About City Lock & Safe Ltd
Celebrating 60 Years in Business.

City Lock & Safe Ltd provide a wide range of Security Equipment and Services to secure all types of properties including, domestic properties, Residential Homes and Businesses from Commercial and Industrial to Metropolitan & County Councils, NHS Trusts, Police Authorities and Blue Chip Companies.

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Our History

City Lock & Safe Ltd was founded in 1957 and has established itself as one of the North West’s leading Master Locksmiths, Safe Engineers and Architectural Ironmongers. Originally based in central Manchester, the business relocated fully to Stockport in 1972. Still under family ownership, currently in its 3rd generation, the company employs many long-standing skilled people.

The story begins!

Formed initially in 1870 in Manchester, trading as G.W.Wilkinson Locksmiths & Whitesmiths. It was there, under the guidance of Mr. Wilkinson, that Ray Clarke served his apprenticeship.

The sign of things to come

Following the sad death of Mr. Wilkinson, Ray and fellow apprentice and soon to be business partner Austin Chadwick ran the company for Mrs Wilkinson.

Ownership change

Ray Clarke & Austin Chadwick, both aged 20, purchased the company and changed the name – City Lock & Safe (M/C Co) was born, April 1st, 1957.

Combined service of 100 years join the company

Joining as apprentices Harry Handforth & Neville Hough remained with the company until 2005 and 2014, respectively. Progressing to Sales and Service Managers.

Outright ownership

Ray purchased Austin’s share of the company to become the sole proprietor.

Stockport Branch

With a close association with Stockport, having studied at Technical College, Ray opened the Stockport Branch – 19 Buxton Road.

Relocation to Stockport

The closing of the Manchester branch came in 1972. With the company expanding, larger premises in Stockport were required. 33 Buxton Road, Heaviley, was purchased and has remained home to the company to this day.

Tom joins the company

Ray’s son, Tom, joins the company. Like his father, Tom spent his formative years ‘On the Bench’ learning the trade followed by several years as a service engineer gaining further hands on experience.

Belinda joins the company

Ray’s daughter & Tom’s sister, Belinda, joins the company providing over 35 years’ service.

Annali joins the company

Ray’s daughter & Tom’s sister, Annali, joins the company and remains in position today as Company Secretary in charge of finances and the purchase ledger.

Tom is appointed Managing Director

Having progressed from Service Engineer to Sales and Marketing Tom is appointed Managing Director in 1989 and the second generation of management and ownership begins.

40 years in business

1957 – 1997 celebrated 40 years in business. Continuing to trade with new and existing customers, some of which have had custom with the business from the very start.

George joins the company

Aged 18, George joined the company straight from college. Like his grandfather and father before him, George spent his initial years in the workshop and the Master Keying Department learning the trade from within.

Harry Handforth passes away

Following a short retirement period Harry very sadly passed away in 2006. The news came as a shock to his family and employee’s past and present.

EuroSafes establish – www.eurosafes.co.uk

The company established ‘Euro Safes’, the online buying arm for Safes and Data Cabinets. This advance into website sales had led to the company exporting safes and security hardware throughout Europe and beyond.

Pinnacle Hardware established – www.pinnaclehardware.co.uk

In this year Tom very proudly achieved his Diploma from the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers and has since establish ‘Pinnacle Hardware’, now an integral part of the business suppling Architectural Ironmongery working with architects and contractors alike on specifications.

Ray officially retires

Having relinquished full ownership and day-to-day running of the company some years previous Ray decided to formerly retire in 2007 – marking 50 years in business for both him and the company.

James Brooks joins the company

Aged 17, with some experience of the trade, James joined the company as an apprentice. Learning the trade under established and experienced members of staff. James has gone on to excel in all avenues of the trade and became a full Member of the British Locksmith Institute (MBLI) in 2014.

Neville calls time

In his 70th year, and with 50 years’ experience Neville retires from the company to spend more time at home and with family, both in New Mills and Sweden. Neville continues to remain in touch and on occasion calls in to say hello!

George has a seat at the table!

Marking 10 years in the industry and with the company,  2015 saw George become a shareholder and Director of City Lock & Safe Ltd and CLS Group Ltd.

60 years in business

1957 – 2017 celebrated 60 years in business. Close to retirement age but showing no signs of stopping just yet!

Master Locksmith Association visit

Regularly visited and inspected by the MLA – May 2019 was a proud moment for all involved with the company past and present, with the kind words offered by former President – Gary Eckersall. “City Lock & Safe Ltd are an asset as a member of this association” Master Locksmith Association (MLA) inspection May 2019.

Keeping up with the standards

Development of euro cylinders has seen the rise in standard TS007 / 3* & Sold Secure Diamond. With an ever growing amount of UPVC and Composite Doors in domestic properties,  City Lock & Safe Ltd set about ensuring Customers have a perfect solution to keeping their homes, valuables and loved ones safe and secure. Twinned with an awareness campaign of leaflet distributions,  and evenings with the Police to present to the public  the ever-common threat of ‘Lock Snapping’.