It has been quite a weekend here. You see, we’ve just returned from Telford, having made our pilgrimage to MLA Expo, the UK’s foremost exhibition and trade show for the locksmithing and security industry.

One of the most eagerly-anticipated events on the William Channon calendar, we’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time. We’re delighted to report that it didn’t disappoint.
There’s always something about seeing so many licensed master locksmiths, all gathered together under one roof, that makes us feel rather good about our business.
It’s great to spend time with like-minded individuals, to meet contacts old and new, to test out the latest products and tools and to do a deal or two. It also makes us appreciate that our industry is in safe hands.

Not all locksmiths are good locksmiths, let’s make no bones about it. It’s a sad fact but, in the UK, anyone can claim to be a locksmith – whether they’re skilled, trained, qualified or not. Indeed, the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) feature, on their website, a Hall of Shame, this a rather disturbing catalogue of rogue repairs carried out by those who give our chosen profession a bad name. Just last week one of our peers remarked on Twitter that one such job looked as though it had been tackled using a machine gun. It was an apt observation.

Yes, there are some bad locksmiths out there, but that is the case in all trades and professions. To attend an event such as MLA Expo, which doesn’t attract such dubious operators, is to have faith restored. It also serves to underline that signing up for MLA membership is a significant undertaking for anyone serious about this business. MLA-licensed locksmiths are inspected, vetted and approved. MLA-licensed locksmiths have the skills, experience and knowledge to tackle anything.

Such skills can be honed and knowledge grown at MLA Expo, with the expert training that is on offer ranking, as always, amongst the most popular attractions at The International Centre. It’s exciting to report that we’ve returned from Shropshire brimming with enthusiasm and ideas that we’re keen to put into practice.

Be it Powerjump and Shine (two cutting-edge products that are under development at ASSA Abloy Security Systems), Abus’ new plug-and -play CCTV packages (we’re interested in making these available to our customers) or Kaba’s state-of-the-art electronic handle set (this operates using the static electricity that passes from the user’s hand to the handle and is amazing to watch), the latest products that we’ve seen couldn’t have inspired us more. It’s perhaps no surprise that we’ve been feeling so positive today. It has been quite a weekend.