When I started our Jack the Ripper Walk in 1982 there were just a few companies offering sporadic Jack the Ripper Tours.
Indeed, at first I used to offer the ripper tour on Monday nights only.
But then, in 1988, the combination of the centenary year and the Michael Caine Jack the Ripper TV programme led to an upsurge in interest in the Jack the Ripper mystery and I decided that it was now time to go for it and launch the Jack the Ripper Tour seven nights a week.
From the off it was hugely popular and so my fellow guides and myself began dabbling in ways to create a truly innovative experience for our clients.
One of the guides who worked for me back then was the legendary Martin Fido. Together we set up the ultimate Jack the Ripper Walk that took in all the murder sites. We used to do this on a Friday night and, after the tour, Martin would jump in a taxi and head over to LBC Radio to present his hugely popular Murder After Midnight on the Clive Bull show.
A few years later (1992) and more and more companies were jumping on the bandwagon and launching their own Jack the Ripper Walking Tours. Some were excellent, some were mediocre, and some were downright awful. The one thing they shared in common, however, was that they were all starting from the same start point Tower Hill.
It was then that I had a Eureka moment and, after ten years of starting the tour from Tower Hill Underground Station, decided the time was right to move. So my fellow guided and myself upped sticks and moved the start point to Aldgate East Underground Station.
As it transpired, this was a much better starting point as, not only was it possible to lay the story of the ripper murders out in a cohesive and chronological order, but the walk was also able to take people into the atmospheric old alleyways that had changed little since 1888, the year of the Jack the Ripper murders.
The next idea was to reproduce the old Victorian photographs that showed the area and the murder sites as they looked at the time.
These Jack the Ripper photos have proved hugely popular with our clients over the years and, the fact that we pass the photos around the group, means that people can stand on a site, hold the photos and, literally, look back in time to see the streets through which they are walking as they were at the time of the Jack the Ripper murders.
The talent we’ve always relied on on our Jack the Ripper Tour, good old-fashioned storytelling and creepy old black and white photographs that really set the imagination working.
So, with the nights now deliciously dark, and the crisp winter weather truly biting and atmospheric, why not join us for a tour back in time to explore the chilling streets of Jack the Ripper’s London?