Clawton School, Devon

Published on Friday, June 28th, 2024

By Dick’s son, Giles King-Smith.

“On June 18th I went down to Clawton Primary School in mid-Devon (a few miles south of Holsworthy, if you like to look up where places are!) to talk to the children about Dick’s life and career.

It’s a small rural school, with about 70 children on roll, so they all came in together, with another 10 or so from the school nursery, and they were brilliant! They listened so well and asked excellent questions; and, when I read them “Sophie’s Snail”, there were two girls who were clearly mad on the Sophie books. Incidentally, I always find (spoiler alert!) that when Sophie’s snail vanishes down the plug-hole, there is absolute quiet and a really serious atmosphere, as they feel her sadness. Proof that I don’t have to shout and wave my arms about to get children’s attention. (Don’t worry, there is a happy ending.)

I have to say also that this is the only school where, having shown a photo of Dick on his tractor, one of the children (a Year 6 boy) asked – “What make of tractor was that?” And when I answered (accurately, I hope), “Massey Ferguson”, he turned to the boy next to him and nodded, as if to say “Thought so”! Proper farming country…

So, a big thank you to Mrs. Steyn and the staff – and, of course, the pupils – for making me so welcome. The final message was the same as ever: KEEP READING!”

At the top of the page, you can see Giles holding up Wilfred, Dick’s toy rabbit from his childhood, who is now over 100 years old! Wilfred was recently on the BBC’s The Repair Shop programme, where he was spruced up by the Teddy Bear Ladies!

Below are some photos of Giles with the children at Clawton School. Thanks to all the kids and staff there, for being so brilliant!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Dick King-Smith site illustration