Friday, 15 March 2019

A magazine profile on the house where Funnily Enough is set


Daphne Neville, one of the main characters portrayed in Funnily Enough, has given an interview on her long term relationship with her house in Gloucestershire to Listed Heritage magazine.


Since little has changed since 1991, the article gives you an idea of where Funnily Enough is set. the house has been used as a film location in drama serials such as House of Elliot, Dark Secret and the award-winning film Cold Caller. It was featured recently on Come Dine With Me.


The Neville family have lived at the converted mill since 1964 and still keep one tame otter. If you would like to read more about living with otters, please click here

Rudi-the-Otter often appears on television. He starred in the movie Scottish Mussell, played both himself and his mate in The Durrells and took part in a fascinating experiment broadcast on a BBCTV Natural World episode presented by Charlie Hamilton Jones entitled 'Supercharged Otters'.  You can see more photos of filming with the tame otters here



Thursday, 7 March 2019

Help Bring Books Alive


Do you want to make a difference?

Does the idea of being able to transform someone's life appeal to you?

Could you volunteer to listen to a child read in school?


They will match you with appropriate primary school in the UK where you would help children learn to read simply by listening to them. To find out how the scheme works please click here



Friday, 24 August 2018

Daphne Neville appearing on 'Come Dine With Me' on Channel 4 TV

~Daphne Neville with Rudi the Otter~

Daphne Neville, who is portrayed in the books 'Funnily Enough' Ride the Wings of Morning' and The Making of Swallows and Amazons', has been appearing in the popular Channel 4 programme 'Come Dine With Me', broadcast at 5.00pm every day this week.


She hosted the first dinner party in the fifteenth century mill featured in 'Funnily Enough', preparing the meal in her kitchen, which has changed little in the last fifty-four years.

~Daphne Neville being interviewed in her kitchen~

Her four guests, who all live in Gloucestershire, were treated to tomato and mushroom soup, followed by wild salmon and a 'rumour of fruits'.


Daphne enjoyed entertaining the strangers immensely.


To give everyone a break between courses, as is the custom on the programme, Daphne brought Rudi the otter in to meet everyone.


There was a bit of drama later on when one of the ladies, a stickler for etiquette, took objection to what another guest was saying, grabbed her bag and walked out while Daphne was preparing the pudding.


She never explained herself or said Goodbye, which didn't seem to be in line with her previous words.


Daphne could have bought one pineapple less. 


The other guests awarded Daphne 28 points out of a possible 40 for her home-cooked food. The others then entertained Daphne in their homes. She got to taste Jamacian cuisine, Canadian lobster and other tasty food. You may be able to watch the five episodes on ITV Chatch-up by clicking here 




Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Could you organise a literary festival?


Sophie Neville opening the Tavistock Festival

Three million cheers for those organising the 15th Tavistock Music and Arts Festival. The prize-winning market town in Devon has been treated to fabulous concerts, exhibitions, dramatic and literary events every April and May for the last fifteen years, show-casing composers, musicians, artists and authors.


Christopher Kirwin, Chairman of the Festival, told listeners on BBC Radio Devon that it's a good thing he is retired as the festival takes a considerable amount of of his time but the rewards are many.


Sophie Neville with the Chairman of the Tavistock Festival 2018

I was thrilled to be invited to talk about my book on 'The Making of Swallows and Amazons (1974)' and meet those who love the original film after it was screened at The Wharf Cinema where we held a Q&A. For further details on what we got up to, please click here.


We were so grateful for media coverage and the support of enthusiastic audiences. It was a real opportunity to meet readers and those working in the Tavistock Library who hosted some of the workshops and events that visitors to Dartmoor and those who live in the west country were taking part in. The Tavistock Festival continues until 5th May and will hopefully be held again next year. Please click here for the online brochure.

Last night, at the Bedford Hotel, was the opening of the Alan Bennett Play Readings, with Supper. It was a sell-out. Two monologues from 'Talking Heads' were performed, as ostaged, rehearsed, readings, with costume, furniture and musical accompaniment by the brilliant Peggy Salmon. They were very funny and also very moving! The readings are happening again tonight, at the Old Chapel, Calstock. 

The final chance to watch and listen to these beautifully performed readings, by members of The Tavonians Theatre Company, will be on Saturday May 5th at The Bedford Hotel, at 7.00pm for 7.30pm. This will also be the venue for the Arthur Ransome Writing Competition prize giving.

On Friday 4th of May, Peter Cigleris, accompanied by Martin Cousin (pianoforte) will be giving a clarinet presentation, at St Eustachius' Tavistock's Parish Church, Bedford Square.

On Bank Holiday Monday, also in the church, there will be a day-long Choral Workshop, directed by Julian Jensen, followed by tea, at the Bedford Hotel (£10). The Work-Shop presentation, is at 6.00pm, which is followed by a retiring collection. For further details of the work-shop please contact Julian Jensen on 01822 813162 or email music@mountkelly.com after 6.00pm.  At 7.30pm that evening, there will be a 'Battle of the Bands' - music from local youth musicians, at The Wharf, Arts Centre. For more details, about this, please also contact Julian Jensen (see above). Tickets: £5 (students £2).

Could you organise a festival in your home town? It could make a difference and uplift the lives of many.





Wednesday, 21 March 2018

The Quay Book Club completes the Schoolreaders Book Club Challenge!

Author Sophie Neville advocating Schoolreaders' Book Club Challenge

The Quay Book Club in Lymington have just completed the Schoolreaders' quiz.
It was fun!


The questions were unusual and had us thinking.


Everyone was did well on 'Famous First Words',


we were a little flummoxed when it came to 'Children's Books',


but questions on 'Bookselling and Reading' were interesting. 


The quiz made for a fulfilling evening and we were all very glad to support such a good cause.

Schoolreaders book club challenge

To find out more about the Book Club Challenge please click here.



​Schoolreaders is an organisation that aims to help children improve their literacy by providing volunteers to listen to children read in schools with the support of organisations including WI, U3A, Inner Wheel and Age UK.

​What do we do?
We match reading volunteers with local primary schools to listen to children read in schools on a 1-1 basis. 
This is a free service for both the school and volunteer.

Where are we?

We launched in Bedfordshire in 2013 and are open to applications throughout the UK.

For Schools
Over 500 schools have joined the scheme. If you are a state school and would like to join the scheme then please click here. 

For Volunteers
Over 1,200 volunteers have joined the scheme. If you have a little free time to give on a regular basis and would be interested in joining the scheme, then please click here.