A locksmith finally closed the door on his career today when he retired from the shop he has worked at – for 67 YEARS.
Dedicated Norman Field, 81, started work after leaving school in 1947 and has made a staggering ONE MILLION keys during his six decades in the trade.
The grandfather-of-two took up the role when he was just 14 – during one of the UK’s coldest ever winters.
Arctic -21C temperatures meant demand for locksmiths was high as people were literally frozen out of their houses.
As well as getting people back into their living rooms, Norman has worked on hotels and even cracked SAFES.
He also reckons he’s fitted locks to most of the police cells in his native Birmingham.
Yesterday, Norman recalled fond memories of his time as a locksmith, and pondered the future of the industry.
He said: “During that winter of 1947 the snow blocked everything. We were really very busy people.
“I do ordinary maintenance, anything to do with opening locks and keys. I did all the nicks in Birmingham, including the cells.
“Things have changed a lot. We lost all the hotel contracts because of the card entry systems and as these days everything is computerised.
“Sadly, it’s a dying industry.”
Norman has worked at Dawson’s Locksmiths Ltd., in Harborne, Birmingham, all his working life.
Owner Ray Martin said Norman would be much missed by colleagues at the family-run business.
He said: “I started here in 1972 as general manager and took over the company a year later after the son of the original Mr Dawson had no interest in running the shop.
“Norman only told me he was retiring recently. It wasn’t a surprise as he’s 81, so I was sort of expecting it.”
Norman plans to spend his retirement doing gardening and housework with his wife Thelda, 77 and spending time with daughter Gillian and granddaughters.