What challenged me, was how hard it was to create a "presentation" for every day of a tour, that was well researched, accurate, and entertaining. I've now presented several group and public talks, not just on visits and tours and I am feeling a lot more at ease, even realising from audience reaction, that I am fairly good.
Just past my half century, I took the opportunity to do what I enjoy, and set up Roger's Tours as a way of sharing such knowledge as I have.
I'd been totally immersed in historic research in one period that lead me to interpretation and re-enactment for the last thirty years. When not running events or participating, I took my holidays in places with historic interest, occasionally getting out the camera or the watercolours to record and celebrate the sights and colour. This has developed from a fairly focused interest in Artillery of the English Civil War into a serious fascination with the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Succession in Britanny, and a deepening interest in the early 18th C wars to contain French expansion under Louis the 14th.
What you realise from the study of the military history is that the spur to development and effort and invention from these struggles leads to other more positive effects. So as a parallel; while travelling the sites of terrible events I have discovered many hidden spots and glorious gardens that contribute another side of Rogers Tours, and some wonderful sites for painting holidays, that are a future extension of what we offer.
As member of the Ordnance Society, The Historical Association, The Battlefields Trust, Gunpowder and Explosives History Study Group,
Roundhead Association, The Guild of Battlefield Guides, the Sundial Society, and the Institute of Explosives Engineers, I've had a slightly focused academic interest. Guesting with a medieval group, Les Lances de Bretagne, added a dimension. For twenty years I've published a magazine, the Living History Digest that listed the variety of historically themed events and festivals in Europe. There's often so much knowledge and care put into these, offering me a highlight around which to develop more academic tours, properly researched, but with a theme and a sense of fun.
Several suggestions from friends and acquaintances pointed me in the direction of tour guiding, and my interest was fanned by the prospect of talking to an intelligent small group looking for a relaxing, but intellectually rewarding break. I'm also now available to talk to evening meetings on a variety of subjects, talks that are quite fun and I trust, enjoyable for the audience.
I've taken the MiDAS minibus driver training, so you are in safe and competetent hands, I'm assured !
Whats a half century then? Having watched the old man enjoy his research and being dragged off from childhood to strange but interesting places - OK, too many tours but I didn't have to pay - I joined him in developing this venture; my speciality is Website design and the IT side of the business, though I come along as navigator on certain mystery tour trips. It's me you write to if there are broken links or problems on the site; I also create moderately good websites for a fee. E-mail me at email@example.com
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"Roger's Tours" is the trading name of Roger's Tours Limited Registered Office The Anchorage 56 Wareham Road Lytchett Matravers POOLE Dorset BH16 6DS. Registered in England and Wales No. 5019406 Director Roger William Emmerson