Dec 02

Bristol Local History Bookfair 2014

Looking for a unique book to give this Christmas? Want some background on the books available? Then please come along to Bristol Record Office this Saturday – you won’t be disappointed ….

Bristol Local History Bookfair 2014
Saturday 6 December 2014 at Bristol Records Office.

‘B’ Bond Warehouse (via Create Centre)
Smeaton Road
Bristol
BS1 6XN

Free entry.

10am-1pm
Family history advice from the Bristol & Avon Family History Society

1.30pm – Bristol: the City at War, 1914-1918 (Eugene Byrne, co-author of ‘Bravo Bristol!’)
As a major British city and port, Bristol played a key role in the First World War. Join Eugene for stories of Bristolians on the battlefield, on the Home Front and in the war at sea.

2.30pm – Unmarked Graves: the Eastville Workhouse Project (Dr Di Parkin, Bristol Radical History Group)
Between 1855 and 1895, over 3,000 paupers were buried in unmarked graves near Eastville Workhouse on Fishponds Road. Di Parkin will present a project to uncover the names of the people buried there.

3.30pm – Bristol’s Treasure Island Influences (Mark Steeds, Long John Silver Trust)
Hear from Mark about the pirates and privateers that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to set parts of his classic book in the city.

Dec 01

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Birthday Celebrations 2014

At lunch time on November 13th we had a birthday party for Louis with most of the staff and students from PROPS and a great turn out of four Long John Silver Trustees.

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For the past three weeks the PROPS students have been busy painting, pasting and putting together pictures, montages, model parrots and even a complete Treasure Island!

It’s hard to think that it all originated with Bristol’s participation in the Great Reading Adventure of 2003…

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Jamie Goodenough did the brilliant picture of RLS with both T.I., Jekyll and Hyde and one of Stevenson’s poems all computer painted and, despite me telling him I thought him very talented, he profoundly disagreed.

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The model Treasure Island had everything; volcano, waterfall, compass rose, footsteps (a la Robinson Crusoe?), sparkly red ‘X’ marks the spot, palm trees, beach and even a shipwreck…

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Three huge Cap’n Flint parrots were all different and all first rate and now decorate the Beaufort dining room.

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Adam and Daniel drew pictures and then we had the piece de resistance – Long John Silver himself. Cabin boy Sam drew and painted him complete with bottle of rum, parrot and 24 buttons on his coat – imagine undoing them in a hurry. Stuart drew the shape of the island, Ryan sponge painted it, Azim found the images, cabin girl Sam drew and painted the treasure chest, cabin boy Sam sponge painted the sea (he was busy!) and Frannie helped paint the parrot.

What an effort by all the staff and students and I wonder what RLS himself would have thought of it; surely he would have been pleased.

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Many thanks one and all for making it one of the most colourful birthday parties that I can ever remember going to.

Happy birthday Robert Louis Stevenson 2014.

Jul 20

PROPS Annual Adventure Around Bristol Harbour – Treasure Island Cruise 2014

Our Treasure Island Cruise 2014 was a huge success once again with our friends at special needs charity PROPS in their element roaring and harooing the visitors to Bristol’s 45th Harbour Festival. 

The trip nearly didn’t happen after some scallywag blew up the engine of the Brigantia but the Bristol Ferryboat Company came up trumps with an able replacement in the venerable Matilda. Crew were driver Mike Fripp – a favourite of the LJST – and shipmate Gabriel who did a great job keeping us safe and sound and taking no prisoners.

Special thanks must go to John of Westward Travel for getting us there, Liam from the ss Great Britain for ‘doing a deal’ on our much needed ice creams (at cutlass point), the ss Great Britain cafe for the napkins for our messy PROPS pirates and all of the people we held up on Cumberland Road manoeuvring our land carriage for some of our less able seamen.

Many thanks to Brian Henley for the pic’s.

Jun 29

Treasure Island aboard the Matthew June 2014

Treasure Island aboard the Matthew was a huge success – one performance last Thursday for friends and supporters of the Long John Silver Trust (including the RLS Club, PROPS, Patron Nicholas Newton and Bristol City Council cabinet member Gus Hoyt) and two performances for the paying public on Sunday.

Radio Bristol’s Steve Yabsley was amongst the crowd on the final performance and sailing (2.30pm 22/06/14) and all seemed to enjoy it.

Jun 01

Coming Soon .. June 2014 ….

Coming soon, “Treasure Island aboard the Matthew” – the grand finale of the Long John Silver Trust’s  Big Green Treasure Hunt on the final day of Bristol’s Big Green Week 2014 – Sunday 22nd June 2014.

If you fancy a dramatic voyage around Bristol’s historic Floating Harbour brought to you by the LJST’s cut-throat crew, here’s your big chance.

A faithful adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, Treasure Island.

Tickets available at the Matthew box office on www.matthew.co.uk

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 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 ...