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Aidan’s appoints Tourism Officer in attempt to be “the Hill’s Castle”

Posted on 5th October 2008. No Comment

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Cloud-scraping St Aidan’s has appointed a new Tourism Officer as it attempts to boost visiting figures and rival University College as one of Durham’s leading attractions. Dave Bowyer has vowed to make Aidan’s “the Hill’s Castle” in a tourism drive incorporating guided tours, souvenirs and a number of publicity stunts.

“We’ve got everything Castle has and more,” bragged Mr Bowyer on his second day in office. “If tourists are going to pay £2.50 or whatever to walk around a crumbling old ruin, then they’re going to be double that to see inside Aidan’s. Our chapel is heated.”

Drafts of a new Aidan’s visitor’s guide highlight features such as “en-suite rooms” and “a well-equipped multi-gym” to tempt Japanese and American visitors. “Old architecture is all well and good,” writes Mr Bowyer in his introduction, “but get a load of our new JCR chairs. Comfy.”

Plans are already in the pipeline to build a new “viewing area” on top of Aidan’s library, which will offer outstanding views of Durham, light refreshments and hot and cold snacks. An attempt by Mr Bowyer to signpost the college from as far away as Bowburn have been quashed by the city council, although he has received permission to sell Aidan’s erasers and pencils at the city’s Tourism Office.

Anne South is one of five new tour guides recruited by the college, and currently undergoing a period of intense training. “Aidan’s is much more than beautiful buildings, breathtaking gardens and an abundance of vending machines,” she enthused. “Visitors will have a full and unrestricted view of our world-famous JCR shop, as well as the chance to sample one of our cocktails, and, if they’re lucky, have a word with our Principal.” Provisional plans to release an autobiography of Aidan’s Principal John Ashworth have been shelved for the time being, though it is believed he will personally greet each of the first hundred tourists to climb the steps.

An on-site souvenir shop will soon be opened, stocking mugs, scarves, tshirts, and cuttings from the Aidan’s garden. In addition, a $150 gift voucher entitled “The Aidan’s Experience” is about to appear in selected north-east branches of WHSmith and Kwik Save.

“Is this a wind-up?” quipped one Aidanite on his way to the laundry room. Castle authorities are reportedly “unworried” by the Aidan’s tourism drive, although admitting that certain senior members of the college may visit their rival once tours begin. “I’ve heard their JCR has windows,” said an insider.

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