The boats of Swallows and Amazons explained

Swallow II

I gather from Never Sea Land that Stuart Weir’s article about the boats of Swallows and Amazons has a new home here:

I’ve been searching high and low for some photos I took of one of Arthur Ransome’s dinghies in the Windermere Museum, but I can’t find the folder for the life of me. It’s a shame – it’s a nice old fashioned little clinker dinghy bearing an ancient and rather sweet notice that says it’s very old and needs to be cared for. Maybe it’ll turn up one day.

The owner of Never Sea Land says he plans to put up a lot more Ransome-related material, which might well be worth looking out for.

He’s also steadily putting up a series of images of mermaids that might entertain many people. But for many of us perhaps the most entertaining link is the one that explains the weblog’s title – it comes from a song written and performed by a Pirate-core band that dresses up in stagey pirate gear and plays rock on modern electric instruments. Portland sounds like a whacky place, I must say.

But however much it makes me smile, the logic of Portland’s pirate-rock is only about as crazy as the British Blues Boom, in which a string of musical groups made up of nice young predominantly middle-class British men plugged in their electric guitars and pretended to be Delta and Chicago blues men – and I remember taking that very seriously indeed, and even used to play some of that stuff myself. We all have our stories, and many of us still have the guitars…

All this talk of pirates reminds me that anyone interested in how the legendary Barbary pirate ships sailed so well and were so feared might be interested to follow this link:

Related posts:

●Where does the romance of old boats spring from?

●Windermere steam boats get £465,596

●The amazing restoration story of the Nancy Blackett

2 thoughts on “The boats of Swallows and Amazons explained”

  1. Hi Gavin, thanks for the plug!

    It would be nice to think that the original Swallow was in the museum, but it is my understanding that she was sold, lost track of, and probably no longer exits.

    I would strongly encourage your readers to get Pirate Jenny's two releases "Never-sea Land" and "Once Upon a Wave", both are available from Amazon and also iTunes, I think. Some of the bands members continue to record and perform in the Portland area under the moniker "Captain Bogg and Salty" and have some kid-friendly releases.

    Look for a special "Lonely Sailor" mermaid soon!



  2. I have an " International 14" which was built in Norfolk in 1956 . (mahogany on oak )

    Originally with bermudan rig , she was bought by a close friend who is a very keen Arthur Ransome follower.

    He had a new dipping lugsail rig made to replicate (I believe ) " Cockybondu "

    The boat is still in very good condition and both sails and rigging are original . ( I have many of the original naturel fibre ropes , although whe I have sailed her I tended to use modern ropes etc to preserve the old rigging )

    Although loathe to sell her I have to admit that I have terrified the life out of myself on several occasions while sailing on Loch Assynt here in West Sutherland !

    She is currently in a garage and sits on a snipe road trailor .

    Launching trolley also available .

    If anyone would be interested to buy her I can send / post some recent photos .

    Tel , 01571844633 or best txt , 07861227548 .

    Gordon Nairn , Lochinver , Sutherland

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