I have lived in London for 66 years and know the city as a St Bernard does The Alps. Ask me and I'll guide you. As the site liaison guide for St Paul's Cathedral, I have a deep knowledge and love of that great building. I sang in the choir both of St Paul's and of Southwark Cathedral in my life as a professional musician. My relationship with the religious buildings of the capital is lifelong. My tours of City Churches on Thursday and Friday mornings reveal secrets not even the vicars know about.
My music spills over into my knowledge of Shakespeare which began in my teens. I can introduce you to all aspects of his life and work in London - the plays he wrote, the friends he made, the music he enjoyed. My love of literature became my university degree and my Centenary Tour of TS Eliot's The Waste Land (published in 1922) has been described as 'homage to the city'. As a journalist, I re-create journeys made by historical figures in the manner of crime reconstruction. Most recently I was the composer Vaughan Williams out on a folksong hunting trip for BBC Music Magazine. I was the Evening Standard's Chief Music Critic for many years and am now secretary of the Critics' Circle. My understanding of contemporary art underpins my weekly 'highlights' tour of Tate Modern.
My medical tours are i) Firsts and Inventions in the History of Medicine and ii) The Quack Doctor's Tour which follows the rounds of Lionel Lockyer, inventor in 1660 of the Sunlight Pill. I have particular specialisms in Lute Music, Shakespeare's London, the poet TS Eliot and his poem The Waste Land, the London Symphonies of Joseph Haydn and Rugby Union (2023 is the bicentenary of when a scholar at Rugby School 'picked up the ball and ran with it').
Below are my scheduled tours.
Wednesdays 11am The TS Eliot The Waste Land Centenary Walking Tour. The greatest English language poem of the twentieth century was published in 1922. We visit locations in the City of London which the poet addresses in its 433 lines - St Magnus Martyr, King William Street, St Mary Woolnoth, the Cannon Street Hotel, the public bar in Lower Thames Street and London Bridge. £15 / £10 concs. Start at Backfriars tube.
'This was an excellent tour [TS Eliot Waste Land Centenary Tour] from a top notch guide. I was only somewhat familiar with the Waste Land poem, having only recently read it in anticipation of this tour that I was attending with my son who is an has studied the poem at Uni and loves it. It’s a credit to Rick that both of us were fascinated and thoroughly enjoyed the tour..'
Wednesdays 2.30pm Tate Modern Highlights Tour. Starts at the entrance to Tate Modern Gallery. Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Ernst, Moore, Pollock, Krasner, Sutherland, Twombly, Richter, Klein, Shonibare, Hamilton, Beuys, Mondrian, Leger, Lichtenstein, Fougeron, Duchamp..... in that order. £15 / £10 concs.
Thursdays 2pm Medical Tour - All Around the University: Firsts and Inventions in the history of Medicine. The first vaccination, anaesthetic, antiseptic, antibiotic, neurosurgery, pathological anatomy, artificial insemination, celebrity fund-raiser, teaching hospital and women's school of medicine. Start at Russell Square tube. £15 / £10 concs.
Fridays 10.30am City Churches Tour with optional Organ Recital. St Mary Abchurch, St Mary Woolnoth, St Mary Aldermanbury, St Vedast, St Mary-le-Bow, St Mary Aldermary and St Stephen Walbrook. A 45-minute organ recital ensues. £15 / £10 concs. Start at Cannon Street tube
Saturdays 10.30am Shakespeare with Lute I start this tour at Southwark Cathedral with half an hour's lute-playing just as the audiences at William Shakespeare's shows from 1592 to 1612 would have enjoyed. I then show you to the Shakespeare window and William's brother Edmond Shakespeare's grave before taking you on a walk through Southwark to the original Globe Theatre site and the present replica, across the river to the Blackfriars Playhouse, William Shakespeare's home by St Paul's, and finishing at the Shakespeare Garden near Moorgate tube. £15 / £10 concs. Start at the entrance to Southwark Cathedral.
“Who knew - a few strums on a lute (brilliantly played I might add!) combined with just a few utterances in Rick’s sonorous voice and are transformed into early Elizabethan England! As he whisks you through 16th century London, Rick brilliantly brings to life, not just Shakespeare himself, but through carefully curated pithy and engaging anecdotes, the economic, and social context of The Bard’s whole world. Unique and excellent, thank you Rick!” SG, London
The tours last 1.5 - 2 hours and cost £10 seniors and students, £15 everyone else.
• BRITISH MUSEUM
We interpret the Rosetta Stone, meet Ramses II, follow the Assyrian lion hunt, hail the Easter Island statue, revere the Aztecs, whisper over Gebelein Man (four millennia dead), reflect on the Mildenhall treasure, admire the Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship in the Sutton Hoo hoard and suggest an appropriate move on the Lewis chess board.
• ST PAULS CATHEDRAL
As a former chorister, I know Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece better than most and can tell the stories of the choirs, the priests and the state events which the vast dome served with the intimate knowledge of experience. Meet St Paul's tube.
• THE TOWER OF LONDON
Let me show you round the thousand year old castle where the worst excesses of kingly power were exercised, the tortures, the beheadings, the betrayals. Let me show you the diamonds, rubies, emeralds, pearls, sapphires and amethysts the Crown Jewels which someone once tried to steal. I'll introduce you to the Line of Kingsin their armour and the beautiful Norman chapel where William the Conqueror worshipped.
Book me here or through my http://websitewww.rickjonesguide.co.uk
Here's a little advertisement for the Moonploy Tour https:// http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBPRkrUzunQ&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2Z2oWzi99VKerWapBd0ruqkR2-wV2su26HQhqzHf2l4t4FAxGpRP7hf5E
I'm on instagram @rickjones593
I'm on Twitter @RnbJones56
I'm on film: https:// http://www.facebook.com/100045459611322/videos/184852856373367
and here's a tour of St Paul's (click the cog top right for my narration) https://poly.google.com/u/0/view/cK5_BnOJ4pY
|Franz Joseph Haydn|
|Jack the Ripper|
My Jack the Ripper Piano Tour includes the Music Hall songs that were current in London 1888, played by yours truly at various keyboard instruments en route and usually ending at an East End pub.
The Austrian composer Haydn lived in London from 1790 to 1794 and wrote a dozen symphonies for the Georgian city. The tour his footsteps from his lodgings in Soho, to his girlfriend's house by Buckingham Palace while the narrative explains how the commissions came by their nicknames The Drumroll, The Miracle, The Clock, The Military etc....
I was for many years a lay clerk (professional singer) at Norwich and Southwark Cathedrals and am knowledgable about religion and the history of the church. I love to take tours to Canterbury following the route which Chaucer's pilgrims took. I am site liaison officer for St Paul's Cathedral.