lights on A-deck were glowing a "devilish red".

Cheers

Paul

 

Paul Lee

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Also, does anyone know if the lights on the bridge and/or wheelhouse were turned on when the ship finally came to a halt and the engines were finished with?

Cheers

Paul

 
Dec 2, 2000
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Paul, as far as I know, it was never mentioned but I doubt that the lights were turned on. (I could be mistaken so don't take this as gospel.) Sailors don't like having their night vision trashed, especially in an emergency situation. Turning on the lights on the Bridge and inside the wheelhouse wouldn't have served that purpose.
 

Paul Lee

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Thanks Michael,
As far as I can gather, the only part of the ship that wasn't illuminated was the 3rd class deck space at the stern of the ship (as seen by Marshall Drew)

Cheers

Paul

 

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