A film company recently auditioned OnBoard youngsters at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club (BSC), on the lookout for competent ‘sailing doubles’ for actors starring in a remake of Swallows and Amazons, based on the children’s books by Arthur Ransome. Some of them were successful!
Neil Garrison, Training Co-ordinator at the club, takes up the story: “Harbour Pictures contacted me to ask if we had any competent young sailors who would be interested in taking part in a remake of the film Swallows and Amazons. The film company had also contacted the OnBoard clubs at Derwentwater Marina and Ullswater Sailing Club.
“The parts on offer were for the kids doing all the sailing in the film, although other actors would be shown in close-up shots. Our kids had to look similar to the actors they had chosen.
“Twelve of our club’s Youth Squad applied for the roles but only four were finally selected. Outside filming has taken place over the last four weeks - in a good stretch of weather for the Lake District – on Coniston and Derwentwater where Arthur Ransome spent much time. The children had to be chaperoned at all times and had out-of-school tutoring to make sure they did not miss anything whilst off school. They had a great time making the film and the film company were very impressed with their skills and behaviour.
“Members of BSC provided one of the two boats featured in the film, made new masts and sails, acted as sailing advisors and gave a couple of days sail training for the actors.
“The film’s adventures on the lakes of the Lake District are not too different from the adventures that our club’s children have, except that ours are not just limited to one six-week period. They last a lifetime. Many BSC members have said that reading Arthur Ransome’s books as children inspired them to take up sailing. The last time that this film was made, about 40 years ago, the film company also chose to select kids from BSC to sail the actual boats and act as sailing advisors.
“The film is due to be released in March, and we hope that it will, like the original stories, attract more kids to sailing.”