Henri

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!

27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Unseen Tours in the San Francisco Chronicle! « Unseen Tours: London's Street Voices
  2. Lutz
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 15:20:20

    I just saw you in German TV. Interessting project,i´d like to join such a tour.
    Wish you all the best for your future.

    Greetz from Germany
    Lutz

    Reply

  3. Esmail
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 11:39:59

    hi there, just read about this on Spiegel.de, followed the links and given that I am living in London all I can say is that I look forward to that pint in the pub after a tour with you. Sounds really interesting. See you there,

    Ez

    Reply

  4. Kevin
    Feb 15, 2012 @ 15:40:50

    I really enjoyed Henri’s tour when I did it back in January. I chose the Shoreditch tour because I know the area really well as I have lived there or near by for over two decades myself. I wanted to get a different perspective on what I knew. I certainly got that but also got lots of fresh information I hadn’t known before. Henri is a really good, informed and entertaining guide with his amusing and unique perspective, particularly about the local arts scene. Highly recommended

    Kevin

    Reply

  5. Sally
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 20:47:30

    Henri was a wonderful guide. Entertaining, great company and extremely insightful. I got a whole new perspective on the area in which I work and I would do another of these tours without thinking twice about it.

    Reply

  6. sockmobevents
    Mar 31, 2012 @ 12:16:38

    Many thanks for your comments folks! Henri really appreciates the feedback :)

    Reply

  7. Valentina
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 18:31:49

    I met Henri last March and i think he’s the best guide i’ve ever known. He spoke with passion about street art, stories and anecdotes that help to see London from a different perspective. I’m Italian and my English is not very good and, for this reason, he spoke slowly to give me the opportunity to understand. It was very kind of him and it was a great experience. Thank you so much!
    Valentina

    Reply

  8. Valentina Maestri
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 09:17:30

    I met Henri last March and i think he’s the best guide i’ve ever known. It was a great experience and i think he’s the best guide i’ve ever known. He spoke about steet art, stories and anecdotes useful to see London from a different perspective. I’m Italian and my English is not very good and, for this reason, Henri spoke slowly to give me the opportunity to understand. It was very kind of him. Thank you so much!
    Valentina

    Reply

  9. Lou Hinchliffe
    May 24, 2012 @ 16:47:31

    Henri did a fantastic tour for us yesterday in Shoreditch, he took us to places where we could see some fantastic graffiti that we would never have found ourselves and his depth of knowledge was incredible. Thank you.

    Reply

  10. Matt
    May 25, 2012 @ 10:17:19

    Amazing tour and tourguide! Extremely knowledgeable and funny, Henri had us thinking differently and exposed us to a side of Shoreditch (and London) that we weren’t previously aware of. Thank you!

    Reply

  11. Jeath
    Aug 04, 2012 @ 15:26:22

    This is amazing…you are really bring the lost to the future…it is best thing that you are doing. The people we see all the way are the only friends that we have and always we should to make a better way to help a living move to the right track. Am really inspired by the story and this has got something to do with the future of everyone of us.

    Reply

  12. Sheila
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 21:41:24

    I had an amazing tour today with Henri. He is the most enthusiastic and informative tour guide I have ever met and discusses everything with great naturalness, sophistication and humour. There is a great range in this tour, from the beautiful, secluded church yard where Bunyan, Defoe and William Blake lie buried, to the original site of the first Shakespearean Globe Theater. Then the underworld of crime and espionage, walking through twisting alley ways, past warehouses and abandoned buildings overlooked by trendy modern restaurants, flats and offices. The most fascinating aspect of the walk for me was a really close look at the street art and the stories behind the art works and their artists.

    Reply

  13. Trackback: Unseen tours « birmoldatu
  14. Luis
    Oct 07, 2012 @ 00:03:24

    Henri many thanks for the tour today! Was an excellent way to find out more about the area and the street art around it. Well done!

    Reply

  15. Rose
    Nov 17, 2012 @ 19:11:51

    We came to your tour today and thought it was fantastic – funny, informative, and the street art was wonderful. Thanks very much and wish you well!

    Reply

  16. Trackback: These Aren't Your Average Tour Guides | cheaphotels4ucheaphotels4u
  17. Dominique
    Dec 08, 2012 @ 20:06:15

    I really enjoyed Henri’s tour. Henri is so well informed about Shoreditch and the street art. Thank you so much ! Highly recommended

    Reply

  18. Nancy Chiu
    Apr 25, 2013 @ 06:30:49

    Read about you guys in Business Weekly (the Taiwanese version) and am greatly moved. Wish I would have a chance soon to visit London and join your tour!
    Best wishes,
    Nancy

    Reply

  19. Stephanie vidal
    Apr 25, 2013 @ 22:47:51

    Next august i want to do a tour at shoreditch with my students and i ll contact you. I m stephanie and i am spanish all the best and looking forward to seeing you stedph

    Reply

  20. Elena
    May 13, 2013 @ 14:37:24

    Henri, you were a terrific Guide. All my students loved the tour. I will certainly be back with the next group!

    Reply

  21. jrlauxxx
    May 16, 2013 @ 14:48:33

    Henri is an entertaining, articulate and intelligent guide. He has a very apparent interest in and knowledge of street art. I would recommend this walk; Henri has personal experience of the problems of the homeless in this area of London. Even is you do not agree with all his views you learn much from this walk and enjoy the experience..

    Reply

  22. Trackback: First impressions of London…this time. – What in the world?
  23. geny courses
    May 28, 2013 @ 07:12:25

    I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my
    trouble. You are incredible! Thanks!

    Reply

  24. Marie-Claude
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 23:52:44

    I did the Shoreditch tour with Henri and it was very instructive. Time just flew by!

    Reply

  25. Hannah
    Oct 26, 2013 @ 22:29:55

    Thank you so much for the tour today. We found you incredibly interesting, I have a new found street artist. The tour was brilliant. Wish you all the best.

    Reply

    • sockmobevents
      Oct 28, 2013 @ 14:03:15

      Many thanks Hannah for your warm words, Henri is super chuffed and so is the whole team :) We’ve also popped your feedback on our facebook page, Sock Mob Events: Unseen Tours, do check it out and spread the word. Thanks again for your support!

      Reply

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