Bury St Edmunds Green Badge Guides

Name: Lynn Whitehead

Guiding: Green Badge Guide in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Qualified: 2017

Background: I have worked in the theatre industry all my life - as a professional actor/musician for the first 22 years and ever since as a Theatre Practitioner working with community groups. I also teach storytelling and public speaking.

What I love about guiding: Bury St Edmunds is bathed in history at every turn - from the earliest days of its mighty abbey right up to its recently built music venue. I love surprising visitors with the less well-known stories and pathways (our medieval grid-pattern town centre is rich with little alleyways) and revealing secrets to the local people that they may never before have noticed.

The Bury guides are always finding and sharing new stories about the town.

Our winter tales of the Ghostly and Macabre are fun to do. Dressed as Bury’s Grey Lady (with thermal undies hidden beneath) I finish the tour in the ruins of the ancient charnel house, lit only by moonlight (or if not, a good torch!)

We get to meet people from all over the world - including many Americans from the nearby US Air Bases as well as folk who are shamelessly ‘Bury, born and bred’.

Name: John Saunders

Guiding: Green Badge Guide in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Qualified: 2017

Background: I was born in Suffolk and despite periods of working away, I regard himself as a local person. My first career of 32 years in policing was followed mainly as an adviser and assessor in quality of service. Having retired from employment, I now pursue varied voluntary work ranging from rickshaw riding to poppy selling and enjoy my interaction with community groups including reading to people in care homes and guest speaking.

What I love about guiding: Being a guide brings together my community involvement and my personal interest in my town and history. It is so satisfying showing and explaining to visitors what the Bury St Edmunds has - its great medieval history, the story of St Edmund and the Abbey. It is, ‘A town full of character’. Developing new tours with colleagues is rewarding - our ‘special’ tours have recognised 1000 years since the founding of the Abbey; wartime in the town and the influx of American troops; ghostly and macabre stories; tours that are subject-specific. It is rewarding to receive feedback reflecting a guide’s enjoyment and enthusiasm