John Skinner – The Founder of Rebus Tours
John Skinner launched Rebus Tours in Spring 2000 with the endorsement of Ian Rankin and his publishers. John was schooled in Edinburgh, studied German and European Studies at university and was a qualified further education lecturer. After some 20 years in journalism and public relations in London and overseas, he returned in 1996 to his native city and re-trained as a tourist guide, taking a further degree in Scottish history along the way.
John worked as a lecturer for Napier University’s Wider Access programmes, tutoring creative writing and journalism to a variety of community and special needs groups in Edinburgh. He also worked as a freelance journalist.
Like Ian Rankin, John’s interests included Edinburgh’s nooks and crannies and classic and obscure rock music of the 60s and 70s. John also enjoyed travelling, especially to France, and Syria in the Middle East. He lived in Tranent, ten miles from the city of Edinburgh. He spoke German and French and could guide the Rebus routes in German if requested.
John invented a board game called Scottish Quest. It features hundreds of questions about Scottish history, culture and geography. He was a very dear friend who is sadly missed. Rebustours is one of his lasting legacies.