Next up taking part in our ‘Interview With a Locksmith’ series, is MLA Member Paul from Alexandra Locksmiths Ltd, who are based in Muswell Hill, North London. For those who missed the other interviews, we are going to be asking some of our MLA Members some general questions about themselves and their companies, plus questions relating to the Locksmith industry in general. So if you are already in the industry, a outsider looking in or looking to become a locksmith, hopefully some of our members answers will provide a insight into the industry and maybe answer some questions you have had about locksmithing in general.
1. So tell us a little bit of a back story about yourself, when did you become a Locksmith and how long have been a Locksmith?
I first trained as a locksmith when I was 16 and spent the next 10 years working for two small locksmith companies based in North London. I then started my own company, Alexandra Locksmiths Limited, based in Muswell Hill North London and we now cover most of London and surrounding areas.
2. How did you originally get into Locksmithing and Why?
I originally got into locksmithing as my uncle was a locksmith and I used to enjoy helping him on jobs, there was always something new to learn and that still hasn’t changed!
3. What advice do you have for people wanting to become a locksmith?
If you want to become a locksmith I would suggest searching for an approved company of the Master Locksmiths Association and see if they are looking for staff. In my opinion you should see what’s involved in becoming a locksmith before paying for any sort of training.
4. How has being a member of MLA helped you as a locksmith?
Being a member of the Master Locksmith Association has helped me enormously. Having access to the forum and the wealth of knowledge other locksmiths are willing to share with you is worth it’s weight in gold. The help that all the friendly staff at head office gives as well is invaluable. The magazine, Keyways, is always full of new and interesting articles and the MLA Expo is definitely worth visiting. Most importantly is the regional meetings, this is really where the MLA membership comes into its own. As a member in the London region we have meetings once a month which are full of speakers, training and hot topics. It is also becoming more of a social event to some locksmiths.
5. How has business been since the recession hit?
Since the recession we have found the type of work change from swapping locks when someone moves into a new property to more securing a property after a burglary as less people are moving home and there are more burglaries.
6. Are there any funny stories from your time in the industry that stick out?
One job that sticks out is when I was called by a gentleman who was locked out in Highgate North London. He was moving into a 3rd floor flat with his 3 year old son. He just stepped into the communal area to pick up a box when his son shut the door, locking him out, this was made worse as the patio doors were open. When he called I was on my way to another job but diverted straight to him as he took priority, obviously. I was there in 15 minutes and found the customer knocking on his flat door trying to keep his son near the front door. I opened the door in in under 30 seconds to find his son covered in white powder, but it wasn’t just his son that was covered, the whole flat was covered in flour and white foot and hand prints, it was everywhere. His son had found a bag of flour in a box next to the door. Needless to say the gentleman was more relieved that is son was ok than the mess and the time and effort it would take to clean everything up.
7. What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to keep providing the best service I can for my customers.