After 30 years of providing residents in Cromer with locksmith services, John Howard has decided to shut up shop to spend his retirement with his wife, Anne. The 70 year old couple have decided that their time running their locksmith shop has come to an end.
John became a locksmith after serving in the Royal Navy, which is where he trained and gained his locksmith skills. He moved from Hampshire back to Norfolk, however once he finished his service. When he moved, he started up as a mobile locksmith however, only opening his store later.
In February 1979, J A Howard opened its doors for the first time, because mobile locksmith John was struggling to sell some second hand safes. He decided that a fixed premises rather than his stalls at Fakenham and Sheringham markets was required.
While Mrs Howard ran the shop, John would attend emergency call outs to customers in need around the clock, operating 24 hours a day, whilst also volunteering for the Life Boat.
Before the shop finally closes, any remaining stock will be sold off, but the pair are aiming to sell the premises and move house to a new property in Cromer. Anne Howard said,
“We have met some very interesting people. I liked being with John, raising a family and helping wherever I could.”