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What I love about being a Visitor Assistant

After five years working as a Visitor Assistant, Marian shares what she loves about her role.

"There are three things that make working at Westminster so special for me.

The first is the history of the place. This hits you as soon as you arrive. Your breath is taken away by the magnificence of Westminster Hall, built by William Rufus, son of William the Conqueror. It's hard to believe the first feast was held here less than four decades after the Battle of Hastings!

The second is the amazing art collection, so prominent in every room. Treasures range from formal portraits of Henry VIII (and each of his wives) in the Prince's Chamber, to intricate carvings describing the romantic theme of King Arthur and his knights in the Robing Room.

Thirdly, of course, is politics. This is very much a working building. In the House of Commons chamber, I often find myself talking to a visitor just inches away from the famous Speaker's Chair (‘Order!, Order!') or pointing out the spot where the Prime Minister sits. It is hard to believe that, mere hours before, this room may have been the site of such vigorous debate.

I cannot finish without adding a fourth reason to my list, and that is meeting all our wonderful visitors. I am convinced that they will discover that Parliament is, for them too, a very special place to visit."

Image: Marian assisting some visitors in St Stephen's Hall

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