IT WAS the building to which hundreds of families flocked following the devastating news that the Titanic had sunk on her maiden voyage.

The White Star offices at Canute Chambers in Canute Road, Southampton, were besieged by anxious relatives desperately seeking news of loved ones caught up in the disaster.

White Star employees worked flat out for more than 36 hours trying to get news to the waiting masses.

Now the building’s imposing doors have been restored to their former glory by period woodwork specialists Vincent Reed – just in time for the 105th anniversary of the sinking.

A Vincent Reed spokesman said: “The office played a central role as news of the disaster spread. “Hundreds of concerned friends and relatives went there to see if their loved ones were on the lists of survivors that were posted on blackboards outside

“The exterior doors had become warped and the original finish had deteriorated in the years since the tragedy so the current owners asked Vincent Reed to conserve and restore them.

“Specialists spent a week painstakingly working on the doors to bring them back to their former glory.”

Vincent Reed has worked on many historically significant buildings, including those owned by organisations such as Historic Royal Palaces and the National Trust.

The spokesman added: “The doors were in pretty good shape considering their age and usage but needed careful restoration.”

“We are delighted with the finished result. It has been an honour to have played a role in preserving one of Southampton’s historic treasures.”

The building is within sight of the former South Western Hotel and only a short walk from Dock Gate 4, which led down to the White Star berth.

The Titanic was sailing from Southampton to New York in April 1912 when she struck an iceberg and went down with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.

The Daily Echo at the time said Canute Chambers witnessed “pathetic scenes” as relatives standing in the street outside waited for news.

The Daily Graphic added: “As hour after hour passed and no list of the lost, or additions to the list of the saved were forthcoming, the distress was pitiable to witness.”

Today the red-brick building is still used as offices but not by a shipping line.