Sail Swallow and Amazon

The classic dinghies from the original Swallows and Amazons 1974 film.

We have paid for the dinghies and the new insurance is in place from April 1st. We have much to do and will make announcements after we are
ready and not before. Pestering will just slow us down.

A clip from Country Tracks profiling ‘Swallows and Amazons’ – our boats were used for this film, and the last owners took them to the Lakes for filming.

Amazon was built by Borwicks of Windermere.  The internet has a picture of a dinghy built by them in 1954.  It appears almost identical to Amazon so it is very likely that our ‘Swallow’ and ‘Amazon’ are at least 60 or 70 years old.  Swallow was built by William King of Burnham-on-Crouch, a Norfolk punt.

Swallow went from the filming in 1963 to Mike Turk’s warehouse in Twickenham. It was the Spring of 2010 and TARS member Magnus bought her at auction on behalf of SailRansome.  He and Rob ran her, till the pandemic, for members of the public to take out, and sadly both he and Magnus have decided that for health reasons they were no  longer up to the relentless task.

Amazon was owned by two families, who bought her between them 30-35 or so years ago on a trip to the Lakes. Amazon, which had been bought after filming finished, was in a local yard where they had hired a boat for a trip to Wild Cat Island, the owner took a shine to their four very over excited girls on a mission!  The girls have grown up and so TARS were offered Amazon on the condition she was available for people to use.  

Well, that was the brief for Swallow, so I got on the phone to Magnus and he explained his and Rob’s situation and so the plan evolved.

In the meantime the regulations regarding safe sailing of clinker built dinghies have also evolved and it is no longer possible for a small amateur group to hire such boats.  I tried to find a home for them in the Lakes but to no avail.  TARS has a good relationship with Hunter’s Yard who have a heritage fleet of yachts, and had recently restored Titmouse from the Broads film Swallows and Amazons Forever! for service as a tender to their fleet.  They also provided Lullaby to act as Teasel and the black punt Dreadnought for the film.

Hunters were delighted to be asked to run them and here we are!

Amazon bears a plaque to celebrate the enjoyment the 4 girls derived from Sailing her.


Sophie Neville’s (aka Titty) article 23/11/22

Eastern Daily Press 5/3/23