A colourful life
During the five years he lived in Suffolk Arthur Ransome wrote two novels in his Swallows and Amazons series, We Didn’t Mean to go to Sea, and Secret Water, a gentler tale in which the children explore the Walton Backwaters. Ransome and his wife, Evgenia, moved to Suffolk in 1935, living first at Levington then Harkstead, and moored his boats at Pin Mill. Their presence must have caused a stir. As St Petersburg correspondent for the radical Daily News at the start of the First World War Ransome had championed the Bolshevik cause. Evgenia had been Trotsky’s secretary and Ransome was also a British spy. By 1940 the disturbance caused by bombing around Ipswich persuaded the couple to move back to the Lake District. Ransome died on June 3, 1967.