Don’t let cowboys throw away your antique locks

I had an instance last week where I was called out to a restaurant in Hadleigh. The building that the restaurant was in was well over a century old and very nice, with loads of period features typical of a building built around the turn of the last century.

The locks securing the restaurant were some 120 years old and unusual to find these days, but a good quality set of brass Victorian locks mounted in a cast iron chassis, as most things made years ago were. Being collectable they are probably worth in the region of £200-350 if you were to buy another set.

The restaurant owner had previously called a locksmith out that morning to have one of the locks fixed as it was not working and had broken internally. The locksmith that arrived was highly unprofessional and before even looking at the lock had charged a £100 call out fee, something I do not and will not ever do.

Without liaising with the owner of the restaurant, who was extremely proud of his well kept building, they proceeded to remove the old locks from the antique doors and threw them away in the bin. Bear in mind that this was an irreplaceable set of locks and an antique door that had years of wear and patina on it and were highly collectable and valuable locks.

They fitted a new style Chubb lock to the restaurant door and then charged the owner £400 for the job as it was a “difficult” install due to the nature of the building and its age. As you can imagine the owner was livid and quite saddened that his antique building had been violated in such a manner. He argued the cost with the Locksmiths,

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