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October 6th 1905 - Letter from May Sladden to her mother, Eugénie Sladden

6th October 1905
Correspondence From
May Sladden, RMS Orontes, The Orient Pacific Line
Correspondence To
Eugénie Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

5.30 pm Friday

My darling Mother

Your letter shall be at any rate begun this evening though whether it gets finished depends upon the weather and me.  We started just before 1.30 sailing most calmly down the Thames, we had finished lunch by 1.45 or so and then began seeing about unpacking a few things and getting our cabin to rights, that took some time, then I came up on deck where we had found our chairs and had them unpacked we sat and talked with Miss Laird and her cabin mate, a Miss Rutherford, elderly and I should say an intellectual woman from her talk and decidedly inclined to be friendly, in fact, I am “dear” already!

7.45. I had to go to dinner at this juncture and now resume my narrative.  I gave my money and valuables to the purser this afternoon and had to wait a little before getting at him, there were so many people wanting him.  Auntie meanwhile went down to tea but when I got down feeling I had better have something soon (the sea having become rather choppy) I found I was too late and nothing could be had till dinner at 6.  Miss Rutherford most kindly gave me some Plasmon biscuits and I was all right.  She and Miss Laird however both disappeared into their cabin and went to bed, they are both bad sailors.  Auntie and I took plenty of wraps for it was getting cold, and sat on deck writing as I said till dinner.  We were both quite ready for that meal and enjoyed it.  We went on deck again for a walk and found it much calmer again, we could see the lights of Dover and Folkestone well.  It was only just rounding the North Foreland that it was a bit choppy, we were so far from land there that I could only just make out what I thought must be Ramsgate and Deal piers.  We stayed on deck a little while as it was quite pleasant out of the wind, now we are writing in the saloon.

We have places at table next to Miss Laird and Miss Rutherford opposite is a very lively little curly haired boy of 3½ who looks as if he might be the pet and the torment of most of the passengers.  I hear there are no less than 9 persons on board, two are at our table but at the other end.  It is difficult to realise that we are off for such a long time, and so long a way, at present I feel more as if I were just on a channel boat.  As I have written you a pretty full account perhaps you will send it on to Father when you write and I will only send him a postcard this time.  It was nice having you with me those last few days.  I did enjoy my time at Deal and the last evening in London very much.
I found a letter and parcel from Miss Jackson awaiting me on the boat so that is all right.

I hope you will have a nice time with Miss Pollard and afterwards at Weybridge.  I must write to you from Marseilles there.  Auntie can’t make up her mind whether she will have the top bunk or the lower, so she is going to try the lower tonight and if she dislikes it we will change.  

9.15 Saturday morning. Have had good night slept well, top bunk is very nice, I think Auntie would rather I did the climbing than she so I am to have it.  I could see the coast line this morning when I woke at 6.  Breakfast was at 8.  After this letter I must begin my diary.   I shall send the first part from Marseilles.  It is so lovely on deck this morning we are both enjoying the air.  I must hunt for the Eddystone Lighthouse now and post these letters.  Goodbye, Mother Dear, mind you have a nice holiday and think of me as having a very good time.

Much love from 

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 1 double sheet of notepaper
Location of Document
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Record Office Reference