Only a couple of months after the fuss about “The Best Job in the World” died down, another out-of-the-ordinary job advert is making headlines. Not quite as exotic as being the caretaker of a reef island in the South Pacific this time, but still with a tourism flavour to it and still with a strong “live-in” element to it. Yes, the Wookey Hole Caves tourist attraction in Somerset – owned by former circus impresario Gerry Cottle – is looking for a new witch.
As you might guess, the successful applicant won’t necessarily have to prove they have magical powers. But while they’re on the job (essentially, this means at weekends and school holidays) they’ll have to live in the caves, be able to cackle, dress in witch’s rags and not be allergic to cats. No wonder the job carries a pro-rata salary of £50,000.
(Why “they”? Because the cave’s managers have been advised that since there’s no conclusive evidence that the witch was a woman, the job has to be made available to men and women. Reluctantly, they’ve complied – but they’ve gone the whole hog and invited transgender applicants too. They sarcastically add that the authorities “hope that Wookey Hole will employ a trans-gender witch, preferably recruited via a youth training initiative” – but the Wells Journal has reported this deadpan, suggesting that the caves themselves are looking to do this.)
Sounds like fun. But if you fancy the job, you’ll need to hop onto your broomstick pretty sharpish – the deadline for applications is 22 July, with auditions on the 28th.
(Ros Asquith had an amusing take on this job advert in her “Pushing envelopes” cartoon strip in The Guardian: