Ever since it was the starting point for voyages of discovery to the New World, the old port of Bristol has boasted a wealth of taverns, inns, alehouses, and public houses. Most of the older drinking establishments that have survived have stories to tell - frequently quirky or surprising, but always interesting and often with nautical links. Some involve real historical figures such as Daniel Defoe and Alexander Selkirk, the model for Robinson Crusoe, while others are connected with fictional characters like Long John Silver. And some were used by smugglers, press gangs, privateers and out-and-out pirates.
Local author James MacVeigh takes the reader on a fascinating journey through some of Bristol's oldest and most notorious watering holes. He explores their histories and hidden secrets and tells of the many characters that have frequented or run the city's public houses.
Born and brought up in Merseyside, James worked various trades and came to Bristol in 1978 to spend the weekend with a friend. He liked the city so much that he made it his permanent home. He has had success with a book called 'Gaskin', which was made into a BBC film, and its sequel, 'A Boy Called Graham', and wrote a radio play that was set and recorded in Bristol. It was while researching the background for his play that the author's interest in Bristol's past became aroused; 'Secret Bristol' is the result. Married in Manila in 1994, James and his wife now live in south Bristol and have two children.