Mar 01

Show of Strength’s – TREASURE ISLAND STORY WALK – 27 May- 4 June 2017 at 2pm and 4pm

Treasure Island Trail Walk 2017Posted: WEDNESDAY 1 MARCH 2017:

250 YEARS SINCE THE HISPANIOLA SET SAIL TO TREASURE ISLAND FROM BRISTOL DOCKS

BRISTOL is at the heart of TREASURE ISLAND: it’s where Squire Trelawney found and fitted out the good ship Hispaniola, where Long John Silver ran a pub called The Spylass (based on The Hole in The Wall), and where young Jim Hawkins stepped off the coach from Devon to set sail on the biggest adventure of his life – the search for Captain Flint’s buried treasure.

SHOW OF STRENGTH’s new story walk is next half term, 27 May- 4 June 2017 at 2pm and 4pm. Suitable for families with children aged 8+, you’ll hear the story in the place where it all began 250 years ago: Bristol docks.

Here’s Squire Trelawney’s letter of 1 March 1767:

Old Anchor Inn, Bristol, March 1, 1767

Dear Livesey

The ship is bought and fitted. She lies at anchor, ready for sea. You never imagined a sweeter schooner—a child might sail her—two hundred tons; name, Hispaniola.

…only the crew troubled me until the most remarkable stroke of fortune brought me the very man that I required… an old sailor who keeps a public-house, knows all the seafaring men in Bristol, and had lost his health ashore. I engaged him on the spot to be ship’s cook. Long John Silver, he is called, and has lost a leg…’

To find out what happens next: come and do the walk.

Led by a professional actor in period costume, TREASURE ISLAND STORY WALK is full of pirates and buccaneers; hidden spy holes; dark secrets, dirty deeds, lashings of doubloons – and the odd parrot.

Adults £8, under 16 £5, family (2+2) £20. Duration: 1 hour.

No booking required; meet at the start: Merchant Venturers Almshouses, junction King St/Prince St, BS1 4DT.

  • In association with the Long John Silver Trust, creators of Bristol’s Treasure Island Trail http://www.longjohnsilvertrust.co.uk/

  • Supported by Bristol Festival of Ideas.

  • Part of Bristol Walking Festival

Sheila Hannon, Creative Producer

www.showofstrength.org.uk

Sheila@showofstrength.org.uk

https://www.facebook.com/events/264622350655969/

 

Trelawney’s Letter

Old Anchor Inn, Bristol, March 1, 17—

Dear Livesey—As I do not know whether you are at the hall or still in London, I send this in double to both places.

The ship is bought and fitted. She lies at anchor, ready for sea. You never imagined a sweeter schooner—a child might sail her—two hundred tons; name, Hispaniola.

I got her through my old friend, Blandly, who has proved himself throughout the most surprising trump. The admirable fellow literally slaved in my interest, and so, I may say, did everyone in Bristol, as soon as they got wind of the port we sailed for—treasure, I mean.

Blandly himself found the Hispaniola, and by the most admirable management got her for the merest trifle. There is a class of men in Bristol monstrously prejudiced against Blandly. They go the length of declaring that this honest creature would do anything for money, that the Hispaniola belonged to him, and that he sold it me absurdly high—the most transparent calumnies. None of them dare, however, to deny the merits of the ship.

So far there was not a hitch. The workpeople, to be sure—riggers and what not—were most annoyingly slow; but time cured that. It was the crew that troubled me.

I wished a round score of men—in case of natives, buccaneers, or the odious French—and I had the worry of the deuce itself to find so much as half a dozen, till the most remarkable stroke of fortune brought me the very man that I required.

I was standing on the dock, when, by the merest accident, I fell in talk with him. I found he was an old sailor, kept a public-house, knew all the seafaring men in Bristol, had lost his health ashore, and wanted a good berth as cook to get to sea again. He had hobbled down there that morning, he said, to get a smell of the salt.  I was monstrously touched—so would you have been—and, out of pure pity, I engaged him on the spot to be ship’s cook. Long John Silver, he is called, and has lost a leg; but that I regarded as a recommendation, since he lost it in his country’s service, under the immortal Hawke. He has no pension, Livesey. Imagine the abominable age we live in!

Well, sir, I thought I had only found a cook, but it was a crew I had discovered. Between Silver and myself we got together in a few days a company of the toughest old salts imaginable—not pretty to look at, but fellows, by their faces, of the most indomitable spirit. I declare we could fight a frigate.

Long John even got rid of two out of the six or seven I had already engaged. He showed me in a moment that they were just the sort of fresh-water swabs we had to fear in an adventure of importance.

I am in the most magnificent health and spirits, eating like a bull, sleeping like a tree, yet I shall not enjoy a moment till I hear my old tarpaulins tramping round the capstan. Seaward, ho! Hang the treasure! It’s the glory of the sea that has turned my head. So now, Livesey, come post; do not lose an hour, if you respect me.

Let young Hawkins go at once to see his mother, with Redruth for a guard; and then both come full speed to Bristol.

John Trelawney

Postscript—I did not tell you that Blandly, who, by the way, is to send a consort after us if we don’t turn up by the end of August, had found an admirable fellow for sailing master—a stiff man, which I regret, but in all other respects a treasure. Long John Silver unearthed a very competent man for a mate, a man named Arrow. I have a boatswain who pipes, Livesey; so things shall go man-o’-war fashion on board the good ship Hispaniola.

I forgot to tell you that Silver is a man of substance; I know of my own knowledge that he has a banker’s account, which has never been overdrawn. He leaves his wife to manage the inn; and as she is a woman of colour, a pair of old bachelors like you and I may be excused for guessing that it is the wife, quite as much as the health, that sends him back to roving.

J. T.

P.P.S.—Hawkins may stay one night with his mother.

J. T.