Pirate Pete launches Bristol slave walks

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By sophia1980 | Monday, February 10, 2014, 11:13

Following the success of the film 12 Years a Slave and the release of his new book Bristol Slavers, popular local character Peter Martin has launched a new city tour which discovers Bristol's slave trade past.

Peter, or Pirate Pete as he's also known, has run popular Maritime Walks around the Harbourside since 2000, when a Prince's Trust grant allowed him to establish the business aimed at informing the public and local schoolchildren. Peter has now launched a new version of the walk which focuses on locations in Bristol integral to the trade.

A gentle meander around the Docks and other Bristol hotspots the Bristol Slaves Walk lasts around two hours and can be specifically tailored to any group.

Peter said: "My Pirate Walks have been a staple of the Bristol Harbourside for years and have attracted thousands of people, both tourists and locals, who enjoy learning about Bristol's history while walking around and seeing it for themselves.

"As well as having an interest in local Pirates, I have spent years researching Bristol's part in the Slave Trade which is why I decided it was about time to offer a new walk which exposes some previously unknown stories and artefacts from that time.

"Bristol was once the world's leading slave port so there are so many places to explore around the Harbourside and other central Bristol locations and which paint out the picture of life back then.

"As always on my walks, I want people to learn something new but also have lots of fun along the way!"

The walk will be linked to Peter's new book Bristol Slavers which he has written with esteemed psychiatrist Dr Isioma Nwokolo. In the book, Peter studies Westcountry estates and their slave connections while Dr Nwokolo examines the mental trauma caused by the industry.

It is hoped the factual book will be a resource for teachers teaching the subject in local schools.

Peter continued: "The walk will explore the places we talk about in the book so anyone interested in the topic will be able to enjoy a full 4D experience. I'm a storyteller at heart so I like to think I will bring that time to life, but everything I cover on the walk is purely factual.

"We will be visiting Guinea Street where Bristol's biggest slave captain Sir Edmund Saunders once lived and making a stop at the Llandoger Trow where 17th century brass manillas, which were used for barter with the African tribal kings, were recently found.

"The walk is usually around two hours long but a shorter and flatter version can be arranged on request."

Dr Nwokolo said: "There's often a desire to bury this subject in Bristol because it is so controversial but it was a huge part of the city's history and I think it is important to educate ourselves about it.

"I want people to understand what is was really like for both the enslaved and the slavers and how their situations really affected them.

"There is a huge interest in slavery at the moment with the release of 12 Years a Slave and the discovery of modern-day slavery happening across the UK, so I would urge anyone interested to take a look at the book and have a go at the walk."

Bristol Slavers will be launched at Caribbean restaurant The Plantation on Thursday 20 February. Tickets to the event cost £10 if pre-booked or £15 on the door and include food and drinks. Books will be available to buy at the event for a special price of £10, signed by both authors.

The first Bristol Slaves Walk will take place on Saturday 22 February and starts at 2pm at MShed.

Price for the two hour walk is £10 for adults and £5 for children with concession discounts available.

More details can be found by visiting www.piratewalks.co.uk or by emailing Peter at Peterthepirate@hotmail.com



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