Here’s some feedback from a recent talk the Long John Silver Trust conducted with the Port of Bristol Authority Retired Employees Association: –
‘Just a few lines to thank you such an entertaining afternoon last Tuesday (17/09/13). As you could tell, your talk on Pirates and the Long John Silver Trust was much enjoyed by everyone.
We do hope your plans for the Maritime and Literary Trail are successful – I didn’t realise how many authors in the past have had some connection with Bristol.
I was asked by many of our Members to arrange another visit from you… to see if something can be arranged for 2014.
Mrs Ann Tilley – Secretary’
Many thanks Ann, we’ll be doing our best to make the arrangement.
During the talk I mentioned Bristolian author William Williams, whose book The Journal of Llewlin Penrose – Seaman contains literature’s first ever encrypted pirate treasure map and here it is: –
This image is care of Bristol’s Central Library and if you would like to see the whole book, that’s where you’ll find a copy, amongst their priceless collections.
Genuine Privateer (some say Pirate) Captain William Kidd used a treasure map way back in the 1690’s but it didn’t appear in print until William’s book in 1815. Williams lived out his last days in the Merchant Venturers’ Almshouses in historic King Street, Bristol.
William’s map was then famously ‘borrowed’, first by Edgar Allen Poe in The Gold Bug and then by Robert Louis Stevenson in Treasure Island.
You can read all about it in the Trust’s book Pirates and Privateers Out of Bristol – please go to our shop to get a copy.
As you may be aware the LJST HQ, the Beaufort Arms in Hawkesbury Upton, played host to Harmony Gromit for ten weeks in the summer of 2013 and as a follow up, my wife Fiona and I went to the “The Greatest Dog Show on Earth!” last night as sponsors, and bumped in to some old friends, first and foremost being ‘Salty Sea Dog’ Harmony Gromit by the Founder and Creative Director of Aardman Animations, Peter Lord.
As my alter-ego ‘Long John Steedsy’ I couldn’t resist seeking out Salty and having my picture taken with him in the ‘Novelty Dogs’ category. Imagine my delight when buying the brilliant new book ‘The Art of Gromit Unleashed’, I discovered some of Peter’s preparation drawings for Salty himself. His tattoos are a real hoot.
Whilst there we met several other old friends, including Royston Griffey and Bob McKeown from the Long John Silver Trust (this time representing the Matthew, host to Newfoundland Gromit) and Bristol Mayor George Fergusson, resplendent in his red trousers as usual and cock-a-hoop at the success of the Gromit Unleashed Trail.
We joked with them about Bristol’s successor to Gromit and while Royston was keen on Unicorns, George was all for pirates, he could envision a stack of Long John Silvers around the city and I was with him all of the way.
Mark Steeds (Secretary and LJST Trustee, and landlord of the Beaufort Arms)
Photos below, click an image to enlarge …
Royston Griffey and Bob McKeown from the Long John Silver Trust
Mark at "The Greatest Dog Show on Earth"
September 13th 2013 was a special day for the Trust and for one of its Patrons, Royston Griffey, who was made, after a 7 year apprenticeship (where he wasn’t allowed to frequent inns, play dice or fornicate) a Freeman and Burgess of the City and County of Bristol.
To celebrate this ancient Medieval tradition, the Matthew was commissioned to sail down the Gorge in full Medieval regalia which included the crew.
The LJST, with Royston’s blessing, took the opportunity to hand over a cheque for £1000 to the Matthew of Bristol Trust in order to become a ‘Corporate-Life Member’ (joining the likes of the University of Bristol) thereby firming up the great links between ourselves and the Matthew.
Shown here is Vice-Chairman Bill Fairney handing over our cheque to a very happy Royston. The award of Freedom and becoming a Burgess is just recognition for all of his hard work promoting Bristol’s many-faceted maritime past.
Three cheers for Royston ….
More Pic’s below ….. click an image to enlarge …
LJST Vice Chairman Bill Fairney shakes hands with LJST Patron Royston Griffey
LJST Trustees Bill and Leon
LJST Vice Chairman Bill Fairney and Chairman Gerry Brooke