The Arthur Ransome Society, also known by its acronym TARS, and whose members refer to themselves as Tars, is a society whose goals are to "celebrate the life, promote the works, and diffuse the ideas of Arthur Ransome". It is based at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, England.
In 1984 Christina Hardyment had written an account of her own investigations into the real-life places and real-life people in Arthur Ransome's stories. As a direct result of this book, Arthur Ransome and Capt. Flint's Trunk, people interested in forming a society dedicated to Arthur Ransome had been leaving their contact details at Abbot Hall, where, following his death in 1967, his widow Evgenia had donated various articles, including his writing desk. In 1989 Christina followed up on these contact details by sending an appeal for funds to restore the dilapidated Mavis, the supposed prototype for Arthur Ransome's Amazon, The response to this appeal was overwhelming and in June 1990 The Arthur Ransome Society was formed.
A particularly large sum came from the Arthur Ransome Club (ARC) of Japan. The ceremony was attended by Christina Hardyment, Tamami Nakayama of ARC and Brigit Sanders (nee Altounyan), a prototype of the character Bridget Walker. Brigit Sanders subsequently became President of TARS.
In 1997 the society was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee.
TARS produces several regular publications, holds many recreational and scholarly events and maintains a Ransome-themed website . TARS has a wide international membership base which includes branches in Australia, Canada, USA and New Zealand.In the UK there are 6 different regions: Scottish, Northern, Midland, Eastern, South Western and Southern, each with its own leadership committee. They also organize local events which are open all members. Every year one region in the UK takes its turn to host the International Annual General Meeting (IAGM).
TARS has a subsidiary, Amazon Publications, which publishes both original books and reprints of books associated with Ransome.
There are strong links with the Arthur Ransome Club in Japan but no direct association.
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