Very Happy New Year!

Sophie Neville author of The Making of Swallows and Amazons
Sophie Neville

This Christmas has been marked by a number of amusing cards, emails and comments that have come in from people who remember making the film of Swallows & Amazons in 1973.

David Stott has already sent in his memories of working as Ronald Fraser’s driver at the age of 19 while Peter Walker remembers literally  bumping into him in a pub in Ambleside. Various journalists added their recollections online below an article in the Telegraph. I hope to have gathered enough photographs to post a few more in the new year.

If you can remember anything about the filming of Swallows & Amazons, can recollect going to see it in the cinema when it was first released, or have memories about anyone connected to the movie, add a comment below or contact me on

The Amazon boathouse on Coniston Water
The Amazon boathouse on Coniston Water

I have a list of those who appeared as supporting artists in the film that I would love to add to. Can you help me with more details and full names? It would be awful if I had incorrect spellings.

Kerry Dartisnine ~ Nurse

Tiffany Smith ~ Baby Vicky

Moira Late ~ Mrs Jackson

Brian Robey Jones ~ Mr Jackson

Mr Turner ~ Shopkeeper

Mr Price ~ Native on the Rio jetty

Mrs Price ~ Visitor at Haverthwaite Railway Station

Martin Neville ~ Native on the steamer

George Pattinson ~ Steamboat owner

Stanley Wright ~ Motorboat mechanic

James Stelfox ~ Boat mechanic

Herbert Barton ~ Casual holiday-maker

L. Lucas Dews ~ Man just returned from abroad

Jane Price ~ Girl at Rio

Simon Price ~ Boy at Rio

Tamzin Neville ~ Girl at Rio

Perry Neville ~ Girl at Rio

Pandora Doyle ~ Girl at Rio

Alan Smith ~ Boy at Rio

Jane Grendon ~ Rio visitor

Janet Hadwin ~ Rio visitor

Peggy Drake ~ Rio visitor

William Drake ~ Rio visitor

Mrs Jill Jackson ~ Rio visitor

Lindsay Jackson ~ Rio visitor

Nicola Jackson ~ Rio visitor

Fiona Jackson ~ Rio visitor

Shane Jackson ~ Rio visitor

Zena Khan ~ Rio Visitor

Lorna Khan ~ Lady on the Tern

Sarah Boom ~ Cyclist at Rio

Jack Hadwin ~ Motorcyclist

Kendal Borough Band

Beauty Proctor ~ Polly, the green parrot

The following people worked on the crew of Swallows & Amazons  but I am not sure of their exact job titles:

Gay Lawley-Wakelin, Richard Daniel, John Slater, Lee Apsey, Craig Hillier, Les Philips, Ron Baker, John Pullen, Harry Heeks, Graham Orange, Mike Henley, Joe Ballerino, Ted Elliot, Eddie Cook, John Engelman, John Mills, Ernie Russell, Clive Stewart, Toni Turner, Phyllis B, Pinewood Caterers John and Margaret ……, Robert Wakeling, David Stott. and other Drivers: Browns of Ambleside

Have I left anybody Out?


Author: Sophie Neville

Writer and charity fundraiser

12 thoughts on “Very Happy New Year!”

  1. I was trying to imagine what you were thinking in the photo of you with Anthony Gormley near the Amazon boathouse. Possibly something about brass monkies and cold weather! Poor fellow, they could have given him some clothes!

    1. Oh, it was all quite proper. He was wearing a body stocking. I was just amused to meet him at High Nibthwaite. And then saw Antony Gormley’s name in the New Year’s Honours list today.

      It was so wet that I have to admit I was only looking at where my feet fell. The long lens must have distorted things. Some newspapers have the same inclinations.

  2. A knighthood for filling the country with ugly statues of himself? The whole world will be spoilt by them before long as he inflicts himself on us more and more. He’s become a terrible virus. As I write this, there are more of him on the Sky news channel! It’s like something out of Doctor Who – they’re all going to turn on us some day.

  3. Judging by the lack of tackle on a manly character, she might see it as a bit of a kindred spirit, so maybe that one’s more appropriately placed than I had realised.

  4. Hope for some more of the crew getting in touch with you, Sophie. BTW, your post with the lovely info from Sten’s mother, although it arrived as an email, comes up as Not Found if you click on it or look for it on your page. It has been eaten by a Windermere monster, evidently………..

    1. Ahh, I’m sorry. I hit the wrong button. I am just waiting to see if she can find her photos and ‘diary’ in the form of letters she wrote home to her husband and then I will post it.

  5. Happiest of New Years to you too Sophie! I’m looking forward to more recollections and photos in reaction to your book during the months ahead. And of course, by my calculations, this is the 40th anniversary year of the film’s release! I hope it receives some proper recognition, such as a commemorative DVD release!

    1. The film premier was held on 4th April 1974, Any adversarial ideas welcome.

      I have the hardback and paperback to launch,and a number of talks lined up.

      Suzanna Hamilton has agreed to come up to the Lake District, which would be special. Cumbria PR are having a meeting this morning in Ambleside about the possibility of putting something on in late March.

      1. I wonder whether the British Film Institute could be approached to organize something. Anniversaries are always a good excuse to put extra effort (and funding) into a project! I guess various media could also be contacted – perhaps Empire Magazine can be persuaded to do a little commemorative feature?!?

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: