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Swallows & Amazons Casting Call

Written by Ben Abbott on

Film producers, "Harbour Pictures", are looking for children aged 6-13 from the Suffolk Coast, to audition for a new BBC Films production of "Swallows and Amazons".

Swallows and Amazons, by English author Arthur Ransome, is the first in a series of twelve children's books set between the two World Wars. The books depict the adventures of two groups of children who stay near a lake during their school holidays. The Blackett children: Nancy and Peggy; sail a dinghy named Amazon and declare themselves to be pirates. The Walker children: Susan, John, Roger and Titty; consider themselves as explorers, and sail a dinghy named Swallow.

Shooting starts this summer and the producers are searching for local girls and boys aged 6-13 to cast for the parts of the Walker and Blackett children. No previous acting experience is necessary, however sailing experience is a bonus.

ARTHUR RANSOME’S CONNECTION WITH SUFFOLK
Arthur Ransome and his wife Evgenia spent a brief period of their life (from 1937) in the hamlet of Pin Mill, situated within the Suffolk Coastal Area of Natural Beauty on the Shotley Peninsula. The Ransomes were very keen sailors, and their sailing boat, the Nancy Blackett, was the inspiration behind Arthur’s book “We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea", set on the River Orwell.

Many of Arthurs’ ancestors can be traced back to Norfolk and Suffolk, in particular Robert Ransome who was born in Norfolk in 1753 and died in Woodbridge in 1830. Robert Ransome commenced working life as an ironmonger’s apprentice and went on to start his own brass and iron foundry in Norwich. He had a keen entrepreneurial spirit and took out a patent for cast-iron roofing plates in 1783. Robert Ransome moved the business to Ipswich, Suffolk in 1789, and there laid the foundation of the now well-known and extensive Orwell Works.

During the 19th Century, his two sons joined the business, and the firm, known as Ransome & Sons, exported agricultural machinery around the world. Ransome & Sons was one of the earliest firms to build cast-iron bridges, and constructed Stoke Bridge, Ipswich in 1819. Upon retiring from business in 1825, Robert Ransome spent the last years of his life in Woodbridge, Suffolk, where he died in 1830.

Ben Abbott

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