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Video: Arthur Ransome’s anniversary and Nancy Blackett on film

Highlights of last year’s Arthur Ransome’s East Coast anniversary celebrations on the Shotley Peninsula have now been captured in a short film – available to watch below in fullscreen high-definition…

Nancy Blackett features strongly in the 13-minute compilation, along with Nancy Blackett Trust President Peter Willis, who originated the idea of marking the double anniversary – 50 years since Ransome’s death and 80 since the publication of “We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea”.

The idea was taken up by the local council-backed Tourism Action Group, and produced a remarkable range of activities, including the new Arthur Ransome Trail along the bank of the Orwell from Pin Mill to Shotley, a traditional ‘Jamboree‘ on the Green at Pin Mill, and a Ransome-inspired musical event created by local schoolchildren.

Nancy Blackett herself features in the Parade of Sail, organised in her honour by the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, and also appears being swarmed over by hordes of enthusiastic children. Also covered are the Nancy Blackett Trust’s two major contributions to the anniversary: the new, permanent exhibition of Selina King photos at the Pin Mill Studio, and the Marathon Reading of “We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea”, with Griff Rhys Jones and Sophie Neville amongst others at the Pin Mill Sailing Club.

The year is summed up by Michael Evans of Mid-Suffolk and Babergh District Council as “Communities working together to deliver something tangible – a really positive demonstration of what this beautiful part of the country is all about”.

And the final word is given to Peter Willis: “It’s brought Arthur Ransome’s East Coast alive, and hopefully it will go on being something people will enjoy for a long time to come.”

Originally published by the Nancy Blackett Trust