We grew from our founders, Alfred Butler and Sons, over a century ago, and incorporated the business in 1917.

Descendants of the founders continue to own and operate the business today. Despite our longevity we never take your custom for granted and continue to strive to excel in meeting your demands.

This history has allowed us to amass great knowledge within the architectural ironmongery and security industry as we’ve witnessed first-hand the products and practices as they’ve evolved over the years. This experience allows us to exceed your expectations as we understand not only the products that offer the maximum security for now, but also for the future. We haven’t simply attended a day’s training course like some; we’ve gained impressive qualifications over the years that make us the experts in our field.

William Channon History Timeline


Early 1880's

Alfred Butler started trading from a trek cart in the Drury Lane and Covent Garden area in London WC2, making tools for saddle makers. Alfred Butler, who was joined by his son Alfred Henry Butler, was the great, great, great, great Grandfather of the current owners, Jim & Lynda Caldwell. Alfred Butler and his son Alfred Henry later opened the ironmongery business with a shop on Drury Lane.


The company, A Butler & Sons, was incorporated as a limited company. Note the style of the hand written original certificate shown here.

The company continued trading in Drury Lane and expanded to a second shop, W Channon at 45 Theobalds Road, WC1 in 1936. They traded throughout the Second World War and survived the Blitz with no damage or loss.

The business continued under the directorship of Mr Jack Horsley (son in law of Alfred Henry Butler).


Circa 1930's

The company purchased William Channon, an ironmongery business operating from 45 Theobalds Road, London WC1. A Butler & Sons Ltd, trading as William Channon, traded from both Drury Lane WC2 and 45 Theobalds Road, WC1, selling tools and ironmongery goods to the retail market and hospitals in the area.


Following accreditation, we become company members of Master Locksmiths Association (MLA). Our membership of the MLA continues today and was particularly prominent when Robin Horsley was elected President in 1990.



Following the tragic death of Jack Horsley, the business passed on to his two sons, Robin and Philip Horsley, and continued as ironmongers, tool dealers and locksmiths.

The Company left the Drury Lane premises in 1973 whilst continuing to trade from Theobalds Road.


Robin and Philip, wishing to expand the business further, purchased W R Harvey in 1975 and continued to trade as William Channon in North Finchley, introducing a key cutting service and lock installation.



Following approaches by leading lock and security manufacturers, Philip and Robin agreed to stock the ASSA security and architectural ironmongery ranges and William Channon was appointed a main stockist. Shortly afterwards the business created an assembly workshop to allow the production of ASSA cylinders, padlocks and keys. A strong relationship between ASSA Abloy and William Channon continues to this very day, enabling us to expand our security and architectural ironmongery services.


The main focus of the business continues to evolve from retail to bespoke commercial locking systems for local and national government, the military, NHS trusts, universities and schools.



Jim Caldwell, married to Lynda, daughter of Robin Horsley, joins the company and continues to run the business today.


Philip Horsley retires from the business.


A Butler and Sons Ltd, and staff members, join the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI). Membership of the GAI provides world leading resources to support our continuing development in education and training in architectural ironmongery, legislation and standards, and industry best practice.



Robin Horsley retires from the business, after 45 years.



The Company celebrates its Centenary year and is invited to contribute to The Parliamentary Review, giving us the opportunity to showcase our business to national government and industry leaders.

Note the difference in style of this Centenary Certificate and that when we were incorporated in 1917.



Our premises at 365 Ballards Lane, London N12 is sold and the business centralised to workshop and retail space at 45 Theobalds Road, London WC1, to concentrate on production of commercial projects.


Appointed as an iLOQ Partner. iLOQ provides smart locking and secure access to buildings and spaces we use daily and caters to the needs of its users with mobile and digital solutions for efficient access sharing and management. iLOQ is an industry-leading innovator of battery-free solutions with a strong portfolio of safe and sustainable products that have been designed to make life easier.

Meet the Team


Managing Director


Sales Manager


Trade Sales Assistant


Business Development Manager
07394 078236  


Assembly Workshop Technicians
(designing and building master key systems)


Locksmith and Installation engineer

Reasons to Work With William Channon

Over a 100 Years of Service

We have served our customers through seven generations of the same family.

A Full Turnkey Solution

We offer advice, product specification & installation, commissioning & ongoing support.

Advanced Technology

We partner with manufacturers on the forefront of the latest security technology.

Accreditations & Certification

Members of the Master Locksmiths Association and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers, accredited Safe Contractor Scheme member.


People we typically help

Security Managers

Keeping your building and colleagues safe is crucial. If you experience a break in, loss of keys or just need advice on an existing system having a locksmith and access control specialist at hand, who are ready to react quickly and efficiently is essential.

Estate or Facilities Managers

Whether you are in charge of a single or multiple sites, security will be one of the main things you are responsible for to keep your buildings running smoothly. We can offer peace of mind that you are fully supported ongoing for anything security related.

Maintenance Managers

Your day to day building maintenance duties will be quite varied but we understand that maintaining safety as well as building access will no doubt be towards the top of that list. We have supported maintenance managers for decades so rest assured we have you covered.


Whether you are locked out of your home, or simply need to feel more safe and secure we can offer advice on the best products available as well as offer full installation.

None of the above sound like you? No problem, whilst these are the people we most commonly help we've worked on projects for all sorts of professionals so contact us below to talk to us about your requirements.

Contact Us

Using our expertise we can advise on the best, most effective ways to keep you and your property secure.

Click or press on the button to open our enquiry form and we'll comeback to you ASAP with answers, options, prices and services.

How can we help?

Fill out the form below, or if you would prefer you can call us on 0330 100 5313
or email us at hello@williamchannon.co.uk

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Some of our trusted suppliers


What Our Customers Say

"I’d like to send a customer satisfaction testimonial for Michael Pearson from William Channon, who has recently completed some works at the Halls of Residence I work at. I can’t praise him enough. It was a very tight deadline which I required the works to be completed and there was a lot to do, especially on his own, but he got everything done without any issues. The communication was great, and he always kept me informed in regards of how many keys he could provide me with immediately, and how many were left to follow on. Nothing was too much trouble and all done with a smile on his face. Good customer service is rare these days, so when someone goes above and beyond."

Natasha Bradshaw - Accommodation Advisor, University College London

"I would like to send a big thank you to Miguel and the locksmith team for getting us out of a massive hole last week. We found out on Tuesday that we had a number of moves taking place which we had not been made aware of and I needed multiple keys by Thursday lunchtime. I am aware that they were short staffed but they fulfilled my order. Can you please extend to the whole team that I am indebted to them and very grateful. As always, excellent service."

J Savage - King's College London

"We had a complicated site in London for which we wanted a Masterkey solution. After discussing the project with a number of companies, Jim Caldwell of William Channon was the only person who seemed to understand exactly what we needed. After a very helpful site visit, all items were provided on time in stages as required and the fitting work was finished off by Oliver in a very professional style. Everything went smoothly and a solution was found for every problem. I would recommend William Channon for those needing a professional locksmith service and I would certainly go back to them again with future projects."

Louise - London SE1

"We approached William Channon earlier this year for advice as we were looking for ways to make the management of our student lockers more efficient. We were delighted that Terry was able to design a bespoke solution and to complete all the work needed to convert the lockers within a very limited timeframe during the summer vacation. The service we received was personal, professional and highly skilled and my team and I are incredibly grateful."

Gaynor Jones - Head of MBBS Management, UCL

"I could not be more pleased with the advice and service I have received from William Channon. From initial telephone contact, through survey, quotation and then installation, I have been impressed with the response and solutions to my awkward locks/keys/security issues. I can recommend it as a thoroughly professional company and one that has been a pleasure and relief to find and deal with."

Neil Thomas - Chairman of Falconbury Ltd

"...thank you very much for your help, we really appreciate it, you made this process so simple for us, it is lovely to experience such wonderful customer service."

Anna - London NW2

"Thank you so very much to you and Terry for giving me a wonderful service on ordering two very large chubb safes. I have never had to organise such a large project on this scale, where safes are concerned, and your company gave me the 100% commitment that I was looking for. I look forward to working with again."

Jane Berko - Jane Berko Designs

"This is firstly, to say how grateful I am to Roberto Giorgio for opening the door today. (Three of us couldn't do it!) Also, to say thank you to him for the skill and workmanship with which he repositioned the locks. Despite the warped door, the keys now glide into the locks and I can open the door with the touch of a finger. And...he swept up afterwards and made sure that I could use the keys easily."

J Birch - London

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