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1923. The year when all the then UK railway companies were grouped into four larger companies, the BBC did its first outside broadcast, the Empire Stadium, Wembley opened to the public for the first time and held the FA Cup Final between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United [also first pitch invasion at Wembley], the Matrimonial Causes Act came into being establishing equal rights in divorce for men and women, making it possible for wives to divorce husbands for adultery, and it became illegal to sell alcohol to under 18s.

Also the year when Alfred Bernard Rooms set up his whitesmith, blacksmith and locksmith business - whitesmithing is detailed work with white or light coloured metals such as tin and pewter and includes making such as forks, spoons, and candle holders, plus the finishing work - filing and polishing - on iron and other black metals. AB’s son, also called Alfred, joined the company in 1930.

The business grew. World War II came and finally went, initiating huge technological and societal changes. When Colin Rooms, grandson, joined the company in 1963, manufacturing overall was becoming increasingly mechanised, and security increasingly in demand, and by this time, this technically adept and resourceful company was mainly working in locksmithing and security engineering, with the emphasis on engineering; and by 1968, the company now known as A.B.Rooms & Son was only involved in these areas.

In 1990 David Rooms joined the company. Great grandson, a born locksmith, already by the age of 10 able to evaluate how secure a house or building was, and how to get into same. He had also learned how to crack safes. David, now the MD, is a mix of practicality and technological knowhow and application [which means he can do the work as well as know what to do], and is continually advancing the company’s work on safes, on the technology and technological applications, and on the whole area of locks and access control. There is, he says, no substitute for a job done well, well-engineered, properly fitted. No gizmo on earth, he says, is better than the person who fits it. Knowledge is all.


  • set up in 1923 in Witham
  • moved to Field Street in 1930, son Alfred Rooms joined
  • survived the war and the bombing [Kingston upon Hull endured 82 air raids and lost 90%+ of its homes, and was the most bombed city outside London], increasingly working on locks and security
  • 1963 grandson Colin Rooms apprenticed to the business
  • 1968 by now working solely as specialist locksmiths and security engineers
  • 1990 great grandson David Rooms apprenticed to the company, which was by then working nationally
  • 1991 refitted workshops and HQ; increasingly involved in work on safes and vaults and high tech applications
  • 2002 the company was incorporated and David R became MD
  • by 2009 a highly specialised company, working as locksmiths and safe specialists, and particularly on how technological developments are affecting the industry
  • also in 2009 moved to a purpose designed HQ, workshop and planning and production unit in Abbey Street
  • 2015 - 92 years old, a highly resourced and resourceful company, knowledgeable, techy, always ahead of the game, one of the very few lock, safe and security companies still owned and operated by the same family - generations of knowledge and application.


© A B Rooms & Son Limited • Established 1923
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