Meet the Team
Professor Carl Chinn
Carl Chinn MBE Ph.D. F.Birm.Soc. is Professor of Community History at the University of Birmingham and history advisor for the schools of Perry Beeches The Academy. He is a social historian with a national profile, newspaper columnist, public speaker, writer, and charity fundraiser. A campaigner for good causes, he has also been active in pressing for the rights of working-class people and the recognition of the importance of manufacturing.
Professor Chinn is the author of 32 books that include studies of working-class housing, urban working class life, working-class women’s lives, manufacturing, Birmingham, the Black Country, and ethnic minorities. He has appeared as an expert on various television programmes, and is well-known for his weekly local history articles in the ‘Birmingham Mail’ and ‘Express and Star’, and for his monthly Brummagem Magazine. Carl is a passionate and proud Brummie and West Midlander who began his teaching career in adult education and who believes strongly in the importance of life-long learning and of opening up educational opportunities to everyone.
With 25 years’ experience working in social housing as well as stints in the Civil Courts and working as a mediator, it’s very true to say that Dave Fisher has studied at the ‘University of Life.’ It is in fact Dave’s love of life and people and, of course, Birmingham, that made Dave want to become a tour guide in the first place.
Dave is a passionate and proud Brummie, born and raised in the city, and with an infectious enthusiasm for imparting how Birmingham has emerged as the world-class city it is today. Carrying out extensive research, Dave immerses himself in the subject matter and is always seeking those extra quirky and unusual facts and details that can bring the history of a place to life.
Having qualified as a Blue Badge Tour Guide (Heart of England region) in June 2016, Dave has carried out numerous tours across Birmingham in a variety of settings and in front of many wide-ranging audiences from school parties/students to groups of foreign visitors, members of U3A, and specialist beer and pub lovers.
Being a tour guide for Birmingham is a labour of love for Dave Fisher. You couldn’t hope for a more enthusiastic and entertaining guide to enlighten you about our wonderful city!
David Glenwright is one of Birmingham’s most knowledgeable sources for information on the pub and ale heritage of Britain. David grew up in a town centred around a large brewery and has been a CAMRA member for several years, working tirelessly to enhance the appeal of the organisation amongst younger pubgoers and boost youth membership.
In his role as the Young Members Representative of the city’s branch, and as one of the UK’s leading social media trainers, David utilised social media to raise awareness of Birmingham’s pub heritage amongst the young and was also recruited as the social media manager of Birmingham Beer & Cider festival, ensuring the event was attended handsomely.
In 2015, he became the deputy organiser of the event, later becoming a permanent member of the CAMRA National Executive, the Young Members Coordinator for the West Midlands Region and the social media manager for CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival. He has also frequently appeared in the local, national and international media, talking about social media and, of course…beer!
John Mostyn is a prominent and influential music industry figure in the West Midlands. Although originally from Cheshire, John Mostyn is very much an adopted Brummie and has lived and worked in the city for most of his life. Probably best known for managing acts such as The Beat and Fine Young Cannibals, John has also played a pivotal role in the careers of artists such as Ocean Colour Scene, The Wonderstuff, Alison Moyet and the Detroit-based band Inner City.
To say that John has been around the musical block a few times is not an understatement. As an agent, John played a major role in the launch of the Two Tone movement and without him, we may never have seen the launch of Wham, but that’s a whole different story (ask John if you want to know more!).
John’s eclectic and interesting career has seen him championing Birmingham’s music artists and venues for more than 40 years. As well as managing acts, John has been instrumental in running music studios, saving the Digbeth Civic Hall, producing musicals, organising concerts, running music publishing companies and working in Swiss cinema!
Today, John is an esteemed public speaker and lecturer about the Birmingham music scene as well as an occasional tour manager and mentor for up and coming new artists. We can’t wait to see what he plans to do next…
Diane is one of Birmingham most highly qualified tour guides. A qualified Blue Badge, Diane has spent many years a guide in Birmingham, Cotswalds and the South Coast of England. Having had a career in fashion manufacturing, she says deciding to switch and says that it was the best decision she ever made.
As a proud Brummie, Diane takes great care in her research and attention to detail is something that she is very focused on.
Having qualified as a Blue Badge Tour Guide (Heart of England region) Diane has carried out numerous tours across Birmingham in a variety of settings and in front of many wide-ranging audiences from school parties/students to groups of foreign visitors, and specialist in Birmingham, Shakespeare, and the Cotwalds.
Our guests have very much enjoyed tours delivered by Diane.
After a career in archaeology and teaching Vicky Nailor qualified as a Blue Badge Tour guide (Heart of England) when she realised how much she enjoyed finding places and planning itineraries on days out and holidays for family and friends.
Initially from Yorkshire Vicky has been an adopted Brummie for over thirty years , proud of its origins, history and how it has changed into the world class city that it is today. She thoroughly enjoys researching , planning and delivering tours which have given her the opportunity to meet a wide range of people.
Vicky has enjoyed providing tours in Birmingham, whether it’s a walking tour in the jewellery quarter, a visit to Brindley Place and Brum’s canals or a walk which reflects the proud history of Birmingham. She has done coach tours for a range of visitors providing interesting facts and stories about personalities and places that have made the city great.
Being a tour guide for Birmingham Vicky is pleased to share her knowledge and enthusiasm about our rich, dynamic city and its exciting history.
Born and raised in a Nottinghamshire mining town during the troubled times of the 1980s strikes, Ian studied at the University of Birmingham and has lived here ever since, marrying a Brummie girl and making the city his home.
Having previously worked as a guide and tour manager throughout Europe, Ian qualified as a Heart of England Blue Badge tourist guide in 2007, winning the award for the best background knowledge results that year. Since then, he has gained extensive experience guiding throughout the UK, but focused on the Midlands, especially Birmingham. Ian is one of the few German-speaking guides in this area. He is confident working with people of all ages and always adapts his tours to maximise their enjoyment and comfort. Ian also has a considerable awareness of accessibility issues, having organised and led tours for the mentally and physically disabled, wheelchair users and registered blind people. He holds a Level 2 qualification in British Sign Language.
Ian is proud to be an adopted Brummie and is passionate about showing the city off to visitors, whether he’s helping Tolkien scholars discover the writer’s early life and inspirations, sociology students trace the history of immigration and multiculturalism, senior executives make a decision on relocation from London with their families, or casual visitors get a first impression of our city. Ian has a talent for painting pictures with words and bringing history to life and his tours always enrich our guests’ experience of Birmingham.