Coot Club

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Coot Club
Coot Club cover.jpg
Author Arthur Ransome
Cover artist Arthur Ransome
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Swallows and Amazons
Genre Children's books
Publisher Jonathan Cape
Publication date
1934
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
ISBN 0-613-77232-6
978-0-87923-787-5 (David R. Godine, Publisher: 1990, paperback)
Preceded by Winter Holiday
Followed by Pigeon Post

Coot Club is the fifth book of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series of children's books, published in 1934. The book sees Dick and Dorothea Callum visiting the Norfolk Broads during the Easter holidays, eager to learn to sail and thus impress the Swallows and Amazons when they return to the Lake District later that year. Along with a cast of new characters, Dick and Dorothea explore the North and South Broads and become 'able seamen'.

Plot summary[edit]

The Callum children spend their Easter holidays in Norfolk with a family friend, Mrs Barrable, who is staying on a small yacht called the Teasel, moored near the village of Horning. There they encounter the Coot Club, a gang of local children comprising Tom Dudgeon, twin girls 'Port' and 'Starboard' (Nell and Bess Farland), and three younger boys — Joe, Bill and Pete (the Death and Glories).

A noisy and inconsiderate party of city-dwellers (dubbed the 'Hullabaloos' by the children) hire the motor cruiser Margoletta and threaten an important nesting site (one of many monitored by the Coots) by mooring in front of it. Despite warnings "not to mix with foreigners", Tom stealthily loosens the Margoletta's moorings to save the nest and hides behind the Teasel to save his father's reputation. Mrs Barrable does not give Tom away to the Hullabaloos and instead asks him to teach the Callums to sail.

Tom, Port, and Starboard join the crew of the Teasel, and together with Mrs Barrable and her pug William, the children teach Dick and Dorothea the basics of sailing up and down the Broads. Dick shares the Coot Club's keen interest in the local bird life, and Dorothea uses the voyage as fodder for her new story, "Outlaw Of The Broads", based on the Hullabaloos' vow to catch Tom. They chase the crew of the Teasel all over the Broads, eventually managing to crash the Margoletta into a wooden marker post, holing her hull, in the tidal Breydon Water — necessitating a dramatic rescue by the Coots.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations[edit]

The BBC produced a film based on Coot Club in 1984.[1]

Footnotes[edit]