Wonders of Whitehall
Although the Wonders of Whitehall Guided Walk was down to be presented by its designer, Hazel, this particular outing was done by Ian McDiarmid. Despite this being Ian’s first gig guiding the Wonders of Whitehall it was immediately clear he was not only a very experienced guide but a highly qualified ‘domain’ expert on many aspects of English political and social history.
After the usual run-through of the standard dos and don’ts of an urban guided walk we were off. Ian set a sensible pace for the size of our group (about a dozen or so) and demographic. This was later proved when we completed our Tour of Whitehall’s Greatest Hits bang on time! 1000 years of selected history highlights in a mere 90 minutes is no small achievement. Not a minute was wasted.
His accompanying commentary was a well-judged mixture of facts (historic events, dates and leading personnel), anecdotes and (some) opinion. Fire featured a lot!
His delivery was clear and the content consistently engaging and focussed. Ian was also happy to chat (generally and specifically) to the various members of the group and answer questions (there weren’t many) as we walked.
I liked the way we sometimes had to use not just our eyes but our imagination. The sheer size and scale of the Palace of Whitehall took a great deal of imagination! Also, considering its unique significance, I’d have liked just a little bit more on the execution of Charles I, but, hey, maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, Hazel can relax. The Wonders of Whitehall Guided Walk is in safe additional hands with Ian.