As a child I used to be bought to London on the frequent trips my Mum and her new partner made. They (my Mum and later Step Dad) had meetings in London and used to bring me and ask me to sit in the back of the car and wait. It would not be allowed now, a child sat in the back of a Volvo for two hours parked down a side street in Kensington or Knightsbridge, but heh it was the 70s. A time when dogs, kids and husbands could be as feral as they liked. After the meeting we would always do something cool like go to the animal department in Harrods (again was allowed in the 70s), followed by a look at the food counter in Harrods with furry/feathery things hanging, then a boozy (did I mention it was the 70s 😬 ) meal in Beauchamp place before the drive home to Wiltshire.
Occasionally we would bring my Nan who was a mine of information on the West End as she was in service in Mayfair!!!!!
This started my love affair with London. The sights, the sounds and the smells were thrilling. The accented English and the colours of the people walking the streets had me shamelessly staring in total fascination. This was the start of my passion for the place I now call home.
In the last year (and this is in part the reason for my post as we are close to my one year anniversary), I have learnt what London is like on a whole different level.
History is so much more than a dying subject, it is the foundations on which we build our lives. It is the creator of semantics and the geography of time. You cannot live and exist in a society without having the influence of the past cast its dominating shadow on your image. Whether formed out of struggles and pain or the joyous steps of many brave trailblazers. History teaches us that life is an ever evolving door with different viewpoints depending on your standing.
The last year has been my history in the making. I've had good friends who have accompanied me on the way. So many people I know and care about who have booked and paid for tours and come along to support me. You know who you are: THANK YOU. To Jooles who trawled behind me taking photos to use on my website and sometimes doing the same tour again and again. Could not have done it without you! THANK YOU MATE! To the CEO of the Trouble Club, Ellie Newton, for booking me early on and then encouraging the other members to do reviews on Tripadvisor! THANK YOU. To Anoushka Farouk for suggesting to Barchester Healthcare that I would be an option to consider for their residents. I never would have thought of an armchair tour without you! THANK YOU! To Katie from Ernst & Young, Anne (another Trouble Club member) from Deloitte for their incredible business very early on in my year: THANK YOU! Who would think that within the first five months of trading I would have two of the top 4 finance companies in the world book me! Thanks to Andy Britten for his immense research contribution to women in London! Steph McCann for being the best mindset coach in the worst of times! THANK YOU! Finally to all the the walkers (my customers) who have come back again and again, sometimes doing the same tour more than once (Jenny) and sometimes blogging about my tours (Caroline) THANK YOU ALL!
Happy 1 year anniversary to London Herstory Tours!