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Monday, 22 July, 2002 14:00 BST
Life on board
Postcard of second class birth
Second Class berth as shown on a postcard.
Peter Boyd-Smith
tiny There were over 2,000 passengers on board RMS Titanic when she sailed from Southampton.

However there was a massive difference between how the different classes of passenger travelled across the Atlantic.
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Passengers on the whole were expected to make their own entertainment onboard Titanic. There was a well stocked library available to both the
First class passenger
Typical first class atire
first and second class passengers. Many people spent time writing letters home as well as keeping diaries.

Gentlemen could take advantage of the barbershop as well as a well stocked dark room available for those interested in the relatively new pastime of photography. There was also a gymnasium, Turkish baths and a swimming pool filled with salt water.

"I saw the beautiful swimming bath...which was something new to transatlantic liners...and I was soon caught up and entranced with the physical culture gymnasium. There I was invited to take exercise of various mechanical machines, electrically controlled. I had a camel ride, a cycle ride and a donkey ride."
R C Lawrence, Freemantle, Survivor
Titanic Voices, p 97/98

Those who wanted to take more leisurely activities could choose to take a stroll along the promenade, play a game of deck quoites or relax on one of the many deck chairs.

Socialising was a major activity for most people and for many this would have been their first experience of meeting people of different nationalities.

There were also several professional gamblers on board ready to join a game of cards. Some passengers preferred to keep themselves to themselves emerging at lunch time and then returning to their quarters afterwards.

Deck quoites. Supplied by
Peter Boyd-Smith Cobwebs

The game of Deck quoites was invented during the time of Nelson. The quoites were colour coded and corresponded with numbers marked on the deck.

Women were allowed to stand slightly nearer to allow for restrictions in movement due to tight corseting.

The passengers in second class were able to access some of the areas open to the first class passengers, the library was open to them as well as the smoking room. Many would have spent much of their time writing letters home and playing card or board games and of course socialising would have been very much the order of the day. There was even a newspaper on board called the Atlantic Daily Bulletin.

"No effort had been spared to give even the second cabin passengers on that Sunday the best dinner that money could buy. After I had eaten, I listened to the orchestra for a little while, then at nine o`clock or half past nine I went to my cabin"
Charlotte Collyer, Survivor
Titanic Voices, p133

There was not a great deal for a third-class passengers to do on board. Recreations such as could be had in a gymnasium, swimming pool, Turkish bath and other luxuries were restricted to the first class, and to some extent the second class.

"No formal entertainment was provided, other than the music supplied by the ships orchestra, which played in the first and second class dining rooms, and gave recitals in their lounges. Third class passengers were left to organise their own entertainment, which often took the form of a singsong or dancing to music provided by themselves".
The Saga of the Titanic`s Steerage Part 1

During the day the gymnasium was open for the first class children and in the evening they were able to attend the concerts with their parents.

The library was open to both first and second class children. All of the children on board would have entertained themselves playing deck quoites, shuffleboard and running and skipping games on the deck.

The areas accessible to passengers were linked to the section of the ship where their berth was situated, consequentially some areas were off limits to anyone berthed in a different section of the ship.

In many ways the third class children would have had the most fun on board as they would have enjoyed exploring the ship and would have found it easier to access below decks where the crew were based.

Pets at sea
Strange though it may seem, there were several pets accompanying their owners on board the ship. The cost however was quiet high, about the same as the fare for a child (half fare) so it was mainly the first class passengers who had their pets with them

There was a total of nine dogs, four hens and roosters, 30 cockerels, one yellow canary and the ship's cat named Jenny. Five of the dogs stayed with their owners in their cabins.
After the Titanic went down, only three dogs and a canary survived the sinking.

"During the voyage Mrs Nellie Hocking and Edwina Trout, Second class passengers, were disturbed by the sound of a rooster crowing, and both of them took it as a harbinger bad luck."

"Incidentally the Titanic had her own pet in the shape of the ship's cat, which stewardess Violet Jessop said was called Jenny. Ship's cats were common in that period because of the presence of rats. While the ship was being stored at Southampton, Jenny presented her keepers with a litter of kittens."

All quotes on this page reproduced from
The Animals on board the Titanic by
Loannis Georgiou, Atlantic Daily Bulletin

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