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Ship to Shore: Five Years in the 1950s


It was love at first sight, but within days they were separated. John and Barbara then wrote to each other, sharing their life stories, their beliefs, and their everyday experiences. By the time John came home on leave, he was ready to propose marriage.


Their letters from 1953 to 1958 invite us to share their happy times together, and the anguish of separation, as world events conspired to keep them apart. Meanwhile, British culture was changing, as the sentimental ballads popular in the post-war era gave way to rock and roll.


Barbara reveals the ups and downs of housework, childbirth, and childrearing in the nineteen-fifties, whilst giving an insight into the fashions and attitudes of the time. John paints a picture of the exotic places he visited in the Merchant Navy, together with the frustrations and pleasures of life at sea and later as a mature student in London.