The Cleaning Team
It’s surprising how many nice comments we have about how clean everywhere is at Layer Marney Tower. It is true, but sometimes I think we take it for granted, that whatever has gone on; party, school group, wedding, or conference, however much mess has been left, by the next morning, everything will be back to normal.
In it’s Edwardian heyday we know that wealthy Stockbroker, Walter de Zoete, had 14 indoor staff to care for his Tower, as well as 16 gardeners. Our daytime cleaning team is made up of Melissa, Wendy and Marianne working on the Tower and Long Gallery and Becky in East Court, not forgetting the night team. All part time. When we have weddings one day after another, then the night team are brought in. We day timers only meet up with them annually at the Christmas Party! To keep a building of this size looking good 24/7 364 days a year is no mean feat. Walter de Zoete may have had 14 indoor staff, but he didn’t have the amount of people using the building as we do in the 21st century.
The hardest cleaning job is probably after weddings. When the tables and chairs are removed and the left behind favours, flower arrangements, table decor, remains of the wedding cake and many other bits and pieces are put in the “Bride and Groom’s” cupboard, then the floor can be seen. It can be a mess, with spilt wine and ground in canapes, glitter from wedding favours, pools of spilt bubble liquid, confetti, flower petals and screwed up table numbers. The currently fashionable sweet carts, leave their own tell tale trail of sweet confections stuck to the floor, they have to be scraped off. Once clean, then polish is put down in the Long Gallery and buffed with huge electric polishers to return the patina to its former state.
There are also the cobwebs and detritus from confetti bombs high in the rafters, a gust of wind will bring it fluttering down, the windows need to sparkle, the lobby floor has to be washed, all traces of spilt alcohol removed. There is a lot to do and in a short time frame, the rooms have to be ready for the next group using them.
Loo cleaning is a major job. We have a lot of them at Layer Marney Tower and a lot of people using them, thousands over the year. Wedding guests get to use the ones secreted behind a mural of the Battle of the Spurs on the Long Gallery Balcony. The award winning, Courtyard loos are the ones most people use and they have to sparkle every day whether used by general visitors, or needing to be wiped of muddy finger prints left by school children moulding Viking clay pots.
Becky is Queen of East Court, this is the part of the building where you will find the office and upstairs the Corsellis Room, where wedding ceremonies are held, so Becky is regularly cleaning the red carpet down which brides glide.
The Night Team arrive when the last wedding guest has gone, so at about 12.30 am and work through the night until the job is done, Dee, Jade, Marie and Chaz are amazing, hugely appreciated, but rarely seen! But what they leave behind them is seen. They leave everything ready for the next bride and groom who will be unaware of the covert night time activity.
So a big thank you to our cleaning team. You are very much appreciated even if we sometimes forget to tell you so!