THIS MONTH WE CATCH UP WITH MATT BARTON, ONE OF OUR AMAZING TOUR GUIDES IN LIVERPOOL
Hi! My name is Matt and I am one of Liverpool Tour Company’s tour guides for city centre walking tours, coach tours, pub tours and the Vox City Walks Liverpool brand.
What do you love about your job?
I love getting the opportunity to share my knowledge of Liverpool and our great region and to meet people from all over the world.
How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in tourism?
Local history is a passion of mine, so my job allows me to immerse myself in that; sometimes as a performer, talking to large groups, and sometimes, with more intimate parties, where I get to see how strangers react to the environment we are exploring.
What does your typical workday look like?
My job is quite varied: as a guide on open-top sightseeing buses I work an almost 9-5 day, giving several short tours to tourists who come and go.
When I work with coaches, greeting people as they come into the city, the tours are longer and I get to go into more detail about what Liverpool has to offer.
For me, these are usually shorter but more intensive days.
WHAT IS YUOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO VITIS IN LIVERPOOL?
My favourite place in Liverpool is probably the old financial district.
The grand buildings between the Pier Head and Dale Street that seem like New York in miniature. Our waterfront walking tour is a great introduction to this area!
Saying that, I also love Penny Lane (we do a great self-guided walking route with Vox City Walks here), a quaint suburb that hasn’t changed since it became a small part of Pop-Culture history in the 1960s.
What is your most joyous moment working with Liverpool Tour Company?
My most joyous moment was probably conducting my first Beatles walking-tour.
The group, mostly American, were a varied bunch and I felt that I got as much back off them as they got off me.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I enjoy spending time with my family and watching films when I’m not in work.
But, in some ways, I’m always tinkering with things…
I write articles about unusual chapters in Liverpool history and I create music to soundtrack these stories.
If you could pick anybody to be your mentor, who would it be?
This is a hard one.
I like the way writers like Peter Ackroyd and Ian Sinclair interpret the history of London, and I was blown away by Jeff Young’s Ghost Town, an exploration of Liverpool.
But I’m not sure I’d want them to be my mentors.
What advice would you give to new tour guides before their first tour?
And use the toilet beforehand.
What three things do you always carry with you when guiding
As a tour-guide who often gives Beatles tours, I find that making sure I have my phone with Spotify fully paid-up and the correct cables to connect to coach sound-systems, is pretty important.