MILD mannered Tommy Carlin becomes animated when he starts talking about his favourite subject - the town he loves so well.
The softly spoken 56-year-old has been a tour guide in his hometown of Derry for the past 10 years.
He braves hail, rain and snow to take tours around Derry's famous walled city and is even prepared to dress up for the occasion.
Tommy has taken the famous and not so famous on tours around the city as well as top politicians including the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich.
"I love my job," he admitted. "I can't think of anything else I'd rather do. I have always been interested in the city's history so I was delighted when I was able to get a job as a tour guide.
"I was made redundant from my job as a service manager for a television company in 1985. I came from a generation which left school at 14, but I always wanted to educate myself. I took the opportunity when I lost my job.
"I graduated with an honours degree in Irish History and Politics from the University of Ulster at Magee. During my degree I did a placement in Derry City Council's Museum Service which was at the time when the Tower Museum and Foyle Valley Railway were being built in the city.
"I fell in love with history and was delighted when I got a job as a tour guide in the museum. Derry is steeped in history and I love having the opportunity of sharing it with other people.
"My main role is taking groups of visitors around the city, although I also have to help out with some administrative work as well.
I HAVE had to escort some VIPs around the city in the past including Newt Ginrich and a few British and Irish politicians on behalf of the council.
"I am expected to give a short history of the city and take the visitors on a short walking tour.
"I tailor my tours to suit the particular group. Some people may want to hear more about the Siege of Derry or the time of the plantation so it's important to have a broad working knowledge of all the city's history.
"The city's walls are the ideal viewing platform for every aspect of Derry's history. I don't normally take the tours on a complete circuit unless visitors specifically ask for it.
"I am still kept quite busy during the off-peak tourist season as many schools and colleges ask me to do tours to help them with their history projects.
"The best part of my job is that I get to meet lots of different people. I've told …