Sea to shore 1 - Bedtime stories

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Millie HodgsonMillie Hodgson

Millie was seven years old when her father died on HMS Hood and spent her childhood supporting her mother. She did not expect to marry a sailor but met her husband Gordon in 1956 when he had already been in the service for 10 years. They married one year later and had two daughters.

During his career Gordon served on a number of ships including HMS Vanguard and was away for fifteen months shortly after his first daughter was born. Millie had to play the role of both parents during his long absences and then attempt to include Gordon back into their lives on his return. Gordon left the Navy in 1968.

How did Millie's husband ensure his daughters had a bedtime story each night?

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Extract Text (Duration 0.57)

M Hodgson:   He used to write very regularly, he used to write long letters.  And one of the things he used to do when he was onboard the Victorious, especially for Suzanne, the second daughter, he borrowed a reel-to-reel tape recorder and he used to tape... he had these Andy Pandy books and Blackberry Farm, and he used to record bedtime stories for Sue, and then he used to send this reel through the post and then I could play them to Sue, which was rather nice.

Interviewer:   It was nice, wasn't it?

M Hodgson:  Yes.  But he had great difficulty in finding a quiet place onboard a ship where he could do this, so I think by the time Sue arrived he was beginning to feel a family man.

Decline of letter writing

1.59 mins - mp3 File

Differences in communication with children

1.24 mins - mp3 File

Using all forms of communication to stay in touch

1.01 mins - mp3 File

Keeping in touch with family in St. Vincent

1.28 mins - mp3 File

"I used to get phone calls all hours of the day and night"

1.24 mins - mp3 File

Keeping track of mum

1.14 mins - mp3 File

Numbering letters

1.22 mins - mp3 File

Intimacy of letters

1.48 mins - mp3 File

Communicating with the children

2.34 mins - mp3 File

3.04 mins - mp3 File

Ship to shore telephone

1.17 mins - mp3 File

Bedtime stories for daughters

0.57 mins - mp3 File