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Meet the Team on St Michael's Mount - Richard James, Visitor Services Manager

25 January 2019

Last year a particular job role on the island went viral, with over 350 applicants from all over the world. Meet Richard James, our Visitor Services Manager. 

Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

Where to start! I had always envisioned a career in the arts and trained as an actor in Birmingham, but after many years of waiting for my big break, I decided I wanted a more stable career so started working in attractions in London. I have found working in Visitor Services extremely rewarding and hope to be doing it for many years to come.

Outside of work, I still tread the boards occasionally with local theatre groups, when I’m not spending time with my wife and three children. I have had quite a few adventures in my life and love to explore new places - a highlight for me was when I had the opportunity to climb a mountain in the Himalayas, which was hard going but very much worth it for the view!

Previous to joining the team on St Michael’s Mount, where were you and what did you do?

Before joining the team on the Mount I was the Visitor Services Manager at Aerospace Bristol, a new aviation museum located on the old Bristol Airfield where all of the British Concorde made their maiden flight. It is a fantastic museum featuring the last Concorde to fly, Alpha Foxtrot. I even managed to sit in the captain’s chair! If you are ever passing or visiting Bristol I highly recommend you give it a look.  

What is your job role on the island?

As Visitor Services Manager for the Mount my role is very varied. I am effectively responsible for the whole visitor experience from the carparks on the mainland all the way up to the castle and all the wonders in between. Since joining the team, I have used my experience to make improvements and develop the team of guides that I have working with me. I am really looking forward to the next few seasons and the developments they will bring!

What is your favourite thing about working on St Michael’s Mount?

It has to be the commute. In the space of five years I have gone from the morning crush on the London underground to the blissful boat trip from the mainland to the mount. You couldn’t ask for a better start to your day!

What has the highlight of 2018 for you on the island?

Getting the job here. With 350 applicants for the role, I was blown away when I received the call to tell me that I had been selected. Since arriving everyone has made me feel so welcome and the last 8 months have flown by.

Could you sum up working on the mount in one word?

Challenging (in the best possible way)

Where would you say is your favourite part of the island, and why?

There is an outcrop of rocks just as you enter the gardens on the island that you can sit on the top of and look out to sea. The day before my interview I visited the island (to have a sneaky peek at what it was like) and I sat on this rock for about an hour just watching the sea and the world pass me by. It felt like I belonged here and luckily the next day the team here agreed. 

Richard James, Visitor Services Manager