From left to right we have Prof Bill Fairney, Long John Silver Trust Chairman; Cllr Simon Cook, Bristol Cabinet Mayor for the Arts; Stefano Dominioni, Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes; Michel Legros, Chairman of the European Cultural Network ‘In the Footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson’ and Cllr Clare Campion-Smith, Bristol Lord Mayor.
“Last weekend, Bristol based charity the Long John Silver Trust proudly hosted the latest AGM of the brand new Council of Europe, European Cultural Route (ECR), ‘In the Footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson’.
Over 50 delegates assembled at Bristol Records Office from all over Britain, France and Belgium to not only meet but also have the huge of honour of being made an ECR – only the third such in the UK and one of only about 30 europe-wide.
The Routes are sponsored by the Council of Europe to promote cultural exchange around a common theme and in our case it’s Scotland’s Robert Louis Stevenson, the man and his works. One of Britain’s greatest writers.
The Long John Silver Trust was formed over 10 years ago to celebrate Bristol’s literary and maritime connections through the medium of RLS’s Treasure Island, which was of course partially set in Bristol.
You may have already seen the recently created ‘RLS Treasure Island Trail’ around Bristol’s historic Floating Harbour. A set of 8 oak planters made of recycled Bordeaux wine barrels complete with palm trees and information plaques, a free to visit attraction not only telling the story of Treasure Island but also some of each locations history – we even have a Smartphone App!
The number of delegates swelled to over 70 at the accreditation ceremony with LJST friends, members and supporters, including our sister charity PROPS from Fishponds who helped create the Trail – post 16 special needs students who are also helping to maintain it as part of their work experience.
As well as enjoying the 850 years of archives in the BRO the delegates went on a harbour cruise, John Nation’s Graffiti Tour, visited our exhibition at the Central Library (and what treasures are in there!), the Art Gallery, Clifton Hill House (home of Stevenson’s Bristol friend John Addington Symonds) and the Wulfstan windows in Hawkesbury.
We played particular heed to the work of illustrator Mervyn Peake who is featured on our barrels and in the exhibition and to actor Robert Newton, who’s classic film of Treasure Island was shown at Clifton Hill House as part of Stevenson Month. The exhibition is now going on until the end of December.
All of the assembled guests loved Bristol and are planning to come back, especially as we now part of our very own European Cultural Route!”
Picture kindly provided by Chris Chubb, LJST Grants co-ordinator, photographer, presenter… (Thanks Chris)