Poets inspired by Swallows and Amazons

Entries came in from across the globe for a poetry competition organised by the owners of an iconic Lake District farm with a literary heritage.

Shayla and Jonathon Batty created the contest asking for poems about their home, Bank Ground Farm at Coniston, or Swallows and Amazons, the classic Arthur Ransome children’s story which has strong connections to their farm.

The winner was 73 year old Bob Cuming from Hamilton, New Zealand, a member of the International Arthur Ransome Society and lifelong fan of Swallows and Amazons.

“We have only been the one time to the Lake District but remember it so well because of my Swallows and Amazons interest,” he said. “We caught up with a lot of the sights including Bank Ground Farm.”

The working farm, also a guest house with holiday cottages and a tea-room, was the location of Holly Howe in the story, from where the children set sail to Wild Cat Island.

In second place was another Swallows and Amazons fan, 10 year old Katie Byron from North Wales.

She said: “One day when I was seven my Mum got out Swallows and Amazons. I point blank refused to listen to mum read the book. I thought it would be boring! But mum made me listen, and before long I was pleading to Mum to carry on. I thought it was amazing and still do. My favourite character is by far Nancy Blackett. She is so lively and adventurous. When I am reading the book I feel like I am Nancy. My sister Maya likes to pretend to be Peggy.”

poetry winner pic

Amazon pirates Katie, left, and sister Maya

In third place was  Andrew Smith from Staveley.

Shayla Batty said: “We were delighted with the high standard of entries for the competition, and especially pleased that a poet of David’s calibre agreed to be our judge.”

The winning poems will be framed and displayed on the wall at Bank Ground Farm.



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