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‘I Chaperoned Six Film Stars’ – part 3 of my mother’s memories of making the original film of ‘Swallows and Amazons’ in 1973

Sophie Neville continues with her behind-the-scenes memories from the set of the 1974 “Swallows and Amazons” film…

Daphne Neville in about 1973.
Daphne Neville in about 1973.

I clearly remember my mother winding carbon paper into the roller of her portable typewriter and bashing out articles. Ping! the bell would ring as she reached the end of a line. She would then pull left on a shiny paddle, with relish, to begin a new paragraph. She seemed to type like the wind, it was only a pity she didn’t write more. Was it more time-consuming when making changes was so laborious and a dictionary needed to be flicked through to check spelling? I was forever pouring through a thesaurus and looking for reference books in libraries as a child in the ‘seventies but find computers seems to steal more time.

Sophie Neville with the cast of Swallows and Amazons.
Sophie Neville with the cast of Swallows and Amazons.

Here is the second part of the article Mum wrote for ‘Woman’ magazine when the original film of “Swallows and Amazons” was screened in cinemas around the country in April 1974. Earlier pages can be read in a previous post here and there is also a programme she wrote for BBC Radio Bristol on the same subject here.

Jean McGill, Jane Grendon, Sten Grendon, Kit Seymour, Sophie Neville, Claude Whatham, Simon West, Lesley Bennett, Suzanna Hamilton, Ronnie Cogan, 1973.

Daphne Neville giving Lesley Bennett (Peggy Blackett) archery lessons, 1973.

The Saucepan and her mother, Daphne Neville in 1973.

Terry Smith, Sophie Neville and Daphne Neville on location in the Lake District
Wardrobe Master Terry Smith with Sophie Neville and her mother Daphne Neville outside the Make-up caravan on location near Keswick in Cumbria.

I’d forgotton that Kit was sent half a Birthday cake but do remember Ronnie Fraser arrived at her party quite tiddly. I am amused to learn we finally left Oaklands Guest House with fifty pieces of luggage but I still have a hazel bow and arrow set, which I don’t expect ever fitted into a suitcase.

Please let me know if you would like to see old scripts and letters relating to the original publicity for the film, kept in my mother’s archives.

To read more about Daphne Neville’s adventures in film and television please click here.

Originally published by Sophie Neville in July 2018.