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Swallows and Amazons celebrations - Visit the Lake District to see both dinghies from the 1974 film

by Magnus Smith 20 Jun 19:33 UTC 29-30 June 2024
You can sail in the dinghy 'Amazon', as used in the 1974 film of Swallows and Amazons © Hunter's Yard / Mr Whittaker

2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the first feature length film made of the book, Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. The focus of the celebrations will be on Lake Windermere during the last weekend of June.

Both dinghies from the film, lovingly restored, will be there. You can arrange a short sail in 'Amazon', plus 'Swallow' will be on shore. Fans of the 80s TV series will be able to see 'Titmouse' too. Then there is 'Mavis', the original dinghy Ransome knew in the 1920s-30s.

There are not just film star boats present; there will be human celebrities too! John Sergeant (ex-political correspondent and big S&A fan) will introduce members of the original cast and crew from the 1974 film.

There is no need to book, except for going afloat. Events are free but there is a charge to go into the Windermere Jetty Museum, who are hosting. Full programme below...

All weekend

  • Exhibitions and static displays in the Learning Centre and foyer (Arthur Ransome, Swallows and Armenians, film artefacts and memorabilia)
  • Children's craft activities in the reception area and foyer
  • Swallows and Amazons campsite to explore
  • 'Swallow' and 'Titmouse' on the shoreline
  • Sail in 'Amazon' (weather permitting - book your time)
  • See 'Mavis' - the original Amazon from 1928

Saturday programme

  • 10:00am - Event opens
  • 10:30am - Film showing, Swallows & Amazons (90 mins)
  • 12:15pm - Talk (20 mins) by Peter Wright: How Ransome came to write Swallows and Amazons
  • 12:45pm - Film (second showing) Swallows & Amazons
  • 2:30pm - Meet the original cast and crew (introduced by John Sergeant)
  • 3:00pm - Talk by actress Sophie Neville (30 mins) memories and secrets of making the film
  • 3:45pm - Folk Concert (the music of Arthur Ransome's books)
  • 5:00pm - Film (final showing) - Swallows and Amazons
  • 6:30pm - Close

Sunday programme

  • 10:00am - Event opens
  • 10:30am - Film showing, Swallows & Amazons (90 mins)
  • 12:15pm - Meet the original cast and crew (introduced by John Sergeant)
  • 1:00pm - Talk by actress Sophie Neville: memories and secrets of making the film
  • 1:45pm - Film (second showing) Swallows & Amazons
  • 3:25pm - Talk (20 mins) by Peter Wright: How Ransome came to write Swallows and Amazons
  • 4:00pm - Folk Concert (the music of Arthur Ransome's books)
  • 5:00pm - Close

In the Museum (charges apply)

Ransome's own sailing dinghy Coch-y-Bonddhu, Ransome memorabilia, boats, displays, steam cruises on the lake, and 200 years of Lakeland history.

Timings may be subject to change

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