Guide at a Glance
Bakewell, Belper, Cromford, England, United Kingdom
Heritage-History Tour, Private Tour, Sightseeing, Walking Tour
Rails Through The Peaks
I actually became a guide almost by accident, as it wasn’t something I set out to do. Back in 1987, I was looking for work and was sent by the Job Centre to an interview as a guide at a local museum. I’d never thought about being a tour guide but they thought I was the sort of person they were looking for and offered me the job. I’d always been interested in history, so I thought, why not? Just over a week later, I found myself standing in front of a group of 30 schoolchildren, showing them around the museum and the surrounding village. Being something of a quiet and shy person at the time, I felt sick to my stomach with fear but managed to make it through the tour. After that, I realised it wasn’t such a bad job after all and quickly came to love it. I eventually became one of the top guides there, and also helped to train the other guides. When they decided to cut paid staff in favour of volunteers to focus their money on restoration work, I decided to set up my own service using what I had learned, and that’s how I got where I am now.
What I love about being a guide is the unpredictability of the work. You never know who you’re going to meet each day. You never know how the people themselves, and their own interests, are going to change the tour. I also love that my job gets me out to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. I enjoy telling people all about how the events in the area helped to change the world. I always try to put a human face on the stories I’m telling, including the lives of the ordinary people who are often forgotten by history. I also like to make people laugh, which is why I always try to include those odd little events that always seem so funny in hindsight, even if they weren’t at the time.