Cromer locksmith shuts up shop for good

A long standing Cromer locksmith is passing on the keys to his town centre shop so he can begin his retirement.

John Howard has run his Bond Street store with wife Anne for more than 30 years.

But as the pair have now both reached 70 they have decided to shut up shop for good and enjoy 'doing nothing' for a while.

Mr Howard trained as a locksmith while serving in the Navy in Hampshire. When he left the services he moved back to his native Norfolk and began working as a mobile locksmith out of an old bakery lorry, holding a regular stand at Sheringham and Fakenham market.

It was a clutch of second hand safes - that he was having difficulty selling - that spurred him into finding a permanent premises, and in February 1979 he opened J A Howard.

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Mr Howard, who was a crew member of Cromer lifeboat until 1992, dealt with 24 hour call outs while his wife of 50 years served customers in the shop, which they live above.

The grandparents-of-four said they would look back at their years behind the counter with fond memories.

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Mrs Howard, a volunteer at the Henry Blogg museum, said: 'We have met some very interesting people. I liked being with John, raising a family and helping wherever I could.'

The couple said the shop will be partly closed as they sell their remaining stock but they would eventually be selling the premises and moving into a new home in Cromer.

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