29th April 2013
The admissions team here at Edinburgh Castle plays a vital part in welcoming over a million visitors to the castle every year.
I caught up with Colin Moracen to find out his role and stories from his time at the castle.
How long have you worked at the castle?
I started at Edinburgh Castle back in 1988 when I had my own business working as a finishing painter and was contracted by Historic Scotland.
This involved painting in the room where the Honours of Scotland are kept, the Royal Palace, the Governors House, lettering on the Tattoo stands and various other areas within the castle. Since then I have worked in the stewarding department, and now work in admissions as a visitor services assistant
How do you make sure the castle runs smoothly?
I help manage visitor and vehicle access starting from the bottom of the esplanade up to the portcullis gate. As the castle includes military barracks, I ensure that all vehicles have been given authorisation before entering the castle.
I also welcome all of our 1.3 million yearly visitors to the castle and make certain they stay safe, but also have the best possible experience during their visit.
On any given day we can have up to 8,000 visitors so my days are never dull or predictable!
What would you say is the best thing about working at the castle?
I always say it’s the geography of the castle. Every day I feel so fortunate to work at such a beautiful and inspiring place. I have so many happy memories of working for the last 25 years and it continues to be an honour to work here.
But, I also really enjoy the international atmosphere within the castle. Being able to interact with people of different nationalities is what I love most. It is a great feeling being able to stand on the drawbridge and see their smiles and laughs as I meet and greet them
What celebrity faces have you spotted at Edinburgh Castle over the years?
So many to choose from! Those that spring to mind are Priscilla Presley, Brian Cox ,David Coulthard & Keira Knightley.
You must have seen and heard some funny things whilst working at the castle?
One surreal moment I remember was singing “Somewhere over the rainbow” on the drawbridge with Judy Garland’s daughter, Lorna Luft. Quite an extraordinary moment! I also met some fantastic Nepalese ladies one time, they travelled the world in their slippers – very intriguing!
On my last day as a steward in August 2003, I was at the top of the Lang Stairs, as the RSNO were practising for the annual fireworks display. “Zadok the Priest” by Handel was the piece. I felt like royalty!
I knew that one day I’d be back – and here I am!
Keep an eye out for Colin and be sure to say ‘hello’ when you visit Edinburgh Castle next!
Roddy Telfer, Events and Promotion Executive