The Call of the Sea 01872 580022

Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome and Nancy Blackett

Swallows and Amazons is the title of one the best known children’s book ever written. It has been popular ever since it was first published in 1931 and was quickly followed by many more in the series. The books tell stories about mucking about in boats mostly in the Lake District where Arthur spent his childhood holidays before moving there in 1924 at the age of 40.

His life is a story in its own right and you can find out more at

Arthur Ransome owned quite a few yachts but Nancy Blackett was his favourite. It featured thinly disguised as Goblin in what was probably his best sailing novel, "We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea."

The name comes from one of the Swallows and Amazons characters the leader of the Amazon Pirates namely “Nancy Blackett”.

Nancy Blackett was built in 1931, by Hillyards of Littlehampton. She is 28ft long, plus bowsprit, with an unusual Bermudian cutter rig. Exactly like the Goblin, she has roller-reefing, operated by a little brass handle, and, down below, four bunks with blue mattresses, and a little white sink opposite a tiny galley.

Nancy Blackett, rediscovered and restored, is now owned by the Nancy Blackett Trust, which was set up to preserve her as a living part of the Ransome heritage. Each year many Ransome fans enjoy the experience of sailing her, and many more visit her at maritime festivals.

The Nancy Blackett Trust is looking for,

1 New members to sail her, membership is only £15.00 per year

2 New skippers with suitable qualifications to make members sailing in Nancy Blackett

3 Donations to help run the beautiful boat

 4 Young people to sponsor on a sailing voyage. SEE BELOW


The Nancy Blackett Trust’s Brigit Sanders Memorial Fund

This trust’s objectives are to enable young people to discover and enjoy sailing.

The Fund is named in memory of the Trust’s first patron, the youngest of the original "Swallows" family, Arthur Ransome’s friends the Altounyans.

Its aim is to provide assistance to young people up to the age of 24 (inclusive) who wish to discover or develop an interest in sailing.

The Fund, subject to its resources, is willing to make awards of part of the cost of projects or sailing trips, typically up to a maximum of 50% of the total cost (including fees, food, travel costs etc).

The Fund normally works by funding individual young people rather than making donations to organisations; however it welcomes approaches from clubs, sail training providers etc, to introduce individual youngsters in need of help.

The Fund considers applications for help with any sailing activities, including sail training, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, summer camps or individual sailing projects. We may require supporting evidence from organisations or other adults in connection with applications.

We also support young people sailing on Nancy Blackett herself; in this case our range of assistance would include working with clubs, schools etc to arrange group sails.

For more information please visit The Nancy Blackett Trust’s Brigit Sanders Memorial Fund

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