Good day to all and welcome to my web!
The good news is that walking tours are back.
The bad news? Tourists are still stuck at home
and nobody is flying anywhere.
But then if everyone's a tourist not
in someone else's country but their own,
it should work out, no? As a Blue Badge Guide
I've much to offer: guided walks through London
with original narration on
the architecture and the people and
the part they play in Britain's history.
We've still to take precautions: Rule of Six,
keep social distance, speak in gentle tones.
The Shakespeare Birthday Tour went well.
I'll do another if there's interest.
Do get in touch and book me for a tour
to suit your dates. I'm taking visitors
from Eastbourne on my Maggie Thatcher tour
for instance on the first day of July.
A lovely, golden summer beckons all!
Alternatively, save the train fare and
attend one of my virtual tours. Weekly
now are 'Rick Jones Mondays' when I give
an illustrated Shakespeare lecture. These
were annual and in-the-flesh before
the lockdown, given on Will Shakespeare's birthday.
Next on Monday 24th of May
is Shakespeare and the Saddler to the Queen,
his Southwark neighbour, sculpted by the same
stonemason after death and implicated
in the Poisoned Pommel Plot to kill
Her Majesty who loved to ride. John Bingham
was his name. As Master of the Guild
of Saddlers, he opposed new forms of travel
like the coach as he could see that fewer
saddles would be needed down the line.
Shakespeare and John Harvard, Geoffrey Chaucer,
Dickens and Will's little brother Ned
remain as Shakespeare Birthday Lecture themes.
Meanwhile, Moonploy tours continue round
the streets of the monopoly board, the dice
determining the stops. I've also made
healthcare a special theme in All Around
the University, The Quack, and William
Shakespeare 's son-in-law John Hall who was
the doc in Stratford-Upon-Avon and
no doubt was there when Shakespeare shuffled off.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May
but they won't stop us coming out to play.
Rick Jones became a Blue Badge tourist guide in 2018. The Blue Badge is a qualification issued by the Institute of Tourist Guiding at the end of a two-year training course. He was previously a journalist and, as such, Chief Music Critic of the London Evening Standard. He is the current secretary of the Critics' Circle, a professional association founded in 1913 representing critics of theatre, music, film, dance, virtual art and books.
This picture was taken in London's Southwark Cathedral in August 2020 at the end of the first lockdown when everyone thought the plague might be over. In the middle is the actor Timothy West who had moved a crowd of culture starved Londoners in the graveyard with a sequence of Shakespearean monologues, on the right is the comedian Arthur Smith who had delivered a routine of very old and very funny jokes and I am playing the lute. We are relaxing after the performance beside the recumbent statue of William Shakespeare who knew the building well as he had buried his brother here in 1603, another plague year. His theatre The Globe is nearby. The show replaced the annual illustrated lecture which Arthur and I give on Shakespeare's birthday, 23 April, which was cancelled in 2020 and postponed in 2021 although I am leading an open-air Shakespeare walk from Moorgate to Southwark on his birthday. Why not join me?