A BOAT used in an iconic film has returned to South Lakeland after a 37-year absence.

Sophie Neville, who played the part of Titty Walker in the 1974 film Swallows and Amazons – based on the book written in 1930 by Arthur Ransome – launched the revamped Swallow from Coniston boating centre in front of 100 onlookers.

Eighty-three volunteers had banded together under the name Sail Ransome to buy the boat at auction after it was recovered from a boatyard on the Thames.

It has been rebuilt by craftsmen who work at Pattersons Boatworks in Hawkshead.

“It was great to have Sophie Neville to perform the launch, and she talked to lots of people who've enjoyed the film and Arthur Ransome's books,” said Rob Boden, one of the organisers.

Sail Ransome want to keep Swallow in the Lake District to take people out sailing in a classic wooden dinghy – and she will also appear at events across the country in a bid to attract more people to take up the sport.

Find out more at www.sailransome.org.