Please select your home edition
Edition
Raymarine 2021 Element S - LEADERBOARD

Swallows and Amazons film dinghy on BBC1's Antiques Roadshow

by Magnus Smith 22 Feb 16:05 UTC 21 February 2021
'Swallow', from the 1974 film Swallows & Amazons, takes fans - young and old - afloat © Sail Ransome

British sailors enjoying a quiet cup of tea in front of the TV on Sunday evening would have been pleasantly surprised to see their favourite sport grace Antiques Roadshow on BBC1. With a setting like the Lake District it was probable some sort of boat would be shown, and whilst there were a few motorboats first, we eventually got to see a sailing dinghy which starred in the 1974 film Swallows & Amazons.

Skip to 45 minutes 25 seconds if you are able to view the show on BBC iPlayer

Arthur Ransome's books for children sold massively in the 1930s and '40s, and have inspired many of us to get sailing. The film versions (there was also a 2016 movie) will have introduced the sport to more people, and one side effect is 'props' left over after filming. Eleven years ago, Turks Shipyard in Kent decided to auction off much of their old stock, some of which had sat on a storage rack for decades. One such abandoned item was 'Swallow', and when ardent Ransome fans heard the news, they were convinced a purchase must be made. The most important aspect of the idea was that this boat could be kept sailing, for all fans to enjoy. (If you want to get sailing in 'Swallow' please contact )

A crowdfunding project was masterminded by two men who had never met before: Rob Boden (a Lake District resident) and Magnus Smith (who works for YachtsandYachting.com). With frantic effort £5,500 was raised in 20 days, with just over 80 people contributing. Efforts were made to contact the child actors who had starred in the film, resulting in a friendship with Sophie Neville who has acted as a patron for the non-profit organisation which manages 'Swallow's activities.

Political Correspondent John Sergeant was currently appearing on Strictly Come Dancing, and mentioned in a radio interview he loved Swallows and Amazons, so Magnus contacted his agent... and received an email and donation back. The highest donation came from a lady who lived on a houseboat with no internet, and the founders are still uncertain how she heard about the project! Donations also came in the form of repair time from Patterson Boatworks and varnish from International Paints.

'Swallow' was relaunched on Coniston Water in April 2011 and embarked on a tour of seven counties in England - wherever fans clamoured to have her visit. A chain of volunteers drove the boat between sailing clubs like Telford and Tamesis, handing over to the next excited person every week or two. Over the next nine years 'Swallow' spent entire seasons on the Norfolk Broads, the Essex backwaters, the Solent, and back to the Lake District.

Swallows and Amazons fans hope that Covid will permit the ten year anniversary of the relaunch be to celebrated with sailing again this summer. There is one other worry in the mind of 'Swallow's treasurer though; Will the £20,000 valuation during Antiques Roadshow cause the insurance premium to rise? Donations towards the project could solve this issue!

We will keep 'Swallow' sailing for all to enjoy: www.sailransome.org

Related Articles

Senate approves permit for VIPCA-DPNR partnership
To install 100 new moorings for transient yachts The strategic placement of 100 new helix-type moorings for transient yachts in bays throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands received a green light from the territory's Senate today, paving the way for economic, environmental and employment benefits. Posted today at 3:44 pm
Life Afloat - part 3: Q&A with Jimmy Cornell
The final installment of the answers to the questions from students at Kurtzebarri Secondary School Here is the final installment of the answers to the questions from students at Kurtzebarri Secondary School in Aretxabaleta, in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa, Spain. Posted today at 11:50 am
Grenada partners with ARC+ Rally
The new southern Caribbean destination for the 9th annual ARC+ in 2021 Rally organisers World Cruising Club have announced that Grenada will be the new southern Caribbean destination for the 9th annual ARC+ in 2021. Posted on 6 Mar
Rescuing thousands of sea turtles in Texas
Learn about the heroic efforts to rescue and recover cold stunned sea turtles The recent historic winter storm put much of the United States into a deep freeze. The cold snap stunned thousands of sea turtles in Texas. A massive statewide effort to save these threatened and endangered animals began on Valentine's Day weekend. Posted on 6 Mar
RYA NI seeks clarity on red diesel implications
or recreational boaters in Northern Ireland Hundreds of recreational boat owners in Northern Ireland could be affected by an HM Treasury decision outlining that from June they will be required to use white diesel instead of red. Posted on 6 Mar
Dealing with Pandemic Lockdowns - Spring 2020
There is a great deal to share about the ongoing impact the pandemic is having The worldwide coronavirus pandemic had a huge impact on the sailing and cruising community for almost everyone who was cruising in 2020. Posted on 5 Mar
Energy Observer forges ahead with its Odyssey
Six countries, eight stopovers, one of them at the heart of Tokyo during the Olympic Games Energy Observer has decided to forge ahead with its round the world Odyssey. Indeed, together with their partners, Victorien Erussard and his team are keen to continue delivering a message of optimism across the world. Posted on 5 Mar
USCG rescue 31 fishermen from sinking vessel
Royal Canadian Air Force, rescue 31 fishermen from sinking vessel off Nova Scotia The U.S., and Canadian Coast Guards, and the Royal Canadian Air Force, rescued 31 fishermen from a disabled, Canadian fishing vessel over 130 miles south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Tuesday night. Posted on 5 Mar
Offshore passage planning and making
Online course on using IridiumGo and PredictWind Offshore weather planning and passage making using IridiumGo and Predictwind is presented by veteran sailors with proven offshore experience. Posted on 4 Mar
Andersen's Electric Winch Range
Quality cruising with elegant, stainless steel winches that last a lifetime Andersen Winches are iconic. Often considered the benchmark for quality, Andersen's elegant, stainless steel winches take pride of place on the foredeck. Underneath the stainless steel exterior, an internal construction manufactured from aluminium bronze. Posted on 4 Mar
Stoneways Marine 2021 - FOOTERRaymarine 2021 Element S - FOOTERSelden 2020 - FOOTER