UNLOCKING THE FUTURE: Darryl Aston hopes his new locksmith business is the key to future success
UNLOCKING THE FUTURE: Darryl Aston hopes his new locksmith business is the key to future success

A BARNARD Castle resident is hoping his new locksmith business will be the key to career success and health in new year.
For more than 30 years Darryl Aston, from Woodlands Road, has made a living creating patios, driveways, and paths all over the country.
However, the labour-intensive work, which often saw him bent double for an entire day, has had a dramatic effect on his health.
He said: “Since leaving school I’ve worked in the building trade.
“I did two years joinery training with a company, but they went bust. After that I got into block paving and have been doing that for about 30 years, but years and years of bending over hasn’t done me any favours and my body’s failing.”
Looking at alternative careers that could be kinder on his body, Mr Aston retrained as a locksmith, completing a five-day specialist course in Wakefield.
He added: “I don’t know why I chose locksmith. I just didn’t know of any others in this area and thought it might be a good idea.
“I’ve have always been interested in locking systems.”
Since completing the course three years ago, Mr Aston invested in a range of specialist equipment, including lock picks, but had not had the time to concentrate on setting up the business.
He added: “I just didn’t have the time, but this last year has really brought it home that I need to make the change.
“I’ve already had operations on my back and neck and I’m due another operation on my back, but that’s been put off for the moment.
“When I first trained, I did do a couple of jobs, but I just didn’t have the time. But this year I want to concentrate on locksmithing as I can’t carry on paving because of my health.”
Mr Aston said he has attended a few call outs locally and will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“No matter what type of lock, I can repair or replace it,” he added.
“I’m always practising picking locks at home. I sit watching the telly and have my picks out and work on a lock. I can usually get one in a minute, but it does depend on the lock.”
As well as helping gain emergency access he will be able to advice on lock upgrades, snapped key extractions and break-in repairs.
He said: “I’ve had a website built and I am going to set up a social media page as well and I’m looking forward to the New Year as a new start.”