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Object of the Week : Y is for Yale Key

Tuesday 31 August 2021

Whilst the Museum is closed and our collections unable to be seen by visitors, we have created a weekly virtual museum with an Object of the Week feature from our collections.

Object of the Week : Y is for Yale Key

The giant Yale Key hanging up behind the reception desk in the Museum, was donated from Borehamwood Ironmongers. 

This key was located in the doorway of Borehamwood Ironmongers for many years. The shop was known as ‘the Emporium that sold everything’ and was probably the only place in Borehamwood where you could get many different types of key cut. 

Fred Thomas was the man to go to for key cutting and any other questions relating to ironmongery or even screws for those DIY projects. Nails were brought by weight and the Museum holds the weighing scales that were used for this very purpose.

The shop stocked one of almost everything and was used by public and contractors alike. There was usually a queue back to the front door at busy times.

The mechanical till was unique and never wore out. In the times of power cuts during industrial disputes of the 1970s, it was still going when all electrical tills had stopped working.  VAT was always added on to any purchase making things seem a little more expensive than expected. The shop was located between the Crown Inn and Glenhaven  Avenue and lasted for 42 years finally closing in 2002.




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