Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Commemorating Geoffrey Chaucer - died 25th October 1400

(c) Wiki Commons - Blake - The Canterbury Pilgrims

I have always enjoyed The Canterbury Tales. I must confess I have not read them from cover to cover but read the tales by dipping in and out over many years and during my research of Chaucer. 

Chaucer is a fascinating character, born in to the merchant class, a page at Court, his patron was John of Gaunt and became related through marriage to two Kings! Also worked as a Civil Servant when he became Controller of Customs in the City of London. Plus a full life of travel and intrigue.  He was well able to describe all the quirks and code of of behaviour from the high echelons to the low.

His poem was unusual for the time for several reasons the main ones being it was in English and the other he gave the characters a voice which was not the usual practice of the time. An element usual for the period was the moralising stories of the then known world and Chaucer used them to great effect.

Once upon a time I took people on a tour of the City of London following in Chaucer's footsteps. He was born in Vintry a Ward of the City and lived in Aldgate as Comptoller of Customs. He knew the locals and the streets very well and should, if he returned today find his way around, as the footprint has not changed that much and the Guildhall and Leadenhall are exactly where he left them! 

Now I cannot do the walk so I am offering a Virtual Tour on 25th October at 6pm.  We can actually cover more ground so to speak, and I do hope you can join me to explore this great poet, father of the English language and his home City.


The virtual tour will take place on Zoom so you will need to have the app to book in, Full details included in the Confirmation once booked.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

'Faith in the City' by British Fine Art Photographer Niki Gorick - Virtual Talk & Exhibition

 I am blogging today as my dear friend Niki Gorick is giving her Virtual Talk tomorrow all about her beautiful photo book 'Faith in the City', published during Covid19 in April of this year! So I am keen to support in her every way.  I am currently her 'Tweet' master and completely overlooked my blog as a means to promote!  Late to the party but still worth doing. 

You can still book the talk for 30th September but you can still book here https://bit.ly/3bAVQJxfaith.

A review "Your talk was as full of good humour and as keenly perceptive as your photos."

The photographs will also appear as an outdoor exhibition staring 3rd October 2020 in the City of London at Paternoster Square (recent change of venue) and Aldgate Square in November. Details below.

"I found the photographs in Gorick’s book especially illuminating because of the unexpected and surprising endeavours they present. They prove how religion in the Square Mile is very much interwoven with contemporary culture and social change. The well-articulated captions accompanying the images are refreshingly free from jargon and convoluted phrasing......

......making one understand what an enlightening force religion can be in the context of a seemingly cold environment infused with wealth." Jenny Kingsley - St Brides

Hope you will be able to join us tomorrow evening and if not, find time to visit the exhibition. Outdoors and socially distanced. If you wish to buy a copy of the book they will be available at the Guildhall Art Galley as well as at Waterstones and Unicorn Publishing.

Good to be back blogging again!



Tuesday, 11 August 2020

COVID 19 - Guidance for Tour Guiding

In these uncertain times, people considering taking a guided tour may understandably have concerns about their health and safety. But with the UK's professionally qualified and highly trained Blue Badge, Green Badge and White Badge Tourist Guides, you will be in extremely capable hands. As part of their thorough general training, badged guides are expert in effective and sensitive group management techniques, on streets and at tourist sites, churches and museums. In addition, the Institute of Tourist Guiding, the British Guild of Tourist Guides, the Association of Professional Tourist Guides and the Driver-Guides Association have created the Covid-19 Guidance for Tourist Guides. Guides who are members of these organisations are expected to abide by this guidance during the Covid-19 crisis.

1. Guides will ensure they are familiar with the most up-to-date public health guidelines and will adhere to these for the duration of the tour. 

2. Guides will maintain government-recommended social distancing between themselves and clients at all times. On tours where the group includes different households, guides will encourage and help clients to adopt appropriate social distancing between each other too. 

3. When guiding groups from different households, guides will follow government guidance to determine the maximum possible group size. 

4. Guides will avoid shaking hands or any other physical contact with clients. 

5. Guides will apply rigorous hygiene practices, including thoroughly cleaning and waiting for hands to dry before guiding, and use a personal hand sanitiser when this is not possible.

6. If requested, guides will consider wearing a mask or visor.

7. Badged guides will know where public toilets/hand-washing facilities/hand sanitiser points are available.

8. Remote audio devices (such as Whisper, Vox and various apps) can be effective for social
distancing on guided tours. Guides will happily work with tour companies using these

9. Badged guides are experts in the tourist sites they visit with clients. Guides will ensure they
are fully aware of sites' specific Covid-19 requirements and comply with them.

10. Badged guides know the towns and cities where they lead tours intricately. Guides will be
familiar with more crowded areas and will make best efforts to negotiate them, or if
appropriate, avoid them.

11. Where appropriate, guides will liaise with coach companies and private vehicle companies
and drivers to ensure vehicles have been thoroughly sanitised.

12. Driver guides will ensure their vehicle is thoroughly cleaned inside after previous use. They
will follow licensing authority and national Covid-19 regulations for cleaning their vehicles
and maintaining air-conditioning systems. Driver guides will carry disinfecting wipes, hand
sanitisers and paper towels in their cars, and will use face masks if appropriate.

Marilyn Collis - President, Institute of Tourist Guiding 

Elizabeth Eastwood - Chair, British Guild of Tourist Guides 

Danny Parlour - Chair, Association of Professional Tourist Guides 

Angela Akehurst - Chair, Driver Guide Association

ITG 10th June 2020