MEET YOUR GUIDES
JACK THE RIPPER AUTHORITIES AND BLUE BADGE GUIDES
Fiona is a top flight, Blue Badge Guide whose presentation skills and friendly manner have resulted in her becoming a truly acclaimed Jack the Ripper Walks Guide.
In addition to guiding our London tours in English, Fiona is able to speak fluent Italian and so often leads the Jack the Ripper Tour for our Italian groups.
Fiona's approach is both sensitive to the subject matter but, at the same time, her presentation skills are sufficient to keep her groups spellbound, hanging on her every word and eager to learn more about the Jack the Ripper Mystery and the East End history that she also covers on her tours.
Fiona has proven especially popular with the many school groups that we take on the tour and is able to pitch her tour at just the right level for the group she is taking round. This has been commented on by several of the teachers who have brought the groups on the tour. Indeed one teacher was so impressed by Fiona that she emailed us to say that Fiona's walk had "...exceeded all our expectations." Thank you again and looking forward to our next tour."
One of our new guides, who was shadowing Fiona's walk to get to grips with our atmospheric route, echoed the comments made by many who have taken Fiona's Jack the Ripper Walk when he summed her tour up in two words "just sensational."
John Bennett was the co-writer and the featured expert on the recent Channel Five acclaimed drama-documentary Jack the Ripper the Definitive Story, which aired on British Television on January 11th 2011. The programme will feature on the History Channel later in 2011 and thus a worldwide audience will be able to see for themselves why John is widely regarded as one of London's leading Jack the Ripper Tour guides.
He is a former teacher now working full-time as a tour guide, author and researcher. He acquired his interest in the Jack the Ripper mystery after seeing a programme about it on TV just before his family moved from the East End to North London in 1975.
It was then Tom Cullen’s Autumn of Terror, with its evocative descriptions of the Ripper’s territory that drew him to the history of the area as much as the facts of the case itself, a line of ‘Ripperology’ that he has enthusiastically pursued for nearly 30 years.
Despite being known primarily for his work on East End history (and his photography), John has written articles for Ripperologist, Ripper Notes and the Whitechapel Society Journal on a variety of subjects relating to the Whitechapel Murders.
In 2006 he co-compiled the photo archive for the highly regarded Casebook: Jack the Ripper website and has also been the major contributor to its comprehensive Ripper: Wiki section.
He was also a speaker at the 2009 Ripper Conference held in London, presenting the tongue-in-cheek documentary ‘Ripper land’. John has also delivered talks on Jack the Ripper and the East End of London at the Idea Store, Whitechapel, HMS Victory and the Whitechapel Society.
He has also been a consultant for (and appeared in) several TV documentaries aired worldwide.
His first book, E1 - A Journey Through Whitechapel and Spitalfields was published by Five Leaves in April 2009 and reprinted in 2010.
There's so much to say about Alan. He is a fully qualified Blue Badge Guide, a talented and versatile actor, a top class musician, able to play both the guitar and the piano, and - as if all that wasn't enough to fit into one lifetime - he is, to quote many of those who have been on his tours, an "awesome" tour guide.
When you join Alan's Jack the Ripper Walk you don't just see Jack the Ripper's London, you experience it.
Alan's training as an actor (he attended the London Academy of Dramatic Art) means that he is able to bring his own unique dimension and approach to the Jack the Ripper tour. Whereas some guides might just tell you what it was that the person he is talking about said or did, Alan is able to act it out for you, giving you the distinct impression that you are back in 1888 actually listening to the principle characters in the Jack the Ripper saga tell you their own story.
To attain his Blue Badge Guiding qualification, Alan actually carried out in depth study of the history of the very streets and buildings where the jack the Ripper murders occurred. As a consequence he, like our other guides, is able to do something that is vitally important when introducing people to the Jack the Ripper mystery, he is able to place the murders in the context of the era and area in which they occurred.
Clarissa is a trained actress and a fully qualified London Blue Badge Guide whose knowledge of East End history is second to none.
She has an abiding interest in and a detailed knowledge of the social conditions that the Jack the Riper murders exposed and she has the ability to really put across the horror of what it must have been like to have lived in the area in 1888, the year that the murders took place.
Her training as an actress means that she has the rare ability to be able to enthuse her groups with the drama of her presentation, whilst her knowledge of the area's history ensures that her tours remain factual.
Clarissa is also a tutor for the Blue Badge Course and is, therefore, responsible for ensuring that trainee guides attain the demanding standards that being a Blue Badge Guide entails, which means she knows a thing or two about the art guiding.
Her cheerful personality, coupled with her presentation skills have made her very popular with our clients, several of whom have emailed to comment on how she brought the history of the area to life for them.
Adrian is a full-time, freelance professional London tour guide and British Isles 'tour manager' of over twenty-five years experience. He qualified as a City of London guide in 1984 (with the highest known marks in the exams ever), and gained the prestigious London 'Blue Badge' qualification two years later, being the second youngest ever to do so.
Adrian's interest in the Jack the Ripper case began in 1995 and he conducted his first tour on the subject in 1997, which was also the year in which the British 'inbound' tourism industry bestowed upon him their ‘Guide of the Year’ award. Since then he has gone on to acquire a huge amount of knowledge about the ways in which the police investigated the Jack the Ripper crimes, and has conducted his own detailed research into the social conditions in the area at the time of the Jack the Ripper crimes.
Whilst always remaining a London guide, he has conducted a great many 'extended' tours around Britain, Ireland and sometimes parts of Europe, although this is now only an occasional part of his work.
In the late eighties and early nineties, again whilst always continuing his London and British Isles work, Adrian also lead Thomas Cook tours to India, Egypt, the Far East and various other World-wide destinations.
Adrian is a native Londoner, born and bred, but now lives in historic St. Albans, Hertfordshire. He is a keen tennis fan, enjoys recreational cycling, mountain hiking in Spain and motor-sports (for eleven years he organised an annual charity car rally in the east of England).
Warren Grynberg is a freelance professional London Blue Badge tourist guide and City of London Guide-Lecturer. His tours include coach trips throughout London and other historical cities.
He also conducts guided walks in castles, cathedrals and historic houses.
Warren also enjoys spending his time walking with visitors and tourists through the historic City of London and London's East End where he can often be seen on Jack the Ripper tours.
Warren is also one of our author guides and wrote the book Images of the City of London.
Warren's knowledge of the subject of Jack the Ripper has culminated with a short television film showing the murder sites and the place where the only reliable clue was found.
His interests include architecture, photography and collecting historic postcards of London, as well as antiquarian maps and books. These interests have given him a great understanding of how the area where the Jack the Ripper murders occurred has changed and evolved over the years, making him the perfect host for your tour of the streets of the East End.
He has made radio and television appearances talking about London’s history, and has also been the expert guest in London talk shows.
Warren is a Freeman of the City of London, a member of the Institute of Tourist Guiding, the Association of Professional Tourist Guides, the City of London Guide-Lecturers Association and is also a London magistrate.
Philip Hutchinson is widely regarded as one of London's best Jack the Ripper Tour guides and is a legend in the sphere of Ripper studies. Indeed, he is one of the three guides to be featured in the bible of ripper studies The Complete Jack the Ripper A to Z.
Philip appeared in the Channel Five drama documentary Jack the Ripper The Definitive Story and will be featured extensively in the up and coming DVD of the programme taking viewers around the main Jack the Ripper sites in London.
Philip's credentials when it comes to ripper studies are second to none as he has been responsible for some of the most important discoveries to do with the case in recent years.
Indeed, one of his finds - a never before seen photograph of Dutfield's Yard where Elizabeth Stride, Jack the Ripper's fourth victim, was murdered - has been hailed as "the most important photographic discovery in the Jack the Ripper case for a quarter of a century."
Philip is the author of several highly acclaimed books on the subject including The London of Jack The Ripper Then and Now, and The Jack the Ripper Location Photographs.
An actor by profession Philips' presentation skills are second to none and many who have taken his tour have emailed to say what a great showman he is and have commented on his ability to put the subject across in a way that is both dramatic and engaging. It is this rare combination of presentational professionalism and expert knowledge that has made Philip one of the best known Jack the Ripper Tour guides in London.
Philip has appeared on numerous television programmes discussing the Jack the Ripper case including The Discovery Channel's Being Jack the Ripper and French TV's A la poursuite de Jack l' Eventreur.
In addition to his achievements in the field of Jack the Ripper studies Philip is a much respected figure in the field of Paranormal research, and is a Council Member of the Ghost Club, the world's oldest, and most respected, Paranormal organisation.
Richard is, in the words of the Bible of Ripper Studies The Complete Jack the Ripper A To Z, "one of the London's leading walking-tour guides" and, along with Philip Hutchinson, he is one of only three guides to receive recognition in the pages of the A to Z.
He was one of the main interviewees on the recent Channel Five drama/documentary Jack the Ripper The Definitive Story for which he provided an expert opinion on many and varied aspects of the case.
Richard has been conducting Jack the Ripper Walks of London since 1982, longer than any other walking tour guide in London.
An acknowledged expert on the subject, Richard is the author of two respected books on the case Uncovering Jack the Ripper's London and Jack the Ripper:- The Casebook. Both of which were praised in the most recent edition of The Complete Jack the Ripper A to Z.
In addition he wrote the guide books Walking Haunted London; History and Mystery London; and Memorable Walks In London; all of which include tours both Jack the Ripper and the East End of London.
Favourable reviews of his tour have appeared in newspapers as diverse as The Sunday Times, The Orange County Register, The Los Angeles Times, and In Britain.
He regularly appears on television discussing the case, and has featured in the programmes History's Mysteries: Jack the Ripper (History Channel); Jack the Ripper In America (Discovery Channel); Being Jack the Ripper; (Discovery Channel); Vic Reeves Investigates Jack the Ripper (Sky One); and he also appears on the DVD that accompanies the Johnny Depp film From Hell.
In 2004 he wrote, presented and co-produced the critically acclaimed drama/documentary Unmasking Jack the Ripper which many Ripper aficionados have hailed as "one of the best - if not the best - Jack the Ripper documentaries of recent years."
Jenny studied the history of Whitechapel/Spitalfields in an intensive one year course under Professor William J Fishman, a Senior Research Fellow of Queen Mary’s University. She considers herself fortunate indeed as Professor Fishman had grown up in the East End and he provided an inside view of this most interesting area.
She has been conducting Jack the Ripper walking tours since the mid 1990's' Over these years Jenny has researched the Jack the Ripper case and has examined the majority of the most famous theories and has formed a personal opinion on the type of man 'Jack' must have been.
Jenny has used her extensive knowledge of the East End and its history to developed a theory that answers the two most important questions concerning the killer.1) How was he able to extract organs rapidly, sometimes in the dark? 2) How was he able to escape bloodstained through the crowded streets?
She has appeared in various documentaries. She appeared on the Discovery Channel's It happened here. Histories Mysteries Jack the Ripper. For Carlton TV's A short examination of the tale of Jack the Ripper. She appeared on French TV's A la poursuite de Jack l' Eventreur, which was broadcast on France Deux and other TV stations around Europe.
She also wrote the script and narrated the story of Jack the Ripper for One World Radio which was broadcast on Halloween 2003.
KAREN SHARPE BA (HONS)
Karen is another top flight Blue Badge Guides who is hugely qualified when it comes to guiding our Jack the Ripper Walk.
Having originally pursued a career in the antiques business, Karen switched track and joined the Metropolitan Police where she spent 15 years working as a police officer in south London.
Here she acquired a specialist knowledge of investigating vice and of police work in general.
Having left the police, her interest and passion for British history led her down the path of guiding and, in 1999, she qualified as a Blue badge Guide in which capacity her background in policing and crime prevention made her a natural for the Jack the Ripper walk.
Not only is Karen able to bring an historians perspective to the Jack the Ripper story, but, thanks to her years spent in the Metropolitan Police, she is also able to bring an insiders view and understanding to the police investigation of the case and the methods that were used by the Victorian police officers.
In addition to her interests in British History and fine arts, Karen also loves crime stories, ghosts and movies.
The tutor of a criminology course, whose students Karen recently conducted a Jack the Ripper tour for, was moved to email us to applaud her professionalism and to comment on how she "pitched the detail at the right level for the students." He went on to reveal how "on the feedback sheets the students rated her 9/10," observing that "I usually get about 4 so I am jealous. Please thank her very much..."
Vicky is a truly special guide. She is an acclaimed Blue Badge Guide who is much in demand for her enthusiastic presentation, her professional manner and her terrific knowledge on London and of the East End in particular.
She graduated from Sussex University with a French degree, then worked at for Swissair before moving into guiding, a career that her lively personality, friendly manner and excellent presentation skills make her ideal for.
She became a London Blue Badge guide in 2005, and received the award for the “best galleries” exams (British Museum and Tate Britain). Then in 2006 she qualified as a City of London guide.
Vicky also has a family claim to fame that is difficult to equal in that her grandfather actually played the trumpet on the Beatles hit “Penny Lane”!
Not content with sitting back and resting on her laurels Vicky learnt and is able to read quite a few Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, an achievement that stood her in good stead when she was called upon to do a tour giving translations of various texts at the British Museum.
She has appeared on BBC Radio 4 last October talking about the execution site at Tyburn and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of royal history, which makes her an excellent resource to discuss, and debunk, the various royal conspiracy theories that abound about Jack the Ripper.