Formal Student Avril Nanton, who studied on the Tour Guiding Course – Clerkenwell and Islington short course, set up her namesake tour guide company Avril’s Walks and Talks and a tour of Westminster’s Black statues to illustrate London’s Black history.

Former student Avril Nanton pictured with others
Front middle: Former student Avril Nanton

In 2015, Avril Joined Westminster’s Tour Guiding Course – Clerkenwell and Islington upon her search for a new career path. During the course, students would attend various historical locations in Islington and each student would work on talking about the history at each location in preparation for their future presentation and exam.

Throughout her time on the course, Avril’s interest in statues had grown and she began her research into the Black statues of London. As her knowledge increased, Avril created a presentation to keep track of all the statues, which eventually resulted in a walk she named Black Statues Around Westminster.

A year after graduating from the short course, Avril’s Walks and Talks was set up to take in all aspects of London’s cultural wonders. Her tours showcase the statues, monuments and buildings of London, focusing on the city’s African Caribbean history and highlights the Black history of individual boroughs and Central London that tend to be missed in conventional walking tours around London.

Avril’s Walks and Talks now offers four different walking tours of the Black history in London, including her Black Statues Around Westminster tour, as well as walks of the Black History in Islington, Black History of Tottenham and Hyde Park Memorials walk.

Looking back on her time studying on the short course at Westminster, Avril said: “The course was really interesting. I met lots of new people who were all interested in guiding and history and the people on the course were from a variety of backgrounds. 

“The Tour Guiding Course – Clerkenwell and Islington gave me a good grounding in how to be a professional tour guide, helping me to ensure that I guide my clients around London carefully and giving them knowledge they never knew before.”

Learn more about short courses offered at the University of Westminster.

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