- Title: After-hours drinking hole a haven for Tower of London's Beefeaters
- Date: 27th July 2017
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (JULY 20, 2017) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF TOWER OF LONDON TOURISTS WALKING INSIDE TOWER OF LONDON, GENERAL VIEW OF WHITE TOWER VARIOUS OF BEEFEATERS TALKING WITH TOURISTS SIGN READING (ENGLISH) "THE KEYS" OUTSIDE BEEFEATERS' PRIVATE BAR EXTERIOR OF BEEFEATERS' PRIVATE BAR SIGN READING (ENGLISH) "YEOMAN WARDERS CLUB" ON DOOR OF BAR, GENERAL VIEW OF BAR (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CHAIRMAN OF BEEFEATERS' CLUB, JOHN DONALD, SAYING: "There's 37 Beefeaters here at the Tower of London, plus some very important officers, and with families, there's around about 125 people living inside these walls. Actually in the last four weeks we've had two new babies arrive so that's added to the community." DONALD'S BEEFEATER HAT, BEER TAPS WITH NAMES (ENGLISH) OF TWO SPECIAL BEERS BREWED EXCLUSIVELY FOR BEEFEATERS, "BEEFEATER BITTER" AND "YEOMAN 1485 CRAFT LAGER" (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CHAIRMAN OF BEEFEATERS' CLUB, JOHN DONALD, SAYING: "The great thing about the Yeoman Warders' Club is that it's an opportunity to come together and relax and enjoy each other's company." DRINKS MAT READING (ENGLISH) "BEEFEATER" ON BAR DRINKS BOTTLES BEHIND BAR (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CHAIRMAN OF BEEFEATERS' CLUB, JOHN DONALD, SAYING: "There is certainly two sides to the life here at the Tower. From 9 o'clock in the morning til 6 o'clock where we are here looking after the general public, you're very much in the public domain, very very busy answering lots of questions about the history of the Tower of London, and then come 6 o'clock it becomes our own quiet little village again where as a community we can relax and enjoy ourselves." BEEFEATER BITTER BEER TAP (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CHAIRMAN OF BEEFEATERS' CLUB, JOHN DONALD, SAYING: "We're very lucky that our brewery who looks after us has produced us two particular drinks, one's a bitter and one's a lager which is very popular with our friends when they come in here." YEOMAN 1485 CRAFT LAGER BEER TAP (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CHAIRMAN OF BEEFEATERS' CLUB, JOHN DONALD, SAYING: REPORTER: "And are they tasty?" DONALD: "Very lovely, yeah. I can recommend them. But only obviously you can only drink them when you come here." GLASS CASE DISPLAYING SILVER TANKARDS, STATUETTES OF BEEFEATERS AND OTHER ORNAMENTS (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CHAIRMAN OF BEEFEATERS' CLUB, JOHN DONALD, SAYING: "Basically when you become a Yeoman Warder at the Tower you're sworn in on Tower Green, a very formal ceremony where you take allegiance to serve the queen and the officers of the Tower, and then more relaxed atmosphere to come down here and we toast a new Yeoman Warder in by going through a very famous toast which is 'May you never die a Yeoman Warder' and the tankard is there where we take a drink of port to the good health of that new member of our community." TANKARDS IN GLASS CASE PLAQUE ON WALL READING (ENGLISH) "SITE OF SCAFFOLD", AXE FRAMED DOCUMENT BEARING SIGNATURE OF NAZI RUDOLF HESS, WHO WAS IMPRISONED AT TOWER IN 1941 FRAMED DOCUMENT EXPLAINING HESS'S IMPRISONMENT IN TOWER PAINTING ON WALL OF BAR SHOWING CEREMONY OF THE KEYS, FORMAL LOCKING-UP OF TOWER GLASS CASE DISPLAYING A BEEFEATER'S STATE DRESS UNIFORM TILES BEHIND BAR WITH KEYS SYMBOL, BEEFEATER COVERING UP BEER TAPS BEEFEATER LOCKING UP BEER TAPS WITH PADLOCK BEEFEATER CLOSING SHUTTER BEHIND BAR VIEW OF SIGN READING (ENGLISH) "THE KEYS" OUTSIDE BAR TOURISTS WALKING INSIDE TOWER OF LONDON BEEFEATER USHERING TOURISTS INTO TOWER GENERAL VIEW OF INSIDE TOWER COMPLEX BEEFEATER WALKING AMONG CROWD OF TOURISTS GENERAL VIEW OF TOURISTS WALKING IN FRONT OF WHITE TOWER, WITH TOWER BRIDGE IN BACKGROUND BEEFEATER JOHN DONALD PREPARING TO POSE FOR PHOTO WITH FAMILY OF TOURISTS DONALD POSING WITH TOURISTS DONALD POSING WITH A MOTHER AND TWO CHILDREN
- Embargoed: 10th August 2017 09:33
- Keywords: Tower of London Beefeaters tourism
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Human Interest / Brights / Odd News
- Reuters ID: LVA0016RIDNX5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:After the flocks of tourists with their cameras and selfie sticks depart from the Tower of London every evening, a private drinking hole for Beefeaters comes to life within the walls of the royal fortress.
Officially called Yeoman Warders, the 37 Beefeaters live with their families inside the fortified complex which houses the Crown Jewels, glittering symbol of the British monarchy.
Beefeaters share their home with close to 3 million visitors a year and spend much of their days conducting tours, answering questions and posing for photographs.
After the daily hubbub fades, they can shed their uniforms and head for a quiet drink at the Yeoman Warders' Club, their own private bar in a discreet corner of the sprawling fortress.
That relaxation could take the form of a pint of Beefeater Bitter, a beer made by Marston's Brewery in Staffordshire, central England, and available only in the Yeoman Warders' Club.
The brewery also produces a craft lager called Yeoman 1485 especially for the Beefeaters, available only in their private bar.
In keeping with the history of the Tower of London, which has served many purposes over the centuries from royal residence to notorious prison where two of King Henry VIII's wives were beheaded, the club is decorated with unusual objects.
Among them is a plaque that reads "SITE OF SCAFFOLD" -- kept as a souvenir after it was removed from the actual site where executions took place. For good measure, the Yeoman Gaoler's axe hangs just above it, a symbolic reminder of the gruesome past.
The memorabilia also includes a framed document bearing the signature of the Nazi Rudolf Hess, who was briefly imprisoned at the Tower of London in 1941 after his capture in Scotland during a failed secret peace mission. He was one of the last prominent people to be held prisoner at the Tower.
On a more cheerful note, the bar also boasts glass cases displaying objects linked to the Beefeaters' colourful traditions.
There are silver tankards used by new Beefeaters to have a drink of port after their formal swearing-in ceremonies while their colleagues proffer the toast: "May you never die a Yeoman Warder".
That dates back to a time when if they retired from the corps, ex-Beefeaters could sell the job to someone else, but if they died while in office the Constable of the Tower would pocket the money instead. That system no longer exists.
Another glass case displays one of the Beefeaters' scarlet state dress uniforms, known to gin lovers around the world from the labels on bottles of Beefeater Gin, but now worn only on special occasions such as Queen Elizabeth's birthday.
In their day-to-day duties, today's Beefeaters wear a less cumbersome dark blue and red "undress" uniform, while at the private club they can relax in normal clothes.
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