My Surrey Weekend
Following 23 years of service in the Army Air Corps, Ash Vale local Scott Kelly recently became the 409th Beefeater at the Tower of London. We caught up with the tower’s newest recruit to find out about his ideal Surrey weekend
The Tower of London beefeater from Surrey
As a Yeoman Warder, my weekends don’t always fall on a Saturday and Sunday but I wouldn’t have it any other way, it’s truly a unique job which I’m incredibly privileged to do. Away from the Tower of London, I love to unwind by going on long walks in the Surrey Hills with my six-year-old Alaskan Malamute. There are so many green spaces, from Box Hill to Leith Hill, it really is a dog’s paradise and we love discovering new areas – preferably close to water for her favourite pastime, swimming.
I have two young daughters, Lauren and Olivia, who keep me on my toes. Encouraging them to have some downtime from their phones and to enjoy the fresh air is a challenge, but having so much picturesque scenery on your doorstep certainly helps. We have some lovely local dog-friendly pubs near us and a hearty post-walk lunch is always an enjoyable thing to do after working up an appetite.
From an early age rugby has always been a part of my life. In recent years I’ve been spending any spare Saturdays on the pitch with my local team just across the border at Farnborough Rugby Club. I love the social side of the sport; it’s like having a second family around you. We occasionally have away fixtures in Surrey so it’s a great way to hit the road and explore the county and meet fellow rugby fanatics.
I recently swapped my car for my first ever Harley Davidson motorbike, which makes for easy travel to and from the Tower of London. When I’m not in my bike leathers, you will find me on duty at the tower in my iconic uniform. Living and working in a famous fortress in the heart of the capital is truly awe-inspiring and fills me with an enormous amount of pride. I work shifts to cover the 21 different duties that take place on a daily basis, alongside 36 other Yeoman Warders [Beefeaters]. This includes the Ceremony of the Keys, a closing ceremony that has taken place every night at the Tower of London without fail for at least 700 years.
A key part of my day is learning word-for-word the ‘Story’ – the 8,500 word script of the famous Yeoman Warder tour of the tower. When it’s perfected, I can then lead my very own Yeoman Warder tour around the site.
There are some real historical gems in Surrey too, including Hampton Court Palace, which falls under the same independent charity that looks after the Tower of London – Historic Royal Palaces. I’m looking forward to getting my history fix with a trip over there soon!
‘It’s truly a unique job, which I’m incredibly privileged to do’