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Mercat Team Videos

16th Sep 2020

Here at Mercat Tours, we tell stories. More specifically, we take pleasure in telling stories about Edinburgh’s history, whether it’s an astonishing fact from 1770 or a funny anecdote about something that happened earlier this year!

That’s why we have compiled the following videos from the Mercat Team – to share our stories and experiences, as well as those of Edinburgh’s fascinating (and sometimes dark and gruesome) past!


1. David Hume, and the Most Acute Theologian He’d Ever Met – Simon Bendle

One of our storytellers, Simon, recalls his favourite story about David Hume. Simon has been with Mercat for more than four years, and is well-versed in Edinburgh’s colourful history.

First, a bit of background on David Hume...

For those who don’t know, David Hume was a true Edinburgh local from birth (1711) to death (1776), and an important figure in the city’s history. As a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, Hume was well known throughout Scotland.

However, “well known” does not necessarily mean “popular”, and Hume’s outspoken atheism was frowned upon by much of the local Edinburgh community, as he openly discussed his skepticism and critique of religion. “A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence,” was just one of Hume’s many published anti-religious statements.

Which brings us to Simon’s quirky anecdote about the most acute theologian he’d ever encountered...


2. Simon Bendle’s Stance on the Importance of History

In this worthy addition to our compilation of Mercat Team Videos, our seasoned storyteller Simon enlightens us on the importance of not just documenting history, but giving it new life through exceptional storytelling.

Mercat Tours strongly believes that history is a damn good story, and what it needs is damn good storytelling – this is what we centre our entire visitor experience around.

To borrow Simon’s conclusion, “So the next time you are in Edinburgh’s Old Town, please let Mercat Tours entertain you with the most outrageous, shocking, and inspiring stories that this wonderful old capital city of ours has to offer.”

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves, Simon!


3. Our Own Fred Describes How She Found Her Calling When She Became a Storyteller

Fred has been with us for quite some time now, following a career in the shipping industry in Marseilles, back in her home country of France! Here is how she found her true calling in life, after someone told her, "You're a great storyteller!"


4. Storyteller Fred Describes Improvising a Child-friendly Definition of a Maiden!

As any Mercat storyteller will tell you, guiding visitors on history walks and ghost tours involves a certain level of improvisation, and quick thinking on your feet! In the video below, Fred recalls one such example of having to navigate around the definition of a “maiden” to a young child on one of her tours. 


5. An Impromptu "Whipping" at the Mercat Cross... with a Twist!

One more anecdote from Fred, and you'll be pleased to discover that we've saved the best for last!

It's a common occurrence on a few of our tours to demonstrate how the brutal lashings used to take place at the Mercat Cross. After all, sometimes it's better to show, not tell! In this clip, Fred describes an occasion where she found herself whipping a groom-to-be on his stag do, who just to happened to be wearing a kilt, and not much else...

6. William's Spooky Experience In The Blair Street Underground Vaults

In this Mercat team video, William tells us about a spooky experience he had in Edinburgh's Blair Street Underground Vaults while guiding a ghost tour in 2012!

7. Scott Tells Us About The Time An Edinburgh Local Join In On The Storytelling

You can encounter some odd situations as a storyteller! In this short video Scott tells us about one of the most unusual things that's happened to him while guiding a tour. 

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