Friday, 10 February 2012

Swallows & Amazons: Roger Titty & Dick

It is August 1929
Britain's shaky
Recovery from the
Trauma of the Great War
Has been hampered by
The return to the
Gold Standard in 1925
And the General Strike
The following year;
Far worse is to follow;
In the Autumn
Ramsay Macdonald's
Labour Government
Will fail to cope
With the Wall Street
Crash and subsequent
Great Depression;
In Germany the Nazi
Party is steadily
Advancing its grim
Agenda and girls have
Been admitted to the
Hitler Youth for the
First time;
Meanwhile in the North
Of England four children
Know nothing of such
Dismal shenanigans;
They have arrived at
Holly Howe farm in
The Lake District
With their Mother,
Baby Vicky and
The Nurse
For an Endless Summer
Of Messing Around
In Boats
Fuelled by slabs
Of bread and marmalade
Chunks of Pemmican
And lashings of Grog
Their adventures are
Recorded in Mr Ransome's
Wonderful book
Swallows & Amazons;
The first of a series of
Twelve related titles
Published in the following
Eighteen years
However S&A is the
Most successful;
Only die-hard Ransome
Fans will have read
Missee Lee or
The Picts and Martyrs;
The children mentioned
Above are
& Roger
Yes I know that Titty
Is quite hilarious
She had to be changed
To "Kitty" for a BBC
Production in 1963;
One of Ransome's
Other protagonists
Is called Dick but
He was not adjusted
By Aunty;
The children set up
Camp on an Island
In the lake
Overlooked by the farm
And enjoy campfire cooking
Bathing and jaunts in
Their sailboat which
They name "Swallow"
Until they encounter
The Amazon Pirates
A rival crew of girls
Who say things like
"avast there, Peggy you goat"
"Shiver my timbers. If only I'd
Thought of pulling up the centre
Board" and
"Bring out the roasted ox and
Broach a puncheon of Jamaica";
The two crews enjoy
Jolly japes often involving
The Amazons' tiresome uncle
Who lives on a houseboat
Until it is time
To return home
And face the
Prospect of


Pemmican = corned beef
Grog = Ginger Beer
Jamaica = lemonade

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