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For most of his working life Rick Jones was a journalist and Chief Music Critic for the London Evening Standard. He invented "costume journalism" the recreation of journeys made by musicians and others in the clothes they might have worn. He has crossed Germany as JS Bach, Scotland as Mendelssohn, the Malvern Hills as Elgar and East Anglia as Shakespeare's clown Will Kemp.

He has a degree in Modern Languages and Music from the University of East Anglia. He subsequently trained in voice and lute at the Royal College of Music and sang for many years with the Southwark Cathedral Choir, London's south bank Anglican cathedral which has strong Shakespeare connections.

Rick became a Blue Badge guide in 2018 and has a growing client base for his London walking tours. He devotes some time to performing, listening to and writing about music and maintains a position in the world of journalism as Secretary of the Critics’ Circle. He creates new tours to suit any traveller's wishes.

As a Blue Badge Guide, Rick Jones devises themed tours. His speciality is William Shakespeare and in 2016, on the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death, he dressed as the clown Will Kemp and danced across three counties from London to Norwich. This was a re-enactment of what the clown then wrote about as his Nine Days Wonder. The route of the dance makes a splendid coach tour and will again when coach touring becomes possible. Rick is a musician and many of his tours contain a musical element. He is a performer on Shakespeare's instrument the lute and his Shakespeare London Walking Tour features lute songs. He has written about Joseph Haydn's four-year stay in London and his Haydn tour incorporates the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace. On his Jack the Ripper Piano Tour he illustrates the gruesome tale with the songs of the music halls which acted as a cover for the serial killer's crimes. But these are live tours and are banned during lockdown. Until it ends, Rick is busying himself with virtual tours whose details are listed under Tours.



London

London has been my home since I was born here 64 years ago. The borough of Lewisham was my birthplace and I remember my mother pushing the pram uphill to our home laden with vegetables bought from a market stall belonging to Henry Cooper's twin brother. Centuries before Lewisham was given as a gift to the abbey of St Peter in Ghent, Belgium. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The church of St Mary has Saxon origins and the old rectory on the corner of Ladywell Road is a Georgian house of grade II listed status. John Wesley stayed at the Limes in Limes Grove and the poet Ernest Dowson was born and spent his whole life here. He wrote, They are not long the days of wine and roses / out of a misty dream / our path emerges for a while then closes / within a dream.

We moved to Sutton later where I spent my teenage years. I went to school at Whitgift in Croydon and attended the University of East Anglia where I scraped a degree in Modern Languages and Literature. I studied singing and lute-playing as a postgraduate at the Royal College of Music. When I got married in 1989 on my 33rd birthday, Mrs Jones and I lived first at Camberwell, then Nunhead and finally Catford not half a mile from where I was born and so I feel like a salmon returning to his spawning grounds. After a long career as a journalist and music critic, I am nearing retirement and content to show visitors the city where I have lived and the countryside around it. Please be my guest.