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Battle of Barnet - Edward (centre) leads his army to victory, as Warwick's men flees to the right. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

London Battlefield Sites Within The M25

2021 year marks the 550th anniversary of one of the most significant battles in British history. On the 14th of April 1471, the Yorkist army led by Edward IV defeated a Lancastrian army just north of the town of Barnet effectively ending the first part of that turbulent period of history colloquially known as the Wars of the Roses.

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Quack doctor Lionel Lockyer 1600-1672 on the Southwark Cathedral tomb he designed for himself. Photo Credit: © Richard Jones.

Lionel Lockyer: A 17th-Century Quack Doctor In London

Blue Badge Tourist Guide Richard “Rick” Jones explores sites in London with links to Lionel Lockyer, a physician espousing questionable remedies in the plague era. According to Chambers dictionary, a quack is ‘someone who claims, and practises under the pretence of having, knowledge and skill that he or she does not possess.’ A quack doctor, then, is a fraud.

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American Red Cross Rainbow Corner. Photo Credit: © Imperial War Museum.

American Entertainers In London During World War II & The Venues They Played

During the Second World War London was home to, or visited by, tens of thousands of American Servicemen and women. When they wanted entertainment in the evenings they headed to the West End and the American Red Cross (ARC) Club was the first stop for many of them. There were several ARC clubs in London and many around the world offering meals and recreational activities, and the larger ones could provide overnight accommodations and facilities such as barbers and laundries.

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Gothic inner gates to the cemetery, designed by Sir William Tite. Photo Credit: © Matt Brown via Wikimedia Commons.

South Of The River Thames To Norwood In London

Until perhaps the last thirty years, there was some truth in the belief that north of the River Thames was smart, wealthy and desirable but south of the river was the haunt of thieves, vagabonds and only approached with caution. Even London’s cabbies were reputed to be reluctant to go south of the river at night. Times have changed. Peckham and Brixton as well as Clapham are now achingly trendy and expensive and other areas like East Dulwich and Forest Hill are up and coming.

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The Beatles arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport, 7 February 1964. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Trinidadian Calypsonian Lord Woodbine & His Early Influence On John Lennon & Paul McCartney

Many of London’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides have a knowledge of contemporary popular music, in particular the Beatles, the famous group who came from Liverpool but settled in London and recorded their music here. A little known early influence on them was the calypso musician called Lord Woodbine, whose real name was Harold Adolphus Phillip.

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Tower of London

4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites In London

When it comes to important locations around the world, you cannot go wrong with following guidance from UNESCO, THE United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation. The organisation has listed a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are places that are deemed to be of particular cultural or physical importance.

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Interior of the Tooting Granada cinema. Photo Credit: © Katie Wignall.

Historic Cinema Buildings In London

Since its inception in the first part of the 20th century, the cinema has been a staple of British entertainment. The multiplexes of the 21st century have enjoyed a resurgence following the nadir of the 1980s and early 1990s, but the real golden age of cinema came with the development of the “talkies” in 1927 and the subsequent boom in the construction of new cinemas in the 1930s.

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Frost Fair on the River Thames near the Temple Stairs. by Thomas Wijck. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

I Want A Picture-Perfect White Christmas In London

In December our thoughts turn to Christmas. We think about our family, friends, Christmas cards, food (lots of it!) and presents – will Santa pass by this year? Also, just as important, the reason for Christmas: the birth of Jesus. But what we also think about is the weather – will it snow? This question set me thinking – why do we feel Christmas isn’t really Christmas if it doesn’t snow?

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Olaudah Equiano, aka Gustavus Vassa. Photo Credit: © Unknown Artist via Wikimedia Commons.

The Black Sailors Of Georgian London

Inspired by the new exhibition “Black Greenwich Pensioners” at the Old Royal Naval College (which at the time of writing I have yet to visit), my mind recently turned to Britain’s Black seafaring past, particularly to the time Britain was most actively involved in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the enslavement of Africans, a time which loosely coincides with what we refer to as the Georgian age (1714-1837).

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Blue Badge Tourist Guide Olga Romano speaks to students outside Westminster Abbey. Photo Credit: © Olga Romano.

Guiding Teenagers Around London

Blue Badge Tourist Guides conduct many different types of tours, from individual families to large groups, and each type requires different skills to be successful. Here, Olga Romana shares her experiences of guiding student groups.

I have worked with students my whole life!

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London Christmas Tree 2015 - Somerset House

Public Walking & Virtual Tours By London’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides

In addition to offering customized private tours, many London Blue Badge Tourist Guides also conduct regular walking tours and virtual tours for groups. Joining a group tour can be a fun and affordable way to take in the sights. For locals, a walk with a knowledgeable and passionate Blue Badge Tourist Guide can reveal fun facts and hidden gems you may not have been aware of.

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Blue Badge Tourist Guide Neil Parker.

Because I’m A Londoner: From Postman To Blue Badge Tourist Guide

This is part of a series of articles written by London Blue Badge Guides who used to be key workers in our capital city. First up is Neil Parker, who worked for 30 years as a postman before becoming a tourist guide.

I qualified as a London Blue Badge Guide in 2013 and now, as my mates from the post would say, ‘I’m paid to be me!’ At least I was until March 2020 when Covid-19 arrived. This got me thinking, what was life like for my mates in the post? So, after it reopened, I went to the pub to find out.

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