Press Release Date: 11 Dec, 2008
Head concierge Terry and assistant head concierge Tony have been making sure customers feel right at home since the early 1980s, between them clocking up more than half a century’s service at the landmark Tower hotel alongside Tower Bridge.
“We both worked our way up to the concierge desk, spending time in the luggage room and as doormen first,” explained Terry. “You’d think I’d be sick of spending so much time with my brother, but we both love the job and never fall out; it’s good to have someone close that I trust.”
During their time in the job Terry and Tony have faced plenty of unusual challenges from guests – ranging from organising a surprise birthday party, complete with fashion style catwalk, on Tower Bridge to buying a suitcase full of fossils for an archeologist who’d lost his conference exhibits.
“One time we spent a day setting up a party on a paddle steamer outside. But the boat set off with the entire hotel team on board and we couldn’t get off. We spent three hours cruising up and down the Thames enjoying the hospitality, so it wasn’t all bad,” recalled Terry.
And while the brothers have met plenty of celebrities and royal family members, both agree their favourite has to be former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
“He certainly was the greatest. Ali stayed here a week and was very humble. He knew that he would get mobbed when he stepped out, but made allowances for his fans. He would come down to reception to pose for pictures and sign autographs without any complaint. Nothing was too much trouble, he is a true gentleman,” said Tony.
Tony and Terry are not the only members of the Cayley clan to have worked at The Tower. Both were prompted to seek work there in the first place by their mother, who spent more than 10 years as a waitress. One sister was a restaurant supervisor, while another spent some time with mum as waiting staff. Meanwhile, their elder brother was employed for a period as a doorman.
“The family has a long association with the place,” explained Terry. “I don’t think either of us would consider leaving because the location is so great. Even if you’ve had a really tough day, the fact you can go for a stroll around St Katharine’s Dock makes it all better.”