Meet your guide – Richard III

Meet the only London Walks guide who – like the Romantic poet Lord Byron – had a club foot, was a torturer, addressed the United Nations, was on the cover of Newsweek and was outed as recommending kidnapping cats. Meet Richard III. (This is the second installment in our Meet your London Walks Guide series.)

Richard has about 40 London Walks in his repertory, including Hampstead, Highgate, Little Venice, Soho, Legal London, Notting Hill and Portobello Road, Mayfair, Dickens, and Ghosts, Gaslight & Guinness.

Virtual Tour-wise he does Legal London, Little Venice and Notting Hill Gate.

4 responses to “Meet your guide – Richard III”

  1. TonyaJ says:

    Hi David and Richard. Delightful. I’ve lost track of how many walks I’ve gone on with Richard over three trips between 2012 and 2017. I never knew he had such a great sense of humor and such a multi-faceted life and experiences, as I always viewed him as being a bit of an enigma as a guide; very concentrated on his stories, the history, all of that. Very, very serious. Obviously, Richard was not going to caper about like Feste, so it is heartwarming to hear him talk extemporaneously about some of his life and guiding experiences.

    He obviously did his homework for guiding, on the history of all that and he brought it to life. I think Darkest Victorian London was my first walk with him in 2012, the one that ends at the Old Operating Theatre near Borough Market. If I’m not conflating this with another walk, he was talking about how the streets in the area near where we started had a slope and any, ahem, materials would roll down, ending up in the Thames.

    Obviously, I know about chamber pots from all my film watching over the years, but to hear it put the way he did, that every morning windows would open and the contents of chamber pots flung out the windows, so one had to be very careful not to be in the firing line of said materials, or as Richard put it: “And the shit came raining down!” in that wonderful, plummy voice of his. Huge laugh he got as we imagined in that second how different it was back then, but it was also matter of fact, it’s how people lived. I have never forgotten that part of the story.

    In October 2017, on the Little Venice Walk, I became one of Richard’s defenders. So he survived the humorless animal advocate, the shouting woman in Mayfair (and more I’m sure). On that walk, an older man became upset about “something” he perceived Richard had done: “I’ve never been treated so rudely by anyone” or words to that effect. Richard tried to talk to him, put his hand on the fellow’s arm. He left. So Richard ended up asking if a couple of us would write the LW office an email about what we had seen or noticed. And I did, noting I could never imagine after all the times on walks, Richard would do anything untoward to a walker on a tour. To steal from a contestant on Married at First Sight AU, “You can make controversy out of fresh air”. And that indeed is what some people do with these unsubstantiated, perceived slights which don’t exist.

    You two made my day! I bookmarked Edward Rutherfurd’s London: The Novel and Ackroyd’s London biography at Amazon.

  2. David Tucker says:

    What a thoughtful, lovely comment, Tonya. Many many thanks for sharing these great memories. You know we can say it until we’re blue in the face but it counts for SO MUCH MORE coming from you and your fellow walkers. We’re grateful. And touched. And people stopping by here will also be appreciative. (And, yes, isn’t the case – what a marvelous guy he is, what an interesting and, yes, principled and courageous life he’s led. 

  3. Sarah Ulis says:

    Loved, loved Richard. Thank you.

  4. Joy Amory says:

    What a delightful interview.

    I met Richard on my first London Walk and specifically booked my subsequent three walks because they were guided by him.

    i absolutely love his humour, intelligence, knowledge and politics! It’s been a while since I did a London Walk but after hearing this recording, I can’t wait to book again.

    See you soon, Richard …

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