This Easter Saturday 20 April, swap your chocolate bunnies and easter eggs for some pickled herring and sailor’s yarn, as Jan Bee Brown, also known as Captain Annie, opens her treasure trove of nasty nautical tales at ‘Worse Things Happen at Sea’.
If you are looking to keep your family entertained during the Easter holidays, why not combine fun with the good cause of enriching and protecting our cultural heritage, by supporting the courageous quest of story collector Jan Bee Brown. A storyteller with a close connection to water, Jan decided to embark on a journey of tenacious strength, with the mission to gather stories from across the sea, whilst tackling her fear of heights.
“As a professional storyteller I have a head full of stories, but I have no head for heights – so I never thought I could climb the mast of a tall ship, let alone stay to tell a tale beyond the futtock shroud!”
“With a help of the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s dedicated professional crew I did make it up the mast and alongside a captive audience of crew-mates I decided that a story of courage and tenacity was called for!” (Jan Bee Brown)
Her journey started in 2017 on the ‘SV Tenacious’, a tall ship run by the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST), offering different generations and people of all abilities to come together for a shared adventure at sea, contributing to the running of the ship according to one’s abilities and strength.
The Jubilee Sailing Trust proudly states their mission as:
“We deliver our Mission aboard two very special tall ships, STS Lord Nelson and SV Tenacious. They are the only tall ships in the world designed and built so they can be sailed by a truly mixed ability crew, including people with a wide variety of impairments and health conditions.”
“On the level playing field we create aboard our ships, barriers break down, differences disappear and friendships form.”
After the initial voyage on the ‘Tenacious’, Jan decided to become a member of the volunteer crew to sail on ‘The Lord Nelson’ up the coast of Norway. On her journey she discovered that one of Norway’s well-loved poets was in fact born in Leith, the place she now considers her adoptive town.
Through the research on her travels, the places she’s visited and the people she’s met, Jan came across many a nautical tale and developed her personal mission to spread the love for stories and the sea, encouraging her to bring to life the crowdfunding project ‘Telling Tales on Ten Tall Ships’.
Jan Bee explains:
“I’m raising funds for this voyage as a research trip to learn more stories and make fast the maritime links between Norway and Newhaven and Leith and Lillesand with the challenge of telling tales on 10 tall ships as I go!”
“I want to make sure that our mutual maritime heritage is celebrated with true stories of tenacious sailors who dared to go as far as they could and then one step further!”
Alongside the ethos of JST, the fundraiser has enabled Jan to work with a range of youth and mixed ability groups and allowed her to share her seafaring stories with coastal communities, creating connections between different cultures and places that once shared close links.
A glimpse into the future highlights the relevance and longevity of this project, with 2020 being the designated ‘Year of Scottish Coasts and Waters’, an initiative led by Visit Scotland, Jan is sailing the sea of opportunity. Scotland’s coastline stretches over 10,000km and Visit Scotland stress that:
“Water is the life-blood of our country and we’ll be hosting an exciting array of events that put our coasts and waters in the spotlight.”
‘Tales on Ten Tall Ships’ not only ties in with the events of the themed year, but also contributes to the research and preservation of our mutual heritage at home and beyond.
We hope that all sailors aged 6+ will join us and Captain Annie Douglas for some nautical Easter fun at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, to hear about pirates a plenty, cheeky monkeys, thoroughly rotten eggs, fermented herring and pickled ears, whilst helping to keep our shared stories of the sea afloat.
Sat 20 Apr | 11am – 11.45am | £5 per Child | 6+