January is often a slack month for the jobbing tour guide. I wonder whether it's because people have done their best to get themselves into debt in the run-up to Christmas, and so are perhaps cutting back on the expenditure.
Yesterday saw the last tour in my month-long celebration of the Footprints of London blog. Engineering Change is a tour which explores the relationship between the City of London and various engineering ventures - mechanical, electrical and civil. Among the audience was a former professor of civil engineering. Though it's good to introduce people to new stories and indeed ideas, it's always a pleasure to have people along who can appreciate the finer points, and she certainly enjoyed the experience. Details of the tour can be found on the link below, as can my Footprints blog item on the Electric Telegraph Company, as featured on the tour.
The theme for February's Charnowalks is crime and the law, in the City and the East End. (I've developed quite a fondness for those composite pictures, as you'll have guessed.) The tours look at unrest in the City, crime and wrongdoing in Bethnal Green and the Ripper murders. They also explore the unique relationship between the City and the law, and some issues relating to judicial punishment. As always, you can get the full list of tours here:
But there are no tours on the first weekend of the month, because that's Walk London weekend - a weekend of free tours organised by Transport for London. Details on the link here:
Another departure from the theme is Saturday 24 February, when I will be giving a reduced-price preview of my new tour, 'Peter Ackroyd in Sailortown'. This is my fifth literary tour featuring site-specific readings, my second in the East End (the other being 'Bethnal Green in So Many Words') and the third focussing on a specific author (having covered Charles Dickens and John Mortimer to date).
As usual, being the first outing of a new tour, it's being offered at the inflation-busting rate of £5 a head. If you fancy coming along, it's a 2:00 start from the Bekesbourne Street exit of Limehouse DLR Station.
Though guiding takes priority, I do try to keep my hand in with some writing, and earlier this month I had the privilege of getting another item accepted for the Footprints of London blog. This time it was an item based on my tour 'Rumpole and the Legal Life', which I created for the Footprints of London Literary Festival in October 2017. You can find the piece, and details of the tour, on the following links:
Just to round off, this Saturday I did two half-hour mini-tours for the East of London Family History Society. They had their AGM in the Arts Pavilion at Mile End Park, and during the lunch interval they had some guides doing little tours for them. Mine were a look at Mile End Park from its origins in the County of London Plan (1943) onwards, and the development of the Mile End estate of Charles Morgan, 1st Baron Tredegar, including the gorgeous Tredegar Square. Very appreciative audiences for both. You can find out about the EoLFHS on this link:
Well that's all for now, Charnowalkers. I look forward to bringing you more of the splendours and sorrows of the jobbing tour guide in a few weeks. Until then, keep walking!