It’s that time of year again…A group of eager new faces came to meet us at the Unite offices for the annual New Guides Seminar and Reception on 18 March. This year was different as there is also a Mandarin course running in parallel so we had 40 trainees in total.
We filled them in about Guide London and the advantages of being a member and helped them with ideas about how to market themselves and make the transition from the course to real life as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Two bonuses were the “101 ways to do the Guard Change” beforehand led by Mike Whalley and a visit from Pamela Laycock of Spectra explaining the world from the Tour Operator / DMC side of the fence.
Needless to say after all that hard work we retired to a lovely spread of food and drink with some more guests including past Chairs of the Association of Professional Tourist Guides (APTG), course tutors and Jennifer Bassanavar and Wendy Hammerston who will be “retiring” as Course Director and Administrator respectively this year.
New Blue Badge Tourist Guides: Marina Chernenko, Valeria Genina and Iryna Nagayets. Photo: ©Keith Harding.
There is a very good range of languages offered by this new group of guides, which is just what the market needs at the moment. The group of Mandarin speakers will be especially welcome. At the time of the reception they did not yet have their results and the Mandarin speakers had not even taken their exams. So we wish them all the best of luck in their exams and/or results.
Thanks are due to so many people who helped make the evening such a success, from speakers to waitresses (some of our members have missed their calling I think!).
But it was all pulled together by our wonderful new Membership Secretary Isabel Wrench who was dropped very much in the deep end having to organise the evening so soon after taking up her post. She was ably supported by a band of Sarahs, which as you can imagine became something of a joke: Sarah Speller, Sarah Reynolds and Sarah Wood, who made up the organising committee.
Thanks especially to Ruth Polling, Jakob Hartmann, Nigel Rundstrom, Glyn Jones, Chris Hoodith, Victoria Staveley-Taylor, Keith Harding, Jeanie Carmichael, Angie Morgan and Steve Szymanski for their contribution. And the wonderful Anna in our office who got all the mountains of paperwork ready and organised for us.
We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues out and about wearing their very shiny new badges and hopefully to the ranks of APTG Guide London.