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Marathon reading of Swallowdale

BETTER drowned than duffers? They were very nearly duffers after capsizing their boat but the Swallows, with the Amazon pirates, managed to have a wonderful adventure at another, secret, campsite in Swallowdale.

And that’s where we’re heading this summer, in the company of the Great Aunt, with a little bit of spell-binding witchcraft, a night in a wigwam for a wounded voyager, secret messages shot by arrow, and the ascent of Kanchenjunga (well, you know what the natives call it so we don’t have to say.)

Liz Wakelin’s sketch of our Winter Holiday reading

We are the team that brought you Swallows and Amazons on the shores of Coniston; Pigeon Post at the Coppermines YHA; The Picts and the Martyrs online during lockdown; and Winter Holiday last year at the Windermere Jetty Museum.

We are back at the fabulous Jetty again this summer, where the natives have very kindly offered us the use of the rather splendid Old Fire Station building in their grounds. This is right next to the model boating pond where, it’s hoped, we might be able to mock-up a shipwreck or two.

The Old Fire Station

Swallowdale is one of the longest of Arthur Ransome’s stories and so this time we are going to spread our marathon over two days, on the weekend of June 24/25. Very soon we will be publishing an online booking form where you can choose which chapter you would like to read. But of course everyone – even Great Aunts, and Pirates (with or without parrots) – is welcome to come along, for the whole weekend or just to listen to a few chapters.

The Jetty is a wonderful place full of S&A memories and memorabilia, and we hope that the Arthur Ransome Trust will be here too with their stall. There’s a fantastic cafe to keep you in pemmican sandwiches all day long. Or at least ciabatta rolls and soup and fries and cakes. There’s the awesome lakeside location, and plenty of parking. We can’t wait to see you all here!

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