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Antique Safes/Frederick Whitfield safe


Hi mike we've moved to new house and there is a
Safe the lock is not working is it possible to have
The lock replaced  and could you advise who
Could do this please your help would be much
Kind regards
James Morgan

Hello James,

Thanks for your question.

If I understand correctly, your Fred Whitfield safe is unlocked but the lock does not function.  A local Master Locksmith offering safe servicing should be able to either repair the lock or provide a new one.  If you go to you should be able to identify the MLA member companies in your area.  Give a couple a ring and ask for a rough estimate to get some idea of how much it will cost.

I should point out that most Whitfield safes are extremely ancient and not really suitable to secure large sums of cash or valuables.  Consequently they are not worth a great deal.  However if it is in good condition it can be a nice thing to own.  if you have any problems, come back to me,

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Good luck,

Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy

Antique Safes

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Mike Palmer


I earn my living identifying safes and suggesting cash limits for risk advisors and insurance surveyors in the UK. I'm am pleased to comment on safes manufactured in the UK or Mainland Europe but I am unable to accept questions regarding safes made in the USA or elsewhere.


I have been in the UK safe industry for 40 years and have one of the largest archive databases of old safe literature and serial numbers in the country. I started with Chubb in 1960 and became Assistant Manager of their Bank Security Division before moving on to become the Insurance Liaison Manager with the John Tann Group. I became Sales & Marketing Director for Guardian Safes Limited before semi-retiring. I am a Fellow of the Security Institute and ex-Chairman of Eurosafe UK, a trade body representing the interests of UK safe makers and distributors. I now work as a part time consultant.

I am an advisor to the Safe Committee of the Association of Insurance Surveyors, a Fellow of the Security Institute and founding Chairman of Eurosafe UK.

I have had literally scores of articles published in various security trade publications. So far this year I have had 24 features published in various journals including Keyways, Professional Security, Pawnbroker and Safe India. I have published one book, Peckham Boy, the life and times of the world's greatest safe cracker.

No relevant educational credentials.

Awards and Honors
In 1997 I was awarded the annual shield by the Association of Insurance Surveyors for "..outstanding services to crime prevention"

Past/Present Clients
I have represented or been an agent for the John Tann Group (Stratford, Ratner, Dreadnought and Tann safes); Churchill Safes, Chubb Safe Co Ltd, SLS Safes, SMP Safes, Dudley Safes and several others

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