Griff Rhys Jones joins other celebrities and fans in a Marathon reading of We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea, tomorrow, Saturday October 21 at the Pin Mill Sailing Club.
The reading, which starts at 9.00am and will take an estimated eight hours, is a free, open-to-the-public-event which features some famous readers. Joining Griff are Libby Purves, Julia Jones, Francis Wheen, Christina Hardyment and Sophie Neville, who will each read one of the book’s 27 chapters.
The event celebrates the 80th anniversary of one of Ransome’s best known works where the four Walker children from the Swallows and Amazons series unwittingly find themselves at sea in the cabin yacht Goblin. After the boat drags her anchor her young crew have to have their wits about them as tide and then weather force them all the way to Holland.
Ransome’s style puts you right in the boat alongside the children so that you almost feel the rain dripping down your own neck; the narrative contains a lot of seamanship and the book contains a lesson in buoyage as relevant as any RYA night school lecture. Pin Mill Sailing Club is the ideal location – Arthur was a member here and had boats built at Harry King’s boatyard in Pin Mill. Part of the story is also centred on the real Alma Cottage – which is close to the famous Butt and Oyster pub.
At about 11.00am Griff will be reading the eighth chapter where the children drift out past the Beach End Buoy in the fog; CS editor Dan Houston will himself be reading chapter 11 of We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea, titled: Whose Fault Now?