58 • HISTORY OF LOCKS Centuries’ and Sentries: The history of Hobbs » » GLANCING THROUGH THE HOBBS archive I happened to pause at the centennial booklet of Hobbs, Hart & Co. Ltd ‘A Century of Security 1851-1951’ re-reading the Forward by the then Chairman Mr S T Ellice-Clark, “We celebrate this year our 100th Anniversary and may be pardoned a little justifiable pride in this achievement. One may well ask what is it that enables a business to survive and prosper amid all the manifold changes and vicissitudes that befall in so long a time? New inventions, new processes, new ideas, two world wars and a revolution in social outlook, any one of these might well upset the stability of an industrial concern. What then has kept Hobbs, Hart & Co Ltd. in the forefront of the lock, safe and strong room industry? I think the answer is good craftsmanship, security and confidence. The confidence in the craftsmanship, skill and care which our staff display in producing and marketing our products, the confidence which our staff have in the firm that their jobs are secure and the confidence which our customers have in the security which our products will give them. We render tribute to our founders whose initiative and enterprise brought us into being and to all those whose team work has enabled us to maintain Part of Hobbs 19th century machine shop Hobbs Centenary Booklet a steady record for high quality over the past century. A record which will encourage all our friends (shareholders, manage staff and customers alike) to hope that one hundred years from now in AD2051 Hobbs, Hart & Co Ltd will be amongst those who, founded in 1851, are still going strong.” The forward is dated March 31st 1951 and signed by the Chairman. What is amazing is that just five short years later, Hobbs was taken over by Chubb, and at the time it was Hobbs Demountable safe, packed for transport by camel caravan, in this case bound for Bagdad. LOCKSMITHJOURNAL.CO.UK | MAY/JUN 2018 Sponsored by Insafe | Loksafe.co.uk | Insafe.com Mr S. T. Ellice-Clark, Chairman, Hobbs, Hart & Co. Ltd. much lamented by both the trade and more importantly by Hobbs customers. 1956 also saw the end of another era, connected with Hobbs, on the world political stage – The Suez Conflict. The transactions of the Suez Canal, administered by Britain, were kept in a special vault at The Bank of England known as the Egyptian Vault. It was a demountable vault by Hobbs and had two of their double stump anti-violence locks fitted. The locks, original keys and the bronze plaque from the door have Parautoptic lock, the combination could be changed simply by changing the order of the individual key steps or by attaching another key head.