Inspiration behind Arthur Ransome’s “Rattletrap” goes on display at Lakeland Motor Museum

The Trojan Three Door Tourer

A stylish relic from the roaring Twenties forms the centrepiece of a new display at the Lakeland Motor Museum paying tribute to the famous children’s stories of Swallows and Amazons creator Arthur Ransome.

The 1928 Trojan car is the same age and type once owned by the famous author when he lived in the Lake District and helped to inspire the vehicle “Rattletrap” in his book Pigeon Post.

The display shows the Trojan Three Door Tourer disguised as “Rattletrap” and loaded with camping gear, prospectors’ equipment and topped with a pigeon basket!


Pigeon Post is the 6th of 12 books written by Arthur Ransome in the Swallows and Amazons series for which he was awarded the first Carnegie Medal in 1936 for an outstanding new English-language book for children.

The new display came about through a partnership between the motor museum and charities the Arthur Ransome Trust and the Trojan Museum Trust which owns the vehicle.

It’s been created in a new exhibition space at the museum - in the building which also houses the Campbell Bluebird Exhibition. There’s also a new cinema room which will show British Pathe film clips relating to other items displayed around the museum.


All the action in Pigeon Post takes place on fells surrounding the lakes as the children try to discover gold in the Lake District hills.

The display brings to life the scene in Pigeon Post when Molly Blackett heads to High Topps with essential supplies for the Swallows, Amazons and Ds Mining Company.

“We are delighted to be able to display the Trojan Three Door Tourer as part of this exhibition,” says the Curator of the Lakeland Motor Museum, Chris Lowe: “It’s a wonderful old vehicle and highlights a thrilling tale by Arthur Ransome."

The new display opens to the public on Wednesday, May 1st.

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