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The key to flooring at the Tower of London

A HIDDEN treasure in the Tower of London, The Keys is a secret pub that has the most exclusive guest list. The watering hole feels like a country pub fused with a members-only bar, but the décor is unique. There’s an ancient yeoman gaoler’s execution axe in one corner; photos of guests including senior members of the royal family; A-list actors and musicians; and in another a framed Rudolf Hess signature on official Tower of London stationery. The captured Nazi, who was Hitler’s deputy, was briefly imprisoned in the tower in 1941 after a madcap flight from Germany in an apparent attempt to make peace with Churchill.

But it’s the pub’s direct connections to the yeomen themselves that are most intriguing. Dozens of wall-mounted plaques represent the regiments each yeoman has come from – new applicants must have honourable armed forces records going back for at least 22 years before being considered.

In the evenings the yeoman or beefeaters as they’re more well known as, ditch their uniforms for street clothes and head to The Keys, where they kick back on red leather benches beneath framed and mounted historic artifacts.
Including a row of silver tankards that are a crucial part of each yeoman warder ceremony that few outsiders know about. Each have a tankard has been used to swear in new recruits around a large bowl of port. It was the preparation for a swearing in of a new Yeoman Warder that promoted a much-needed renovation at this exclusive and historic site.

The oak parquet floor needed a full renovation after 15 years of wear, tear and the odd invitation only party or two. A key aspect of the specification was minimal downtime and a premium finish for the floor.  The renovation needed to be handled in a timely manner and with minimal disruption as the location needed to be ready for a swearing in of the Yeoman celebration shortly afterwards.

With a location as exclusive and prestigious as The Keys the trusted choice was Bona, expertly used and applied by The Chapman Brothers, expert French polishers.


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