“In Brunel’s terms, ambitious but not impossible”
The Long John Silver Trust was formed in 2003 after Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel “Treasure Island” was chosen for Britain’s first “Great Reading Adventure”. Initially the idea was to erect a statue of Bristol’s own Long John Silver, but it developed into the creation of the Treasure Island Trail – a unique series of dockside sculptures and images that tell the whole book’s story. As well as a walking trail it would make full use of the waterfront through provision of a ferry boat ride, in the guise of a “Pirate Ship” and have a trail centre established at Redcliffe Caves.
The Trust would greatly appreciate the chance to be part of the 200 Ideas initiative as we need to engage the people of Bristol in our proposals. Our project would provide the following benefits:
- a major, self-sustaining tourist attraction which would significantly contribute to the increase in Bristol’s visibility as a cultural and historic center.
- support and contribute to the city council’s regeneration of the dockside area, working with existing initiatives like Redcliffe Futures, thereby: establishing a unique identity for the local community and Bristol as a whole.
- encouraging/attracting further commerce and investment within the area.
- providing a way-finding vehicle to other tourist attractions via the trail, e.g. Empire Museum to the new Museum of Bristol
- a flexible educational vehicle, broad enough to encompass Bristol’s literary, artistic and historic heritage.
- a focus for activities to support the development of young people through the provision of educational trips, workshops, work experience and involvement in the creation and ongoing work of the Trust e.g. street theatre and artwork.
- a forum for the involvement and inclusion of special needs groups such as the visually or physically impaired, via the exploration of RLS’s characters.
- promote the waterway in an innovative and inclusive manner via the ‘pirate ship’ ferry boat.
- a central focus for community and festival activities.
- diverse and exciting ways to bring Bristol alive and encourage all participants to have fun!
Initially we would like to present a temporary trail (images, hoardings, temporary structures, perhaps even a light show), possibly with Heritage Lottery Funding, created with the help of the disadvantaged or disabled.
We genuinely believe it could become one of the greatest free attractions in the West Country, without being a burden on the public purse. It will be an accessible, safe and fun way to enjoy much of Bristol’s literary and maritime heritage as well as being a great day out. Interpreting the past, building on the future.
“Yo Ho Ho and a boat load of fun!”