If you have ever wondered what Nancy Blackett is doing now – here she is. Built by Hillyards of Littlehampton in 1931 she was bought by Arthur Ransome with royalties from Swallows and Amazons and became both the inspiration and model for his book about the Swallows’ unplanned voyage to Holland ~ We Didn’t Mean to go to Sea, in which she was known as the Goblin. She also appears in Secret Water.
I was at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club to give a talk on making the BBC adaptations of two other Arthur Ransome books set in East Anglia, Coot Club and The Big Six.
I was sure that people would rather be out in the sunshine but it was well attended.
After watching a clip of Ginger and Rosa, the BFI/BBC feature film directed by Sally Potter that starred Nancy Blackett, we wandered down to the jetty in front of the new club house, and grabbed a chance to go out on the Orwell.
Soon sails were being hoisted and we were underway, sailing down river in the evening light.
Conditions were perfect for Nancy, a 28 foot Bermurdan cutter.
I took the helm, whilst the others did the hard work.
We were soon sailing past Pin Mill, which also features in the book.
Some members of the crew were experienced sailors,
others had previously managed to avoid spending much time on the water, but we all had a wonderful experience and were sad when the sails were stowed for the night.
We saw a couple of Thames barges also coming in, as Nancy settled down after a successful day. Think of joining The Nancy Blackett Trust and sailing her yourself.
For more photos please click here
6 thoughts on “Sailing the Nancy Blackett”
Beautiful photos, Sophie. It looks like you all had a grand time and the weather was just right, too.
We enjoyed perfect conditions. I have since added a few more photos and corrected my own English.
Wonderful to see the old girl looking so good! I only wish I could have been there! Love the photos and the whole post, Sophie, and I am glad you had a proper audience! It just shows how enduring AR and the Swallows and Amazons are!
Yes, indeed. We made ‘Coot Club’ 30 years ago, but it has hardly dated. The DVD must sell quite well. Have you managed to see it recently?
These are lovely photos of what looks like a great occasion. I saw ‘Nancy Blackett’ when I was on a recent holiday in Suffolk and am now a member of the Trust. I hope to take advantage of a sail on her maybe next year. Thank you Sophie, for ‘pushing’ me in the right direction.