Unveiling a plaque to Arthur Ransome at Rugby School

Sophie Neville unveiling a plaque to commemorate Arthur Ransome at Rugby School

President-elect of The Arthur Ransome Society at Rugby School

I had always wondered what it would feel like to pull a cord that unveiled a commemorative plaque.  The truth is that it does not take long, but is jolly tricky for the press to photograph when the plaque is made of glass. For one moment, some thought that Arthur Ransome’s second name had been spelled incorrectly but Michell (with no T) had been a family friend.

Sophie Neville having unveiled the plaque to Arthur Ransome at Rugby School

The line-drawing is a copy of one of his illustrations from the first of his twelve well-loved ‘Swallows and Amazons’ books, which so influenced my life, encouraging me to read, draw, sail and explore wild places.

To read more about this and the speeches please click here


Neville Chamberlain carved his name into the top of this table top

What had not occurred to me was just how many well known and inspirational people had either also been pupils at Rugby or taught there.  My own education was expanded as we were shown around the school.

Lewis Caroll

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson otherwise known as Lewis Carroll

We found Lewis Carroll’s plaque along with many others in the chapel ~

Lewis Carroll

Rupert Brooks, poet of the First World War who died in 1915 ~

Rupert Brooke

I think Arthur Ransome would have appreciated the simple line-drawing of Amazon, been pleased by the fact that he was referred to as a correspondent, rather than a journalist, and would be happy with the position. This is at the top of the stairs, directly opposite the Temple Reading Room, which I think you can see at the left of this photograph. I gather he didn’t like the rugger pitch much. It was on this field that they first picked up the ball and ran with it.


To read the excellent article in the Rugby and Lutterworth Observer please click here.

Sophie Neville at Rugby School

Sophie Neville beneath the portrait of Dr Matthew Arnold at Rugby School


Filed under Arthur Ransome, Biography, News, Sophie Neville, Swallows and Amazons, truelife story

6 responses to “Unveiling a plaque to Arthur Ransome at Rugby School

  1. jsp713

    Congratulations and thank you for all you do!

  2. Congratulations, Sophie! I can think of no-one better suited to unveil the plaque. Thanks for all you to in memory of the Great Fellow, and thanks for your kind friendship, too.

  3. Peter Willis

    Excellent speech by Nick Thomas! Did you have to give one?

    • I just uttered a few words before I drew the curtains, saying that I hoped that the plaque would inspire pupils and teachers to write books and sail boats. Nick Thomas’s excellent speech is to be published in Mixed Moss. I thought I had better write from a different angle – but you can find him quoted in full by clicking the link to the Rugby School page about the event hosted by Rusty Maclean.

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