Wednesday, 7 December 2016


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Arthur Michell Ransome was born on the 18th of January 1884 in Leeds. His father Cyril (1851-1897), born in Manchester, was the eldest son of Thomas Ransome, a chemist. Cyril read history at Oxford and was to become Professor of History at the Yorkshire College (later to become Leeds University). Arthur Ransome's mother Edith was a daughter of the artist Edward Baker Boulton, who spent much of his life sheep-farming in Australia. Arthur was the eldest child, having a brother, Geoffrey and two sisters, Cicely and Joyce.

Arthur Ransome's ancestors were East Anglian, and had founded the firm of Ransome & Rapier, engineers and makers of agricultural implements. His great-grandfather John Atkinson Ransome moved to Manchester, where he became a noted surgeon, being one of the team summoned to aid the MP William Huskisson after he suffered a serious, and ultimately fatal, injury at the opening of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway in September 1830. Arthur's paternal grandfather Thomas was a scientist and failed inventor, who left debts to the family when he died.

The Ransome family frequently took their holidays at Coniston Water, in the English Lake District, where at a very young age Arthur developed a fascination for the area and its inhabitants. Above all, he grew to love the lake, and it became a private rite for him on arrival to run down to the water and dip his hand in, as a greeting.

After a brief period at a day school in Leeds, Arthur was sent to the Old College at Windermere, a preparatory school, where he was not happy. The school had few books, and Arthur compensated by reading voraciously during the holidays. Although he was not a brilliant scholar, he went on to Rugby School where he was much happier and came under the wing of sympathetic teachers. Shortly before Arthur moved to Rugby, his father died from a bone infection which even the amputation of a leg had failed to prevent. Cyril Ransome's death at the age of only 46 was a bitter personal loss for Arthur, as he felt that he had been a disappointment to his father and had lost the chance to grow closer to him as an adult, but he did inherit his father's love of fishing.

We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea is the seventh book in Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series of children's books. It was published in 1937. In this book, the Swallows (Walker family) are the only recurring characters. They are staying in a new location, Pin Mill on the River Orwell upstream from the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich.

The book features a small sailing cutter, the Goblin, which is almost identical to Ransome's own boat Nancy Blackett. This book also features accurate geography unlike the Lakes books. Ransome sailed Nancy Blackett across to Flushing by the same route as part of his research for the book.

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Harwich Harbour

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Harwich Harbour 2016

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We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea is  a well known book by Arthur Ransome and retold by Ralph Mowat is  about four children who when left alone on a friend’s boat at anchor at Pin Mill on the river Orwell, drag their anchor and drift out to sea. In a strengthening wind they decide it is better to keep sailing down wind rather than turn back, they next morning they arrive at Flushing on the Dutch coast. An exciting adventure! But they were lucky to have Holland so close on the other side of the North Sea.

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Chapter 1: On the River
Chapter 2 : In Harbour
Chapter 3 : Drifting Out to Sea
Chapter 4 : A Stormy Night
Chapter 5 : Sinbad and the Pilot
Chapter 6: Arriving in Holland
Chapter 7: Coming Home

John,Roger, Susan and Titty help Jim Brading to tie a rope to the buoy In return he invites them to sail aboard Goblin. Mother agrees provided that they stay within the estuary of the rivers Orwell and Stour, do not pass the Beach End buoy at the mouth of the rivers, and do not go out to sea. These conditions are imposed because of the imminent arrival of their father,  a  Navy, who is expected to return by ferry at any time from Holland. The children agree to these conditions.

Unfortunately, on the second morning Goblin   runs out of petrol because Jim forgets to fill up before they start.  So Jim rows ashore to  buy some petrol and promises to return in ten minutes but does not return. An unexpected bank of fog drifts over the river, and the Goblin is without her captain. Some hours later, after hearing the anchor drag in the fog, the Walkers realise that the tide has risen, the anchor chain is now too short, and they are drifting down river. While John tries  to put out more chain, John loses the anchor, and the yacht drifts out beyond Beach End into the North Sea. Aboard the drifting boat, John decides that it is safer to hoist the sails and go farther out to sea  rather than  the risk of being wrecked in the fog. They put about in the night to return to the river, but find that sailing against the wind is impossible, so run eastward with the wind.

The Goblin sails east through the night in hazardous conditions, being nearly run down as the navigation lights are out of paraffin. John has to leave Susan at the helm while he reefs the mainsail. He is almost swept overboard, but succeeds in his objective. At dawn next morning, John persuades Susan to continue to the nearest port rather than trying to return to Harwich. They rescue a kitten floating on a packing-case. They find themselves approaching an unknown coast; it is the Southern Netherlands. Jim has warned them about longshore sharks who might claim salvage if asked for help. But they see a pilot ship, and pick up a Dutch pilot who later learns cross the North Sea in the storm. He decides  to help the children and it is  free of charge..

They arrive safely in Flushing. A ferry is leaving to Harwich their father sees John and shouts  to him as he is leaving on a ferry to Harwich. Their father leaves the ferry just in time and returns to help them sail the Goblin back.  Susan is terribly sad about their mother who will be worrying about them so their father sends a telegram from Harwich  to her. On arriving in England, the Goblin and its crew are reunited with their mother and with Jim Brading, who is looking for his missing yacht. Mrs Walker feels angry because the children go to Harwich to meet their father. Jim had been unconscious in hospital for two days, suffering from concussion after being involved in a collision with a bus. Roger keeps telling their mother that they met Father in Holland. Hence, Father has to tell their mother about the mishap and the children are sure that Mother will understand that  they  didn't mean to go to sea. 



  1. Please create the video to learn deeply .

    1. I agree..this story is too hard to read & understand..& this story is too long

  2. But i wqnt a story by chapter to chapter.i mean a summary

  3. read on yr own! after that do summary