New Beefeater on the Block!
Interview with newest Beefeater to join the Tower
YW Stephen McMenamy joined the Yeoman Body in August 2010 and below is an interview from when he started his post
Life before the Tower:
Before moving to the Tower of London, I was based at the Bovington military training camp in Dorset. I grew up in St. Helens, Merseyside until I joined the Armed Forces when I was 20. All my family still live in Merseyside and I visit often.
Which regiments did you serve with?
I was part of the 17-21 Lancers from 1987-93 then the 93 Queen’s Royal Lancers. The Queen's Royal Lancers (QRL) is a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was formed in 1993 by the amalgamation of two other regiments: 16th/5th Queen's Royal Lancers and 17th/21st Lancers.
What role did you do prior to joining the Army?
Before joining the Lancers, I tried lots of things such as an apprentice butcher and mechanic but nothing really fit until I joined the Army.
How many years in military service?
Nearly 23 years (22 years and 226 days).
Where have you been stationed?
Germany, Canada, Kuwait, Iraq (twice), Cyprus and the UK.
How does it feel to be appointed a Yeoman Warder?
It’s awesome - like winning the lottery!
What are your first impressions of life as a Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London?
Excellent, I really love it soo far. I am enjoying meeting lots of new people and watching the children go silent and stare when they see me coming towards them with my uniform on. I always tell the parents, if any of your children misbehave, tell me and I’ll come over and talk to them!
Have you moved in to your home at the Tower of London? What is it like?
Yes, we live in a house in the Tower. We really like it, although there is a lot of stairs! I should have the tightest butt this side of the Thames soon! We are settling in really well and are so excited to be living here – our house is part of living history. I can only imagine how many people have come in and out of our front door over the years.
The best part is when we come home, my little girl Ruby, who’s two, points at the Tower and says “Look daddy, that’s my house”.
How are you finding living in Central London?
We really like it; it’s the centre of the world. I have been to London many times but never lived here before. We can’t believe all the different types of international food you can get in the supermarket – it’s amazing.
What will you be doing over the next few weeks?
I am shadowing one of the established Yeoman Serjeants’, learning the visitor tour and all the ceremonies performed at the Tower. I used to be an instructor in the Army, but now I am the student which takes a bit of getting used to. Nothing fazes me though – I’m loving every minute of it!
Notes to editors
For images and further information please contact Katrina Whenham in the Historic Royal Palaces press office on 0203 166 6303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tower of London is part of Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that additionally looks after the Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and the Banqueting House, Whitehall. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built.
We receive no funding from the Government or the Crown, so we depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors. These palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
We believe in four principles. Guardianship: giving these palaces a future as long and valuable as their past. Discovery: encouraging people to make links with their own lives and today’s world. Showmanship: doing everything with panache. Independence: having our own point of view and finding new ways to do our work. www.hrp.org.uk
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