Marcus is the English Heritage Site Manager for Marble Arch, as well as Apsley House, Wellington Arch and various memorials in London.
1Can you explain your role in one sentence?It's all encompassing. I oversee the operations, marketing, profitability and upkeep of two iconic London sites - Apsley House and Wellington Arch - as well as various memorials like Marble Arch.
2How long have you been doing this job?1 year, 1 week and a day.
3Did you find yourself in this role by accident or by design?Both. I found this role by accident, but I’ve worked in museums providing talks and tours, as well as promoting historical destinations, for over 10 years. I previously lived in Portsmouth and wanted to work in London, so this role was perfect. It was serendipitous as I’ve always admired the Duke of Wellington and that period of history. The perfect thing about English Heritage is it has allowed me to do that whilst developing my management skills a lot as well.
4What’s the best part about your job?Giving talks and tours of something I’m passionate about. Also, bringing properties to life through events and exhibitions. In this role I have the pleasure of meeting people from so many different background and of various ages from school children and academics to military personnel and tourists.
5What’s the strangest thing that has ever happened to you on the job? I once joined the police to travel underground and, not really knowing was I was getting myself in to, I was surprised to learn there’s a labyrinth of tunnels and shafts right underneath our feet! It was true ‘hidden London’ moment.
6What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work? I really enjoy cooking, especially Middle Eastern food with its unique spice mixtures and flavours. Also, I’m a Royal Artillery soldier in the Army Reserve, operating as a tank driver. I’ve been a member for early 10 years and am passionate about devoting my time to that. I had the unique opportunity of combining my passion and my career when transforming a former store room in Wellington Arch into our current exhibition on The Royal Artillery during World War I.
7What do you like about this area? Having the Royal Parks on the doorstep. Marble Arch is fortunate to have the contrast of world-renowned shopping and diverse restaurants alongside beautiful park land and national history.
8Where’s your favourite place to go for a meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) in the local area? For a casual sit-down meal, I do enjoy the new Prezzo at Marble Arch. Maroush is on my list for must see places though.
9Who is YOUR hero and what is it about them that inspires you?As a history buff, it’s difficult to choose just one. Rather than a single person, I admire the eccentric, ‘daring to do’ explorers of the early 20th century, like Wilfred Thesiger and T.E. Lawrence, that travelled to the Middle East and immersed themselves in the culture, learning the language and embracing the variances in a time when the Middle East was hugely unknown and untouched.
10If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be? I would love to see the sites that are so vital to the world’s history but are, sadly, currently unattainable in the Middle East, such as Krak des Chevaliers in Syria.