Arthur Ransome died fifty years ago. VisitEngland and VisitBritain have included him in their ‘Year of Literary Heroes’. Do contact them if you are running a Swallows and Amazons event so they can help promote it. Click here for more info
The Arthur Ransome Society, formed in 1990, has 1,115 members with branches in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and the UK where they have six regions with their own committees: Scotland, Northern, Midland, Eastern, Southern and Southwestern. The society offers a research grant as well as grants for young members to travel and participate in Ransome-ish activities. It produces three different journals while keeping a stall and extensive library. TARS is associated with The Arthur Ransome Trust, the Nancy Blackett Trust and the Arthur Ransome Club of Japan along with Amazon Publications who publish original books and reprints works connected with Ransome. Please click here for membership enquires.
Sophie Neville, who is President of The Arthur Ransome Society, spoke about ‘Swallows and Amazons’ on ITV News at Ten last year, and on BBC South Today with Seren Hawkes who played Captain Nancy in the 2016 film.
The new movie ‘Swallows and Amazons’(2016) won the New York International Children’s Film Festival grand prize and is now being distributed in the US by Samuel Goldwyn Meyer. Made on location in Cumbria and Yorkshire, it stars Kelly Macdonald, Rafe Spall and Andrew Scott and is now out on DVD.
StudioCanal have a trailer for the new film’Swallows and Amazons’(PG) and you can read one of the reviews here. The best behind-the-scenes article can be found here. Nick Barton, CEO of Harbour Pictures and producer of this new film adaptation, gave a talk to The Arthur Ransome Society with his screen writer Andrea Gibb.
The original film ‘Swallows & Amazons’ (1974) was shown at the Hotel Tesanton cinema the Roseland Festival 2017 in St Mawes. It’s a great film to sceen at summer festivals as you are only legally permitted to screen a film with a ‘U’ certificate in public outdoors. The Just So Festival used it last August.
Do request a screening of ‘Swallows and Amazons’ at your local cinema. Picturehouse cinemas enable the remastered version of ‘Swallows & Amazons’ (1974) to be used as a charity fundraiser, so think of taking along your local church or sailing club.
A clip of the film made in 1974:
‘The Secret Life of Arthur Ransome’, presented by Griff Rhys Jones currently available on BBC iPlayer.
Sophie has spoken about Swallows and Amazons on Radio 4, Premier, regional BBC Radio stations and has been giving talks on how Coot Club and The Big Six were filmed on the Norfolk Broads
Revelation Films have a digitally restored DVD with an extras package available.
You can watch episode one on Youtube.
To read the filmography posts about the 1974 film please go to: https://sophieneville.net/category/autobiography/
You too can find the locations and sail Swallow:
Swallow, the dinghy used in the 1974 film, is currently in East Anglia. For opportunities to sail her yourself please click here
Swallows & Amazons tours of the Lake District, led by Peter Walker of Mountain Goat in Windermere can be booked for groups by request. A must for overseas visitors. To read about this do go to: ‘In Search of our old Film Locations’. For booking details please click here.
Cruise on the Tern that was featured in Swallows and Amazons(1974) with Windermere Lake Cruises
The Lakeside and Havethwaite Steam Railway take bookings here
To go out in The Lady Derwentwater, used as Captain Flint’s houseboat in 1974 ~ contact the Keswick Launch Company.
Glenridding Sailing Centre are running Swallows and Amazons Adventure Days on Ullswater in the summer holidays.
To stay at Holly Howe ~ contact Jonathan Batty at Bank Ground Farm
The Elterwater Hostel welcomes Arthur Ransome enthusiasts
Virginia McKenna stayed at the Langdale Chase Hotel where the Wrap Party for ‘Swallows and Amazons'(1974) was held
Information on visiting Peel Island can be found here
Take a Swallows and Amazons cruise on the Coniston Launch
Hire a canoe or boat from Coniston Boating Center
Why not have lunch at the Bluebird Cafe on the shores of Coniston Water
Visit the John Ruskin Museum in Coniston
If you are thinking of visiting the Lake District the website VisitCumbria.com has a ‘Swallows and Amazons’ page with activities listed.
For specialist books about the Lake District ~ click here
To find out more about The Arthur Ransome Society ~ click here
For fabulous information on All Things Ransome ~ click here
You can sail the The Nancy Blackett ~ Arthur Ransome’s yacht featured in We didn’t Mean to Go to Sea and Secret Water, currently on the Orwell.
If it’s raining, here is a recipe for Bun loaf
RECENT EVENTS ~
StudioCanal now have a Blu-ray of ‘Hirondelle et Amazones’ – Swallows and Amazons’ in French. There are also DVDs in Czech.
Swallows & Amazons (1974) was featured on CBBC TV’s Cinemaniacs now on BBC I-player.
An audience of 250 came to see the restored screen version of Swallows & Amazons in Kendal. To read more please click here. The Blu-Ray version for cinemas was premiered by PictureHouse cinemas in London.
Screenings of ‘Swallows & Amazons’ (1974) at the Riverside Cinema in Woodbridge in aid of the Nancy Blackett Trust attracted big audiences.
Nancy Blackett was featured in the film Ginger and Rosa. Click here to watch the clip.
Mike Zeller of BBC Radio Cumbria asked: ‘Did you take part in the film in 1973?’ If you did – please add a comment below!
Swallows & Amazons was broadcast on ITV3 the weekend before Christmas
Sophie was asked to unveil a plaque commemorating Arthur Ransome at Rugby School, where he was at Whitelaw House as a pupil from 1897-1901.
Sophie has given talks on ‘Filming the BBC adaptations of ‘Coot Club’ and ‘The Big Six’ in Norfolk’ for the Nancy Blackett Trust at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club and for The Arthur Ransome Society.
Dulwich Film at the Michael Croft Theatre, screened ‘Swallows & Amazons’ . The film was introduced by Sophie Neville who was joined by Suzanna Hamilton and Sten Grendon. It was shown on the big screen at the Barbican in London ~ by Grapevine Movies , at the Purbeck Film Festival, the Greenwich Picture Gallery and (click here for quite a funny photo) on the shores of Coniston Water
Swallows & Amazons was broadcast on CT1, Czech TV . This is the 1976 version:
It was re-released in 2011 when voices were dubbed with those of local Czech stars:
Film Choice ~ The Daily Telegraph featured Swallows and Amazons (1974) in their film profile:
Sophie Neville and Suzanna Hamilton were interviewed by Ben Fogel above Coniston Water about being in the movie, on Country Tracks for BBC TV.
The Arthur Ransome Trust ~ Movie Memories write-up
BBC Radio 4 ~ John McCarthy sailed Swallow on Radio 4.
Sophie Neville gave an illustrated talk at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club
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