Avril Nanton is the director of Avril’s Walks and Talks, a black heritage tour guiding company that she set up in 2016 after recognising how few black tour guides there are in London. Her first walk was Black Statues Around Westminster covering over 3,500 years of history.
The City of London tour explores the capital’s legacy of slavery. Starting outside the Royal Exchange, the walk includes the history of buildings such as the Bank of England, winding its way through the area’s slender passageways where slave merchants built memorials to themselves. Many people pass The Gilt of Cain statue without recognising its importance, commemorating the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. Opened by Desmond Tutu in 2008, the collaboration between sculptor Michael Visocchi and poet Lemn Sissay is a powerful and peaceful place to contemplate history. Covering hundreds of years of history, this walk also takes in the role of the church in slavery, as well as the coffee shop where slaves were bought and sold, frequented by the man who wrote Amazing Grace.
For more information about the City of London’s black history contact Avril’s Walks and Talks. Avril also gives private walks to those who just want to do a walk with friends, family, or colleagues. To date she has given private walks to the Ministry of Defence; the Department of Sport, Media and Culture; the Lord Mayor of London’s office and various North American universities.