We qualified as City of Westminster Guides in 2014 where as classmates, we quickly learned that we shared a passion for the First World War, a conflict that revolutionised warfare, society, and even remembrance itself, as well as for the broader story of London and the people who made it (in our view) the greatest city in the world.
In June 2014, we were invited to create and lead a walk for Open Garden Squares that proved highly popular, and have been invited back every year since then, always to much acclaim. Since then, we have run our First World War walks on Remembrance Sunday, Gallipoli Day, and the day of Trooping the Colour – days when the atmosphere in London is at its most poignant.
We run all our walks as a trio, giving people the opportunity to experience our different interests, perspectives and styles, and we use images on iPads to illustrate key points. Feedback tells us that our approach is both stimulating and unique. Now meet the team!
A lifelong Londoner, Mark has a keen interest in Britain’s conflicts, the military and secret intelligence. He volunteers as a tour guide at the RAF Museum in London, where his speciality is the Battle of Britain, and also at Bletchley Park, home of the legendary World War 2 code-breakers, where he works with groups from schools and colleges. His other guiding interests include the Tudor era and London’s art galleries, and he has aspirations of, one day, studying to become a battlefield guide!
Charlie is an adopted Londoner, having lived and worked in the city for more than fifty years. His career was mostly in housing and regeneration particularly working with communities in greatest need. He describes himself as having been a writer, campaigner, researcher, adviser and strategist. As well as the First World War, Charlie’s passions are in the social and medical histories of London, and also the stories of London’s canals and waterways. He also volunteers at the London Canal Museum where he has recently curated exhibitions.
As well as being a City of Westminster Guide, Emmanuel has also recently qualified as a City of London Guide. He has lived, studied and worked in London for twelve years and being a Frenchman, provides the team with its only opportunity to deliver multi-lingual walks! An opera fan and theatre-lover, Emmanuel’s keenest interests lie in the performing arts.