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 21

Historic Walks, Talks and Re-enactments

So far, 2013 has been a great one for historic, walks, talks and re-enactments.

The Long John Silver Trust has been involved in many things ranging from Medieval re-enactment on the Matthew to helping promote Pirates of Penzance at the Bristol Hippodrome for Scottish Opera and Promenade Productions. We also helped Knowle West Media Group with their work on the Temple Development Zone as history consultants.

Our bread and butter however is talking to people either in their meeting rooms or taking them around and about Old Bristol. We can even do readings of Treasure Island in costume, the highlight being our participation in the RLS Club’s celebration of Stevenson last year (2012) at the Scottish Portrait Gallery actually on RLS Day – 23rd November.

We’ve given talks all over the West and topics range from Pirates and Privateers out of Bristol to Bristol’s Reforming Women (others include the anti-slavery campaigners Wulfstan and Clarkson, the Knife and Fork Man [Charles Redrupp] and the Clevedon Car Man [Richard Stevens]).

Please get in touch if any of the talks interest you, all proceeds go to the LJS Trust.

The picture below is a water colour sketch of LJST vice chairman Prof ‘Billy Bones’ Fairney (as Blind Pew) and LJST secretary Mark ‘Long John’ Steedsy (as Silver). The sketch was done by Sam Kendon after our appearance at St Michaels-on-the-mount-without Primary School in Bristol.

Blind Pew and LJS (Bill and Mark)

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 …

Apr 28

Long John Whisky Bottle Donations

Long John Whisky BottleAfter a few years on the Beaufort Arms bar collecting pennies and shillings the lovely Sue and trustee Dave (not quite so lovely) counted a massive £195.61p in treasure from our L. J. whisky bottle.

The booty will be added to our buccaneering funds as soon as possible. This follows on from our previous bottle which some scallywag nicked from the bar when it was last full.

Many thanks to Dave and Sue.

Nov 21

‘Local History Book Fair’ at Bristol Records Office

This Saturday (24th November 2012) Bristol Records Office is hosting a ‘Bristol Local History Book Fair’ event in ‘B’ Bond Warehouse.

Old and new books will be for sale from a range of your favourite local publishers, and they will be complemented by four talks from local authors. Two of them will be conducted by members of the Long John Silver Trust.

Vice-Chairman Prof. ‘Billy Bones’ Fairney will be taking a rest from starring in Edinburgh as Ben Gunn and talking about another great love of his life, engineering, and Secretary ‘Long John Steedsy’ will be talking about Pirates and Privateers out of Bristol (please see poster below).

Thanks to our Chairman Gerry Brooke for getting the event highlighted in Tuesday’s Bristol Times supplement of the Post (Gerry’s editor of said tome) and to Radio Bristol’s Steve Yabsley, who featured Bill on his lunchtime show on Monday.

If you would like to hear Steve’s brilliant interview with Bill, please go to the Radio Bristol ‘BBC iPlayer’ for Monday 19th November and go about 30 minutes into the programme – you’ll enjoy it.

If you want the real thing or get some early Christmas prezzies, please come along on Saturday, it’ll be great to see you there.

Nov 20

Robert Louis Stevenson Day – 13th November 2012

RLS Day 2012 (Tuesday 13th November) saw members of the Long John Silver Trust catch the red-eye special from Bristol Airport to Edinburgh to take part in a marathon reading of Treasure Island.

Our friends in the RLS Club of Edinburgh were celebrating the anniversary of Stevenson’s birthday by doing an all-day reading of his ‘breakthrough’ classic in the foyer of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Star readers for the day were RLS enthusiasts Nigel Planer and John Sessions along with Scottish actor John ‘Jack’ Shedden and other doyens of the RLS Club.

We each took 12 minute chapters edited by the days supremo Jeremy Hodges who had made all the arrangements with the able assistance of Ailene Hunter and Gillean Arjat amongst others. We started at 10am and Jack Shedden finished the event (with a final flourish) at 5pm.

The reason Jeremy had chosen the fantastic location of the foyer of the Portrait Gallery was because it contained the magnificent  bust of RLS himself created by Stevenson’s cousin.

Not only that but the Portrait Gallery also features a copy of Rodin’s famous depiction of William Ernest Henley. As Stevenson buffs know, Gloucester born Henley was an inspiration’s for one of Stevenson’s most memorable (and complex) character’s, Long John Silver.

Myself, as Long John Steedsy, and the Prof, ‘Billy Bones’ Fairney, reprised our roles as narrators of Treasure Island but this time to Jeremy’s fine script. As you can see in the attached pictures, Bill once again steals the show as Ben Gunn.

All of the readers were on fine form and it was an honour and pleasure to be part of such a great day, remembering one of the world’s greatest authors.

Happy birthday Lewis!
Click on an image to enlarge: