Sophie Neville speaking after dinner at a literary weekend
Sophie Neville speaking about ‘Swallows & Amazons’

Sophie’s illustrated talks include:

  •  ‘The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons’ 
  •  ‘Swallows & Amazons – the film locations’
  •  Appearing on BBC Antiques Roadshow with ‘Swallows & Amazons movie memorabilia.
  •  ‘The Secrets of filming Coot Club and The Big Six in Norfolk’
  •  ‘Charts and decorative maps – the Arthur Ransome influence’
  •  The extraordinary story of a Commonwealth Soldier in WWII 
  •  ‘Funnily Enough, the true story’ ~ living with tame otters in the Cotswolds.
  •  ‘Ride the Wings of Morning’ ~ on working on horse safaris in Southern Africa.
  •  ‘Riding across South America on a horse’ and other great rides.
  •  ‘China’s Bestseller’ ~ on printing the Bible in China and the work of Bible Society.
  •  The Waterberg Trust’ ~ a charity supporting rural people in S.Africa.
  •  Litter picking along Solent shores

Talks last from 5 to 50 minutes, as requested. Each one is illustrated with a Power-point presentation of photographs or with DVDs. If you would like Sophie to come and give a talk please e-mail ~

 ~ Please click here to listen to recent interviews with Sophie Neville ~

Please click here for dates of future talks and appearances at festivals

Sophie Neville speaking at Rydal Hall

Recent talks have included ~

essex book festival-2019

  • Q&A after screening the movie ‘Swallows and Amazons'(1974) in association with the Keswick Convention

Roseland Festival 2017

  • Q&A at the Riverside cinema to celebrate ‘100 Years of Film’

Q&A to packed house

Sophie Neville Q&A in Cumbria

  • Talk on ‘Open the Book’ at 24 Rivers in the Waterberg, South Africa
  • Q&A from Sophie Neville at the Riverside Cinema in Woodbridge, Suffolk 
  • Q&A and talk at the Curious Arts Festival 2015 in the New Forest

Sophie Neville at Curious Arts photo George Ping

photo: George Ping

  • An illustrated talk on ‘The Secrets of filming Coot Club and The Big Six

Sophie Neville talking about The Big Six

Cinema screening of S&A

Hackney Picture House graphic

Secrets of filming Swallows and Amazons

The Secrets of Filming of ‘Swallows & Amazons’

Bible Society poster

Sophie Neville speaking at Orwell Park near Ispwich

  • An illustrated talk  at Orwell Park.
Author Sophie Neville speaking at The Arthur Ransome Society
Sophie Neville with the Chairman of The Arthur Ransome Society, southern region
Author and speaker Sophie Neville talks about Swallows and Amazons
Sophie Neville speaking abou the 1973 film of ‘Swallows and Amazons’ and subsequent BBC book adaptations at the Arthur Ransome Literary Weekend
Sophie Neville talks on behalf of the Bible Society
Sophie Neville speaking at Church of St John the Baptist, Boldre
Volunteer speaker Sophie Neville talks on behalf of the Bible Society
Sophie Neville speaking on behalf of the Bible Society at Lymington Baptist Church
Speaker Sophie Neville giving talks at St John's Church
Sophie Neville speaking on ‘China’s Bestseller’
Sophie Neville speaking at St Barnabus, Winchester ~ October 2012
Sophie Neville speaking at St Barnabus, Winchester ~ October 2012
  • St Barnabus Church, Winchester – a talk for Bible Sunday on China.
  • St John’s Church, Nursling – an illustrated talk on China’s Best seller.

Comments following recent talks ~

‘It was not so much a talk as a first-rate full-on presentation. It was really very good indeed.  I, for one, was quite enthralled, and deeply fascinated by the insight you gave us into the making of the film, as well as a film… I was drawn into another world of which I had no previous knowledge.  Your enthusiasm and humour was infectious.  ‘Effervescence’ is a word that comes to mind!  Peter Bell The Arthur Ransome Society

You did a great job – very relaxed and natural but also passionate about the subject, well done!’  Don O’Connor, St John’s Church

‘…you are entertaining enough to listen to 5 times over ’ Magnus Smith of Sail Ransome

‘…you were a huge hit.’  Peter Wright of The Arthur Ransome Society Literary Weekend

We very much enjoyed your talk and the pictures…  your company really made the occasion.’  David Ross of the Arthur Ransome Society Southern Branch

‘A dream of a talk and a privilege to be there.’  Jill Goulder

‘lovely gentle charm –  truly representative of the Swallows and Amazon ‘dream’.  Thank you so much … sorry not to see you but you were busy!’  Caroline

‘It was very lively and I could hear every word!’ A member of TARS

A talk with DVD’s at Hordle Walhampton School on the Waterberg Welfare Society, who help rural people address the onslaught of HIV/AIDS in South Africa, where Sophie lived for twelve years.

When I first started giving talks ~

…they were often held outside with no microphone, let alone a power-point presentation but got large audiences.

Girl with otter
‘Living with Otters’ ~ a talk by Sophie Neville, seen here with her tame otter Beenie

An unexpected guest, who turned up at my talk on Otter Conservation in 2001 ~

Girl with Otter
Beenie the otter and Sophie Neville appearing on the front cover of the Daily Telegraph with HRH, the Prince of Wales.

9 thoughts on “Talks”

  1. Over 120 people attended a superb Talk given by Sophie at The Royal Lymington Yacht Club on 20 March. The talk was hugely informative, not only about the filming of ‘Swallow and Amazons’, but also about film work in general. It was highly entertaining: many secrets were revealed! The audience was enchanted by the wonderful tales, photos and footage. Well done!

    1. Thank you so much for coming along! I had quite a few phone calls from people who couldn’t come but wanted to, and I know the Club had to turn others away, so we might be able to put on another sometime soon. I thought the screen, lighting and other electronic facilities at the club were great. If we do it again in this area I’ll make it a little different – perhaps less focused on how to shoot sailing scenes.

  2. These talks all look fascinating. I hope, when we can move about again you will give one somewhere up here in the North-West; I shall certainly attend if I can!

      1. That would be great if it comes off. I am now on Lakeland Arts mailing list so I will keep an eye open for it.

        1. We’ll certainly do something in Cumbria for the 50th Anniversary of the movie ‘Swallows and Amazons’ but that won’t be until 2024. Could possibly do something on ‘The Making of’ anniversary in 2023.

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