About the guides
I was born as far as I can remember in Stockport, UK in 1965 and have lived in Barcelona for more than 20 years, where I live with my partner Mónica and our young son Albert. I started www.iberianature.com in 2004. I have organised and guided wolf watching trips to Zamora and wildlife trips to the Isle of Mull, and in early 2010 I started to do tours based on my adopted city, the place I love most in the world.
I first became interested in working class history of my own neighbourhood of Poble Sec which eventually drew me back to Orwell and the war. I started doing the tours in 2010. I honestly never get tired of doing the same tour again and again because I get so many interesting people turning up, who assail me with streams of great questions, some of which I have no idea about and so I have to go home and research them. And so, although the physical routes we take are always very similar, it always goes off in odd directions in terms of topics. This is also because people come from many different backgrounds and countries and so often look at the war from the prism of their own countries (say, art and photography, the International Brigades, other conflicts such as the Greek and Finnish Civil Wars and WW2, the holocaust, etc). People come from many different walks of life (university professors, artists, journalists, film makers, factory workers, history teachers and students, US marines, lawyers, etc) from almost 50 countries (UK and US first but also Albania, Egypt, Iran and China). They have widely differing levels of knowledge from experts in their field of the war to absolutely zero. A number of people are brought by some family connection (International Brigades, Popular Olympiad, Spanish Diaspora). Declared prior interests of clients include Orwell, anarchism, women’s history, photography and the Spanish Civil War as a prelude to WW2. I tell people I think what we’re doing is only on the edge of being tourism. There is debate, at times it seems we are discussing the whole history of the 20th century, rather than that of one city. People invariably also want to talk about politics today
All of this has given me a constant feedback as to what people find interesting which has helped me enormously in writing my guidebook: Forgotten Places: Barcelona and the Spanish Civil War.
Many of the people I have met are influential figures in their spheres (prominent activists, university professors, journalists). I have been featured in The Guardian, Ara (Catalan), El Periodico (Spanish) and a number of other newspapers, and I recently wrote the blurb on the Civil War for the 2013 edition of Time Out guide to Barcelona. I also do popular monthly tours with Barcelona Cemeteries in Spanish and Catalan to the mass grave where more than 1700 of Franco’s victims are buried. When I finish the English version I intend to do a version in Spanish and/or Catalan.
I have been a regular contributor to the Barcelona Metropolitan specialised in history and geography. Some, though by no means all of my articles are archived here.
- Co-founder and organiser of the annual Barcelona Orwell Day (2013-2015)
- Co-creator and co-founder of Amigce The Association of the International Museum of the Spanish Civil War is aimed at creating a museum based in Barcelona dedicated to the Spanish Civil War.