Henri – Tour guide
Some words about me
Hi, I’m Henri, and Old Street is the closest thing I have to home. I’ve been in London for 15 years. I first came over here to study sculpture, as I’ve always been passionate about art. I was accepted at an Arts college in London and decided to go for a degree in interior design instead – my dad was a sculptor and said he could never make any money out of art, so I decided not to make the same mistake!
After my studies, I worked as a painter and decorator for seven years, bought a house and got married… and then my relationship broke down and I ended up homeless. I’ve been homeless now for two years, living mainly on the streets in Old Street, the area in London I know best.
I was very interested and happy when I was offered the possibility to do these tours, which involve the area where I live and which I love. I can show other people the places and the regular aspects of my life. I’m just happy that life on the street hasn’t put me in the situation where I’m a drug user or heavy alcoholic. So I hope that by meeting me people might re-think stereotypical perceptions of what it means to be homeless – not all of us are so bad.
I used to beg in the evenings and I only work part-time in a warehouse at the moment, so I’m hoping that doing these tours will be a way to stop begging. They’ll also be much more interesting and I’ll be earning money every day at a certain time, so they will change my daily routine completely… in a good way!
Fluent English, Dutch and Latvian
I am interested in sculpture and street art.
Join me for a fun and fascinating walking tour around London’s edgiest neighbourhood. A mecca for some of the world’s greatest street artists, I will show you a glimpse of their latest works. I will also share with you some of the area’s rich historical sites including William Blake’s grave and Shakespeare’s first London theatre. And then, just when you think you’ve seen it all, I will show you a private Mafia bank and secret MI5 detention centre.