Dominic Burris-North

Dominic Burris-North

About Me
Hello, I'm Dominic, a friendly guy who loves to learn and share things about the world around me. As with all London Blue Badge guides, I can guide you at some of London’s most iconic attractions including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and The British Museum as well as places outside of the capital such as Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Oxford and Bath.

Since 2014, I have been leading tours for a wide range of people on the subject of London's involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade including its legacies and impact.
My other subject specialisms and interests include: The Black presence in 18th and 19th century London, Brixton and its Caribbean heritage, Canary Wharf and the London Docklands area.
London is a fascinating and beautiful city, full of diversity with so many areas to explore, layers of history to uncover and interesting things to do. It would be my pleasure to show you around.

Current & Past Projects and Media:
In 2022 I worked with The World Reimagined, a national arts and education programme which includes trails of large globe sculptures located in 7 cities around the UK featuring designs by different artists that tell the history and impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade with the view to fostering conversation and dialogue and reimagining a world where racial justice is a reality. More about the programme can be found here: https://www.theworldreimagined.org/

In 2021, I helped to provide historical knowledge and context for Matt Kay's film Run to the Source which covered ultra-runner Martin Johnson's incredible 184 mile run of the River Thames whilst exploring its links to Black British heritage. Watch the film here. I also appeared in a Big Issue article about the film.

In 2020, I created a shortened, online Street View version of my Transatlantic Slave Trade tour for the Google Arts & Culture platform: https://artsandculture.google.com/story/fQXxndMqnWn_hA

In 2020, I appeared in a Bloomberg article about the City of London's links to slavery.

In 2019, I was invited to speak with students and guests of Syracuse London on the subject of Black British history. More information about the symposium can be found here: https://sulondon.syr.edu/symposium/black-london/

Between 2014-2016 I developed and delivered public tours of the London Sugar and Slavery Gallery at the Museum of London Docklands.

Some recent client feedback:
"My group loved the tour...you were highly praised by my group both for your knowledge and passion in your subject and your engaging delivery."

"I would like to thank you so much again for the amazing job that you did with our university group! They loved all of you and were speaking of you highly!"

"Dominic was excellent.  I would recommend him to anyone for a London tour, especially if someone is interested in history.  He is a font of knowledge and very personable.  We had a full day, and I do mean full day."

Specialist Tours
London’s Slave Trade: The People, the Port & the Profit 
This thought provoking tour takes you through the streets and alleys of the City of London to uncover some of the forgotten history about the capital’s involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and will invite you to reconsider the legacy of slavery and whether enough has been done or is being done to acknowledge it.

Brixton
Some call it gentrification, others regeneration; the neighbourhood of Brixton in South London is a place that has undergone rapid transformation in the past couple of decades and has become a case study of urban change. On this walk, we'll explore some of the changes that are happening in Brixton, from a decrease in social housing to a shift in retail offerings and eateries. This is a part of London with a rich social history: find out about the area's origins as a major shopping destination, featuring London's first department store and the first retail thoroughfare to have electric street lighting - 'Electric Avenue' - immortalised in song by the reggae singer Eddy Grant. Brixton is a hub of the African-Caribbean community in Britain. Discover the history of the Windrush Generation, the people who moved from the Caribbean to Britain between the late 1940s and 1970 to help rebuild a city and country facing severe labour shortages after the ravages and destruction of World War 2. Finally, explore Brixton's history as a hotbed of activism, becoming a place that would lead the way in the fight for black, gay and women's rights and how in the 1980s, anger and resentment towards police brutality and racial discrimination led to a series of riots that left their mark on Brixton for many years.

The London Docklands: From Docks to Dollars 
Discover the history of London's Docklands, first with a visit to the Museum of London Docklands, taking you back to a time of pirates and press gangs, sailors and sea shanties. The resonant atmosphere of this historic Grade I listed building is a great place to find out about the significance of trade and commerce in London's growth and development. Have a go operating the hoisting device known as a treadwheel crane (read: human hamster wheel), then experience the sights and smells of 'Sailortown', a meticulous recreation of the 19th century East London riverside. You'll also learn about the horrors of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the truly sobering London, Sugar and Slavery gallery. Then step outside for a walk and be amazed by the story of this area's rapid transformation over the past thirty years; from the once thriving first port of the British empire to the international business and financial district known as Canary Wharf.

The Black Presence in Georgian London 
The Georgian era (1714-1837) was one of rapid change and growth for London. It saw the advent of the Industrial Revolution and exponential growth in colonial trade, including the slave trade. It was an age of public executions, riot and gin addiction. It was the London of Jane Austen, Isaac Newton and William Hogarth. It was also the London of Bill Richmond, Mary Prince and Dido Belle: these are just some of the names of the thousands of Black people who were part and parcel of everyday life in the chaotic and changing world of Georgian London. This tour explores the lives of the Black Georgians; from freedom fighters and veterans to writers, boxers, musicians, an actor and an aristocrat. We’ll trace their steps in the British capital, discovering the achievements and contributions they made despite their encounters with racial prejudice. This tour aims to tell a more complete version of Georgian London than the ones you’ll read about in standard guides; revealing stories about the marginalised, overlooked and sometimes simply forgotten.

Languages

English

Top 5 Specialities

London Multicultural Tour

London Canary Wharf & Docklands Tour

The City of London Tour

Westminster Abbey Tour

Tower of London Tour

Classic London Tour

Guide Calendar Last Update: 16th of May, 2024

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    Blog Posts

    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).

    Read more

    A Game of Thrones - Based On A True Story(?)

    All around the world, fans of the award-winning HBO series Game of Thrones eagerly await the eighth and final season airing later this month. Season seven left everyone on the edge of their seats, with the fate of Westeros hanging in the balance and many questions left unanswered. Will Cersei get her comeuppance? Who will triumph in the ultimate showdown between the living and the Night King, his deathly hoard of wights in tow? And, err, what happens when loved-up Jon Snow and Daenerys the Dragon Queen find out that she’s actually his aunt?

    Read more

    Ahead of the Pack: 6 of London's Top Dogs

    Chinese New Year has arrived and as London celebrates the Year of the Dog with the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of Asia, my thoughts turned to this city's longstanding love affair with man's best friend, the dog. There's a lot of puppy love in the Great British capital - a phenomenal 200,000 dogs and counting call London home.  That's almost twice the size of the population of Reykjavik! 

    Read more
    See all blog posts posted by Dominic Burris-North