Monday, 27 September 2021

One in five are hiding a spare key in the garden

FOR most of us it is not unusual to still keep up the old tradition of leaving

FOR most of us it is not unusual to still keep up the old tradition of leaving a spare set of keys hidden in the garden in what is considered a good hiding place.

In fact more than 20 per cent of Britons admitted to doing so.

A survey conducted by Keytek Locksmiths found that 20 per cent of Britons, despite years of being advised by the police and government against it, will still leave their keys in a somewhat easily discovered hiding place such as underneath a plant pot or front door mat.

At the risk of invalidating their home insurance by leaving the security of their home vulnerable, two per cent of UK residents said they kept a spare set of keys under a plant pot, six per cent under a mat, seven per cent elsewhere in the garden and six per cent in the garage or shed.

The survey also revealed that 44 per cent of people keep their spare set of keys with a neighbour — something friendly Henley residents are known for.

Perhaps this statistic gives an interesting outlook on recent debates on whether or not modern Britons are familiar with their neighbours.

Perhaps we aren’t all as isolated as we appear to be — especially in a close-knit community like Henley.

Someone who knows all about the value of spare keys is local estate agent Gary Duckmanton-Hibbs from Simmons & Sons. When he’s not out helping to sell houses, Gary spends his time getting creative.

He said: “I went to art college when I was younger and like to work with all sorts materials — such as spare keys, anything recyclable — to make sculptures and more. It’s a passion as much as anything.”

Gary has spent more than 20 hours creating a 1,000-key artwork, which hangs in his home.

Now he is hoping to produce another piece using 4,000 unwanted keys and is appealing for locals to help him.

“If you have any unwanted keys to former houses, long lost desks and briefcases, please do drop them in to me at Simmons & Sons on Bell Street. I have so far been given 1,000-ish keys by the kind folks of Henley, but I need more!”

If you have any spare keys, you can email Gary at

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