Out in the back­wa­ters

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

IENJOYED Oc­tavia Pol­lock’s ac­count of sail­ing aboard the Nancy Black­ett (‘We did mean to go to sea’, July 12). When I was nine years old, in the sum­mer of 1938, my mother and fa­ther took my brother and me in a seven-ton Har­ri­son But­ler-de­signed cut­ter, Cora, from the River Deben into the Wal­ton Back­wa­ters. There was one other boat an­chored in the Back­wa­ters, the Nancy Black­ett, and a ge­nial man with a big grey mous­tache sit­ting in the cock­pit said to us: ‘Would you boys like some cake?’ We climbed on board and chat­ted ami­ably—in those days, there were so few yachts about that it was com­mon prac­tice to ex­change vis­its.

My fa­ther rightly guessed that this was Arthur Ran­some. One of the se­quels to Swal­lows and Ama­zons was Se­cret Wa­ter, which was set in the Wal­ton Back­wa­ters—i feel sure Ran­some was work­ing on that lovely story at the time we met. Tony Uloth, Hamp­shire

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