Dec 06

RLS ECR meeting in Picardie Nov’ 2013

Friday 15th November saw four intrepid members of the Long John Silver Trust make their bleary way across England to the Channel Tunnel for a rendezvous at Pont-sur-Sambre in Northern France for the fourth annual meeting of the European network “In Robert Louis Stevenson’s Footsteps”.

LJST driver (and Treasurer) Leon and his partner Linda set off at 3.30am and collected Secretary Mark and his wife Fiona at 4am for our passage and we had to get to our destination by noon, which we achieved using Leon’s aged sat nav system.

Lunch was served at the ‘Stevenson Grill’ where we acquainted ourselves with our fellow delegates, friends old and new. After lunch we made our way to the Town Hall where our first meeting had been convened.

In the evening we were entertained at the Auberge de Sambre, similar to one of the stops Stevenson made on his Inland Voyage – canoeing from Antwerp to Paris. As an aside, I had noticed the towns brewing heritage and urged the local Mayor to try and resurrect the craft, especially if they’re going for Eco-tourism. The meal was lovely and we headed off early to our digs to make the most of our big meeting on the morrow.

To be continued ……

Sep 24

Feedback from a recent talk by Mark Steeds from the Long John Silver Trust

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: –

Copy of Penrose treasure map

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.

Sep 21

The Greatest Dog Show on Earth!

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 …

Sep 14

Closer links forged between the Matthew of Bristol Trust and the Long John Silver Trust

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 ….

LJST to Matthew 1000 handover Sept 2013More Pic’s below ….. click an image to enlarge …

Sep 04

Matthew Annual Fish & Chip Night 2013

Friends and supporters of the Long John Silver Trust, along with regulars from LJST HQ at the Beaufort, are seen here enjoying the hospitality of the Matthew once again on their annual Fish and Chip fundraising cruise.

Proceedings got under way with LJST Patron Royston Griffey hoisting the Matthew’s ‘Jolie Vert’ (Jolly Green Roger) – not very ably assisted by the Trust’s secretary. Anyhoo, our voyage commenced and we set off in the direction of [the] Nova Scotia to rendezvous with our supper.

The two hours flew by and finished with a rousing speech (?) by the pesky Trust’s secretary once again, Long John Steedsy, where a special announcement was made about the Long John Silver Trust becoming a Corporate Member of the Matthew of Bristol Trust.

Thanks were issued and events were wrapped up with a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday George’ and we all went home happy… Click an image to enlarge:
Images courtesy of
Andy Musty

Jul 13

Treasure Island Cruise with PROPS 2013

Thursday 11th July 2013 saw the motley crew of the Long John Silver Trust gather around the Beaufort Arm’s Gromit prior to the latest Treasure Island Cruise with the Matthew and local special needs charity PROPS.
P1020890Highlight of the cruise, aboard the Matthew, was the handing over of the ‘Jolly Green Roger’ especially made for the Trust by talented LJST member Sue (Sue was presented with a bunch of flowers for her brilliant effort). The flag was made to help celebrate Bristol’s winning of Green Capital status for 2015.

Rich and Mo once again sponsored the event and we had generous help from the Matthew of Bristol, Beaufort Minibuses, M Shed Café and Seb from JungleTalk, whose parrot Dumplin’ once again stole the show…

Huge thanks to everyone involved and roll on next year, it’ll have to go some way to top this year’s event.

Pic's from the day ..... click image to enlarge ...

Jun 15

Charities’ Bucket Collection at Bristol Hippodrome

 LJSBlackSmallmatthew-largerBristol theatre goers, how about combining a great show with giving to two of the finest charities on the docks?

 Celebrating their 100th anniversary, the Bristol Hippodrome has kindly allowed the LJST and Matthew charities to benefit from the forthcoming run of Nicholas Newton’s superb production of ‘Pirates of Penzance” ……   18th – 22nd June 2013.

 You’ll make the Pirate King very happy…

Click here to View the Leaflet …

Aug 16

Fish and Chips fund raising event aboard the Matthew in Bristol Docks

Routemaster Bus at Beaufort Arms Hawkesbury UptonFish and Chips aboard the Matthew Tuesday 4th September 2012

Our aim on this event is to raise money for LJST and the Bristol Vintage Bus Group so the fares have been set at £27.50p per person for the red  Routemaster bus to take us to Bristol and return back to Hawkesbury. While aboard the Matthew we take a cruise around the docks on this great little vessel.

Matthew - Sailing Ship - BristolTo make sure we’re in good time it will be 6pm at the Beaufort Arms with a return by about 10pm.

For those going straight from the Arnolfini (where the Matthew is moored at the moment) the cost will be £22.50p and departure time (time the Matthew sets off) is 7pm.

The event is open to everyone interested …… please come along to join us if you can.

We must know names in advance. This is one of our major fund raisers of the year so once again, please spread the word.

Jul 07

Long John Silver Trust – July 2012 Activities

The Trust has a very busy July – Please come along to give us your support ….

8th annual Treasure Island Cruise with PROPS on Thursday 12th July. We’ll be aboard the good ship Brigantia once again, sailing the waters of  Bristol’s Floating Harbour. Listen out for our piratey roars and yahooing between 11am and 12.30pm.

Weekend of July 21st and 22nd Bristol’s Harbour Fest‘ once again and we’ll be there in Betty’s Boathouse, flogging our wares on Redcliffe Wharf.

Saturday 28th July 2pm to 4pm “Pirates @ Blaise”  – come along to historic Blaise Castle for an afternoon of pirate fun and storytelling – look out for Captain Dumplin’ and sail maker Tony.