Here at the Lutterworth Press we recieved a positive response to our Swallows, Amazons and Coots literary competition and would like to extend our thanks to the many entries with their fascinating, fun and most importantly, Ransome-esque adventures. Every one a Lutterworthy tale we wish we could share with the rest of our readers. It was hard to select a winner from our entrants, each one a mini literary masterpiece and showing a clear inspiration or connection to Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons.
However we have chosen our Lutterworthy winner: Ian Dallimore with his tale of spooked brothers on a larger than life adventure in the Devonshire countryside.
“It was back when I was around 13 or 14. Myself and my two brothers had been taken on a day trip to Berry Pomeroy castle, in south Devon. It’s an amazing setting. Rolling forests unfurl from the battlements, there are numerous secret nooks and unexpected scenes at every turn. We had been allowed to go into the valley behind the ancient motte and bailey structure, and found ourselves wandering through a field below.
Prior to going, relatives who lived nearby had told us a little of the castle’s history and associated stories of the supernatural – none of us had slept well the night before as a result.
Half-way through the grassy expanse, we came to a sudden stop when a shout rang out from up ahead and to our right. Unbeknownst to ourselves, we had been walking on somebody’s field and they had spotted us. Before we’d had a chance to apologise, from about a hundred metres away at a small cottage, the owner set some dogs on the three of us.
It was the fastest we’d ever run. However, from fear, we’d run toward the base of the castle and had to climb, scramble and climb some more, up the whole thing. My poor youngest brother, who must have been around six, was not happy at all.
Eventually, we made it, scratched and bleeding, back to the front of the castle near to the tea rooms.
We never mentioned it to our parents; we never forgot it either.”
Congratulations Ian, winner of the Lutterworth Press’s competition, a signed copy of Julian Lovelock’s Swallows, Amazons and Coots is on its way to you. We hope our readers will find his tale as inspiring as Swallows and Amazons and will set those pens to writing more amazing children’s adventures.
Swallows, Amazons and Coots: A Reading of Arthur Ransome by Julian Lovelock is our latest publication available for purchase in physical and ebook versions on our website, major online retailers and only the most Lutterworthy bookshops.