Rachel Hodson: Actress and founder of a Norfolk talking newspaper

Rachel Hodson

Rachel Hodson - Credit: Archant

A founder member of north Norfolk's talking newspaper and actress, Rachel Hodson, has died aged 90.

She started on the stage as a child and her last role was in a Christmas production at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, five years ago.

When she moved to Norfolk with her actor husband, Geoffrey, in 1985, they were quickly enrolled to launch the Mardler Talking Newspaper.

Although they had offered to help the established Norwich-based Chatterbox, and were then living at Coltishall, it was suggested that they offer their services at Aylsham.

Her previous experience in Kent with the Bromley newspaper was of great assistance in those early days.

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She was still reading for the Mardler until this summer – almost 28 years' involvement.

Born at Peterborough, she joined the BBC in administration, where she worked in London for many years.

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There she took the continuity announcers' test and was accepted when the BBC decided to employ women in that position.

However, she met and married Geoffrey and then left to start a family.

She played a variety of roles during her time in London from 1953 including Bromley Little Theatre where her roles included Coward's Madam Arcati in Blithe Spirit and Miss Prism in Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.

At the Maddermarket, she was in productions including Forty Years On, The Happiest Days of Your Life, both in 1986 and Pygmalion.

With her husband, they toured churches in Norfolk and Suffolk performing poems and prose readings in programmes given by the Nonsuch Singers.

She was also an official welcomer at the Norwich Cathedral.

Married for 56 years, she is survived by her husband, Geoffrey, and leaves sons, Paul, a writer and director, who produced Nick Hornby's football story, Fever Pitch to the stage, and Robin, who is a teacher at Colchester. She has a granddaughter, Jessie.

A funeral service and requiem Mass will be held at Norwich Cathedral on Friday, October 25 at 1.30pm.Michael Pollitt

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