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There are some people that everybody should know, and Burfords in Kingsbridge are one such entity. The Kingsbridge-based, family-run locksmiths have been serving the South Hams since 1972. Now, with a new premises and an Aladdin’s cave of helpful household items as well, here they explain what you’ll find through the keyhole…
It’s been in existence since 1972, although we didn’t set it up. We bought it five years ago and have worked to build on its legacy, offering all the traditional services as well as adding other elements that people have found useful. We also recently moved site from Mill Street to the Anchor Centre, where we’re continuing to do everything that we’ve always done, but in a more central space.
The main business is key cutting, and for that we have 25,000 different types of key blanks in stock. Everyone thinks a key is just a key, but they’re all different. We also cut car keys and transponder keys, and a lot of our business revolves around lock work as well. We supply a full range of insurance grade locks, as well as fixing problems when things go wrong.
For example, you would be surprised how often people’s locks break, especially in this part of the world because of the weathering from the sea. We’re here to help if people have been locked out, we are used by letting agents and hotels as well as individuals, and even do work for the bailiffs at times. We have two vans out and running on the lock work, and we do also do emergency call outs.
In addition to those core parts of the business, we are a hardware shop with everything from gardening supplies to tools, plumbing and electrical equipment.
The business has always been in the South Hams and team members from the local area have been with the business for a long time. Owner, Wendy is originally from Birmingham and Geoff, who has been with the company for nine years, is from St Albans in Hertfordshire, but life brings you to the South Hams, and it’s a lovely place to be.
Most people are surprised by the shop because it’s an Aladdin’s cave of products. There’s a perception that we have downsized in coming to the new premises, but we haven’t - just go upstairs and it’s an emporium of helpful items for house and garden!
We get very busy during the holiday season when people often have problems with locks and losing keys, as well as coming into the shop for stock, so we’re looking forward to that and simply introducing people to our new premises - letting them know that we’re here and welcoming them in!
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