Guest speaker Sophie Neville

Sophie Neville speaking about ‘Swallows & Amazons’

Sophie’s illustrated talks include:

  •  ‘The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons’ 
  •  ‘Swallows & Amazons – the film locations’
  •  ‘Swallows & Amazons – filming afloat’
  •  ‘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.
  • ‘The Old Longbow’ ~ the romance of the traditional longbow.
  •  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 ~

Q&A with Diana Quick at Aldeburgh Cinema in association with Aldeburgh Bookshop

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 after a screening of Swallows & Amazons.

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‘ in East Anglia.

Sophie Neville talking about The Big Six

An Illustrated talk on ‘Swallows & Amazons’, the film locations’ for the The Arthur Ransome Society in Scotland.

An illustrated talk on Swallows & Amazons at the Royal London Yacht Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Q&A at  Zeffirelli’s in Ambleside, the cinema visited by the cast and crew of Swallows & Amazons (1974)

Cinema screening of S&A

Swallows & Amazons was screened at the Brewery Arts Centre Cinema, Kendal with Q&A by Sophie Neville.

Hackney Picture House graphic

Q&A after the 40th Anniversary screening of ‘Swallows & Amazons’ (U) at The Hackney PictureHouse, London.

Introducing a 40th Anniversary screening of StudioCanal’s digitally restored version of  Swallows & Amazons (U) at the Electric Cinema in Hastings as part of the Pirate Day celebrations. To book tickets for 2015 please click here.

Sophie Neville and her books

An illustrated talk on ‘Charts and Mapping’.  Contact TARS for details of talks in 2015.

40th Anniversary talk on ‘Swallows & Amazons, the film locations’ ~ for The Arthur Ransome Society with The Arthur Ransome Trust.

A talk at the Arthur Ransome weekend at Rydal Hall.

An illustrated talk at St John’s Church in the Waterberg, South Africa

An illustrated talk on ‘The Secrets  of Filming ‘Swallows & Amazons’ for TARS East in Suffolk.

An introduction to Swallows & Amazons (1974) at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.

An illustrated talk for the Solent Section of the Cruising Association at The Mercury Marina on the Hamble.

An illustrated talk for parents and pupils at Walhampton School.

‘China’s Bestseller and the Amity Printing Press’ in the Waterberg, South Africa

30th Anniversary talk on  BBC adaptations of ‘Coot Club’ and ‘The Big Six’  at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club.

40th Anniversary talk for The Arthur Ransome Society IAGM at Brockenhurst College in the New Forest.

A talk about ‘Funnily Enough’ for the Oakridge Book Club

The Michael Croft Theatre for Dulwich Film

Royal Lymington Yacht Club on Filming ‘Swallows & Amazons’

River Severn Motor Yacht Club in aid of Comic Relief

Secrets of filming Swallows and Amazons

The Secrets of Filming of ‘Swallows & Amazons’

Emmanuel Stoughton, Guildford on the Amity Printing Press and China’s Bestseller

For videos on the subject please click on : ~


Meeting members of the Guildford Chinese Student Christian Union at the talk ~

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

 Speaking at The Arthur Ransome Society Southern Region annual lunch in Arundel
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

An illustrated talk  for The Arthur Ransome Society’s 11th Literary Weekend 2011

A power point presentation at St John’s Church Boldre on China’s bestseller  

Sophie Neville talks on behalf of the Bible Society

Sophie Neville speaking at Church of St John the Baptist, Boldre

An illustrated talk on the Bible Society in China and World Mission at Lymington Baptist Church .

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, Weeke, Winchester a talk for Bible Sunday and a talk with slides 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.

Sophie Neville in Mozambique with the First Baptist Church

My first ever talk in a Baptist church in Mozambique. It consisted of a plam fence around a large mango tree.

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.

3 responses to “Talks

  1. Julia Jones

    Fascinating – wish I lived near Lymington

  2. Lisa McGinnis

    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!

    • 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.

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