Published March 7, 2024 

Creating a new walk – how we go about it

by Caroline Powell

The fine art of creating a new walk

Some of you may be interested in how we work as a team to create a new walk. Recently we have been working on three – all as a result of commissions, so we have plenty of up-to-date information on this!

Kelly and Caroline have spent many hours creating a new walk on Bermondsey and the leather Industry which was requested by the Worshipful Company of Glovers.

Two guides researching a walk
Kelly and Eamonn researching a new walk

Firstly, it requires a lot of meeting over coffee to identify how we are going to focus our research. These usually take place at St Mary Aldermary, one of our favourite haunts, but as this walk was ‘over the river’, initial meetings took place at the wonderful Science Gallery Café in Guy’s Hospital courtyard. We recommend it!

These keen members of SITC both spent hours doing background reading, walking the streets of Borough to identify possible stops that would be of interest to our clients, and in this particular case, watching a most informative YouTube video on the subject of the leather industry. It was a tremendous find.

It doesn’t end there- having pulled together enough research, the intrepid two then identified a variety of stops that will help tell the story and equally importantly, have to be visually interesting and easily accessible and safe for a group of about 15.

Ever mindful of safety, the team then must identify where roads can be crossed, as we don’t want anyone on our tours to have an unfortunate encounter with a bicycle or car.

Then the guides learn the material stop by stop pulling together a walk that fits the brief both content wise and length and time wise.  Then the process moves up a notch to practise and practise and more practise! Part of the final process is then to identify some photographs to print and laminate as extra information for our clients.

Finally on this occasion, Kelly and Caroline were to finish the walk at a restaurant close to Tower Bridge, so again they took to the streets to ensure they had the route off-pat; no one wants to be searching on their iPhones for the route surrounded by hungry clients!

After all this hard work, the walk can be offered to members of the public too, once the clients are satisfied, so that it is win-win situation for everyone we hope. And Kelly and Caroline are now better informed about yet another important aspect of London’s history as well as having pushed up their step count massively!

Check out our latest walk: Leather making in Old Bermondsey Friday 12 th April at 9.30 am

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