Nov 16

Long John Silver Trust holds great store in its charity remit

The Long John Silver Trust holds great store in its charity remit of being educational and to this end regularly conducts an abridged version of Treasure Island to interested parties.

Our most recent outing came in October 2012 when we performed to the 9 and 10 year old students of St Michaels on the Mount Primary School, Bristol.

LJST friend (and doyen of Bristol Pubs Group), local architect Sam Kendon, was keen on us bringing our brand of piracy to his daughters school and after an age of trying we managed to pull it off.

After our rendition of T. I. we held a question and answer session and were staggered at the knowledge of the youngsters.

Sam subsequently has sent us a brilliant picture of Blind Pew and Long John with the following legend on the back: – “Many thanks for doing the Treasure Island gig, I’m sorry it took so long to fix up but it went down well in the end. I was impressed how much some of them knew. As I often am. Yo ho ho! Sam”

Sam’s picture shows LJST Vice-Chairman ‘Billy Bones’ Fairney and Secretary Long John ‘Steedsy’ in full flow.

Oct 18

LJST and Bristol Festival of Literature 2012

The LJST was delighted to be involved with the 2nd Bristol Festival of Literature which started last Saturday (13th October) and is going on until this Sunday 21st October (please go to for other events).

The Trust was involved with a Literary walk around Bristol on the 13th – dodging showers – which went well and followed this up with the Festivals first feature event on the 14th ‘!PIRATES! ADVENTURES WITH SCIENTISTS…AND HISTORIANS!’ which went extremely well.

LJST favourite, BBC Radio Bristol’s Steve Yabsley, interviewed Pirates author Gideon Defoe and Aardman film maker and founder Peter Lord.

LJST’s firm friends, the Matthew of Bristol Trust, kindly agreed to support the event with the good ship Matthew and the event opened with guns blazing as the celebrities were collected from Aardman HQ and shipped down to the magnificent M Shed on Bristol’s internationally famous Floating Harbour who were hosting the talk.

A slight hiccup occurred when the pirate planner didn’t allow enough time for collecting and dropping off, but the guests were only a few minutes late and host Steve just breezed over the mishap.

Silver tongued Steve soon settled the speakers down and the ensuing interview just flew by with Peter Lord, the consummate pro that he is, having everyone rocking in the aisles.

Peter and Gideon went off to sign books and the Trust’s motley crew got reunited with the ship to do two sell out sailings around the docks with storytelling of RLS’s Treasure Island and Helen Hart’s Black Banner, complemented by Seb of Jungle Talk’s two parrots Rosie and Dumpling, Saul the sail-maker from HMS Canopus and cannonaders Geoff and Ann (magnificently dressed as characters from !Pirates!).

The two pictures show Trust narrator Long John Steedsy regaling the crowd with tales of Blackbeard and the T.I. connection (Fifteen men on a Dead Man’s Chest) and the other ‘Gouty’ Geoff and Saul the sail-maker.

Huge thanks to all who helped make it such a cracking day, especially Yabbo, Cap’n Rob, the crew of the Matthew and Chairman Gerry’s colleagues at the Bristol Post.

Now the bad news, tonight (Thursday 18th) we were supposed to have ‘UWE History Department vs Long John Silver – The truth about pirates’ but unfortunately it got cancelled. The two teams had assembled but the pitch had become unplayable – a bit like Poland vs England on Tuesday. We’re hoping to reschedule so please keep an eye out for any possible news.Bristol Festival of Literature
Bristol Festival of Literature

Oct 02

LJS Trust Activities in October 2012

October 2012 promises to be an exciting time for the Long John Silver Trust, as part of this year’s Bristol Festival of Literature, we’ve been invited to take part in a number of events.

It’s a real honour for us to be involved and there are exciting happenings almost throughout the whole of October but in particular between 13th and 21st October – please go to or follow events on Twitter @bristolfest or Facebook

LJS is involved in three of the offerings: –

  • Saturday October 13th 2-4pm, meeting at Temple Church (behind the Kings Head in Victoria Street) Cost £3 on the day. “The Long John Silver Literary Walk: Adventurers Tales”
    Will take in parts of historic old Bristol that inspired the likes of Daniel Defoe, Jonathon Swift, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Louis Stevenson through the daring deeds of some of Bristol’s more colourful characters.
  • Sunday October 14th 1-5pm, meeting at M Shed Cost variable (Box Office: Book online at or phone 0117 230 5157)
    “Gideon Defoe and Peter Lord: Pirates! Adventures with scientists…and historians!”
    The Matthew will be collecting Peter, Gideon and radio Bristol’s Steve Yabsley form Aardman HQ and delivering them to M Shed, guns blazing at about 1.45pm for what promises to be the highlight of the Festival, a talk between the 3 of them in M Shed 2pm – 3pm with book signings after.The Matthew will then be taking people on 45 minute Storytelling trips around the docks featuring Treasure Island and the Black Banner (3.15pm and 4pm).The Trusts own cannonaders, parrots and sail-maker will be on hand to explain their connection with Bristol’s notorious Buccaneer’s.“The biggest family event of the weekend. Pirates and adventurers take over the Harbourside to tell us who they were and why they did what they did.

 At the centre of things, the author and the film-maker arrive by ship to the M Shed to show us how they collaborated on turning Gideon’s cracking novel into the blockbuster Aardman success, with clips, filmobilia and performances.”

 Families: Take a trip on the Matthew. Grown-ups: Ask the Bristol Radical History Group who the real criminals were or quiz Tom Sykes and Tony Giles, two modern adventurers who buck the trend. Smaller kids: Make something crafty. Everyone: Join in!

 Meet Gideon, Peter and Steve 2-3pm £9 fam/£5/£2.50p

 Kid’s Crafty Crafts 1-5pm £1 suggested donation

 On board tour and tales 3.15pm and 4pm on the Matthew £8

 Radical History, Modern Travel Tales, Craft Demo’s, Book Signings 1-5pm M Shed lobby’s £Free

  •  Thursday !8th October 8-9pm at M Shed Cost £Free
    “UWE History department vs Long John Silver: The truth about pirates”

Academics line-up against Roger Ball of BRHG and Mark Steeds of LJST to answer why pirates have been airbrushed out of Bristol’s history.

“Cheese I likes, toasted mostly”
Ben Gunn

 “I own myself an Ass” Squire Trelawney

 “Smart as paint” Long John Silver

“Be there or be square” LJST

Sep 08

Fish n’ Chips – Successful Voyage

Matthew - Sailing Ship - Bristol“On Tuesday 4th September, the Long John Silver Trust took to the high seas of Bristol’s famous Floating Harbour once again on yet another ‘Fish ’n’ Chip’ excursion aboard the good ship Matthew.

We set off from the Beaufort’s LJS HQ aboard Chris Knight’s classic Routemaster London red bus bound for the bright lights of the ‘Metropolis of the West’ at 6pm, arriving in good time to board the Matthew outside the Arnolfini at 7pm.

Captain Rob Salvidge was our host, ably assisted by his gang of handpicked cut-throats and a more convivial host you couldn’t wish for. Against a fierce head wind (Curly talking too much) we pitched and rolled our way down to the Pump House where Rob’s crew had raided an excellent Fish shop nearby.

Fed and watered (the Beaufort regulars making full use of the Matthew’s excellent licensed bar) the Matthew then returned to her Arnolfini berth, swashing and buckling all the way up the docks.

There to meet us was Chris’s bus once again and we returned home via Fishponds, Downend and Yate (the glamour of it all) for 10pm where some imbibed in yet more drink c/o the Beaufort.

As well as putting some money in the Matthew’s coffers, over £200 was raised for Bristol Vintage Bus Group (of whom Chris is a member) and the LJS Trust – the spoils divvied in half.

Huge thanks once again to all those who either helped or took part. Royston Griffey (Chair of the Matthew of Bristol Trust and LJST Patron) kindly received us on the Matthew and a whole host of Beaufort regulars and Trust members who joined in.

A great effort, we had 38 people from Sodbury, Tetbury, Hawkesbury, Kingswood (W-U-E), Inglestone Common and even Dursley.

Special thanks to Rich and Mo and their party plus Angie and Den of The Boundary magazine ( who made donations over and above the cost of the trip.

Look out for our next tie-up with the Matthew on October 14th during the Bristol Literature Festival, and if you’re down the docks on Saturday 8th September for Open Doors Day we’re at Betty’s Boathouse on Redcliffe Wharf (just outside the Caves which will be open) selling our wares.”

Mark (LJS Trust secretary and trustee)

Jul 31

Pirates at Blaise Castle July 2012

28th July 2012 - Pirates at Blaise was very successful with a reading of Treasure Island by the Long John Silver Trust, Pirate Pete and his lucky dip for the kids and his ghost of Blackbeard, real pirate parrots Cap'n Dumpling and Rosie, local Radio Bristol celebrity Steve Yabsley judging the kid's pirate fancy dress competition, and lots of other goings on – Over 300 children were in attendance.

Many thanks to everyone for making the day such a success ..... If you see a photo of yourself and would like to download it please feel free to do so.

Photos from the day are below, courtesy of Cap'n Adge .... click on an image to enlarge .....

Jul 24

Hawkesbury and Horton Women’s Institute Literary Tour in Bristol

On Thursday 19th July 2012 Trustee “Long John Steedsy” took a party from Hawkesbury and Horton Women’s institute around some of Bristol’s literary heart,  giving them a taste of some of the fantastic literary heritage which has been passed down to us. A great time was had by one and all.

The W. I. very kindly gave the Trust £25 for the charity treasure chest.

If you are interested in one of Steedsy’s walks, he would explain how Bristol’s rich maritime history has inspired stories of exploration and daring voyages and that The Hole in the Wall in Queen Square is said to be the basis for The Spyglass in Robert Louis Stephenson’s Treasure Island ….. and much, much more ………

Jul 15

PROPS – LJS Trust Annual Treasure Island Cruise 2012

Thursday 12th July 2012 – Our 8th annual Treasure Island Cruise on board Brigantia with PROPS was a great success. Thankfully, the rain held off and all enjoyed themselves. It was a real joy to see the smiles on the kid’s faces.

Photos from the day courtesy of Cap'n Adge .... click on an image to enlarge

On the cruise day, Blaire Hannan, the disabled young lady who sailed the Olympic torch across the harbour when it was in Bristol, was there. She is a sailor and was supporting some children training in dingies. She was good enough to allow us to hold the torch. Below are pictures of Blaire, pirate Chris, pirate Bill (with eye patch) and Oscar, the youngest member of the crew. Click an image to see larger version.

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.