Questions about making the classic film Swallows and Amazons (1974)

Behind-the-scenes while filming 'Swallows & Amazons' in 1973
Behind-the-scenes while filming ‘Swallows & Amazons’ in 1973

The classic movie of Swallows & Amazons is often broadcast on BBC TV. If you would like to know more about how the film was made you can find the details on this site or leave any questions in the comments box below.

To read about our first day’s filming at Haverthwaite Railway Station click here and keep reading.

Sophie Neville having her hair cut on location for the part of Titty Walker in 1973
Sophie Neville having her hair cut on location for the part of Titty Walker in 1973

Do you know what lake we were on in the photograph below?  We were busy loading urns of tea into a run-around boat to take out to the film crew who might have been on Cormorant Island. If you click on the photo you will get to the page of my diary, kept in June 1973, which describes this day.

Wardrobe Master Terry Smith and Sophie Neville in her costume to play Titty. But what is the name of the boatman? Doers anybody know?
Wardrobe Master Terry Smith and Sophie Neville in her costume to play Titty. But what is the name of the boatman? Does anybody know?

There are still many questions about the making of the movie that remain unanswered.

A journalist on Peel Island
Does anyone know the name of this journalist who visited us on Peel Island?

This shot was taken while setting up the scene at Peel Island when Captain Flint brings Sammy the Policeman to question the Swallows.  If you click on the photo you will find the photograph that the journalist ended up with. Titty’s hand is still on Captain Flint’s arm.

Making a movie is very different from watching one. Here is a record of Titty rehearsing the shot when she moves the camping equipment for fear of a tidal wave. It was a cold day on Coniston Water. The jersey came off when they went for a take.

Sophie Neville with 35mm Panavision Camera

Here you can see Lesley Bennett, playing Peggy Blackett, careening Amazon at Beckfoot. The same 35mm Panavision camera was focused on Kit Seymour, playing Captain Nancy.

Lesley Bennett as Peggy: Claude Whatham directing the scene with Kit Seymour

The location used for Beckfoot and the Amazon boathouse can be found at Brown Howe on the western bank of  Coniston Water. If you click on the photograph of Peggy you can read more about what happened that day.

Amazon Boathouse
Kit Seymour playing Nancy Blackett and Lesley Bennett playing Peggy Blackett

If you would like to get future posts, please click the Follow button at the bottom of the side-bar.

You can read the full story about the making of Swallows and Amazons here: 

Author: Sophie Neville

Writer and charity fundraiser

10 thoughts on “Questions about making the classic film Swallows and Amazons (1974)”

  1. Dear Sophie

    I had great fun watching the film today with my 6 year old grand-daughter Lydia who loved it after I had reassured her that the pirates were not real ones!

    The film appeared to be an edited version – Eg the scene at Rio where the native meets Roger who is guarding swallow was omitted – as were the final credits. Some of the sound wasn’t too good either.

    The picture of the boat with you and the tea urns is taken on the east shore of derwentwater with cat bells in the background. It appears to be a purpose built jetty- probably somewhere where the road runs near the shore

    Best wishes!

  2. Thank you for letting me know. I think that version was once for sale as a DVD on but fans complained. Perhaps we should write in to ITV and ask them to show a decent quality version. The DVD issued by the Daily Mail is of excellent quality. It can be purchased cheaply on eBay.

  3. Or write in to your Oz TV stations and ask them to broadcast it. They love getting requests! It was shown on TV in the Melbourne area twice last year – not sure if this was national. There is a lot of interest in the EMI film of ‘Swallows & Amazons’ (1974) in Australia which has a branch of TARS.

    1. It was on in Queensland too Sophie. Cant remember what channel. Just remember turning the box on one afternoon and there it was.

  4. Thank you for yet more information on the film’s locations, etc. I can’t get enough of the behind-the-scenes story!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: