About Us

Our story

Over 149 years of providing locksmith services

The story of H.A.Reed Locksmiths began in 1875. Abraham Reed hung out his shingle and commenced operating as a bell hanger and locksmith. The business was known as ‘A Reed Locksmiths’ and was situated in a log cabin in Spring Hill. Abraham and his two brothers were born in Cornwall, England and emigrated to Australia. One brother went into cycling under the name Reed Cycles and another established Reed Stoves.

Albert Reed, Abraham’s son, took over the locksmithing business moving it to Elizabeth Street in Brisbane’s CBD. Albert had three children, Harold, Edna and Dulcie.

Harold Arthur Reed, affectionately known as “H”, was the third generation to own and operate the locksmithing business changing the name to H.A.Reed Locksmiths. While not a locksmith by trade, Harold was quick to develop his skills and expertise cementing H.A.Reed Locksmiths as a leader in the industry. Customers included the US Army and US Navy when ships were in port, as well as General Douglas MacArthur. In fact, Harold purchased one of the first car code machines in Australia from the US Navy as well as a pick gun, with both items on display in the workshop today.

The business was situated in Duncan Street, Fortitude Valley, behind the TC Bierne building. They were one of only three locksmiths in Brisbane. Sadly, Harold died of a heart attack at age 53 leaving behind his wife Ivy and two young sons Alan (aged 17) and Graeme (aged 26).

Alan and Graeme moved the business to Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley opposite the Wickham Hotel. Many long-standing customers recall their mother, Ivy Reed, serving at the counter. Alan was quick to pick up the skills of the trade and soon became expert at the art of hand cutting keys. Back then, it took about 45 minutes to cut a key, a far cry from the 45 seconds it takes today!

Alan travelled all over Queensland as a locksmith, servicing the National Australia Bank including the bank’s vaults. He even serviced the blue bank vault that is now seen in the Louis Vuitton store in Queen Street, Brisbane (which was formerly the National Australia Bank building) as well as the original door lock of St John’s Cathedral, which is preserved on display among other historic locks, padlocks, keys and machinery at H.A.Reed today.

In 1986, the brothers purchased a premises on the corner of Ann and Church Streets in Fortitude Valley, moving the following year. H.A.Reed Locksmiths operated from this iconic site until 2011. During this period, Alan’s son Nicholas Alan Reed completed his apprenticeship and became the next generation to continue the long line of Reed locksmiths. Unfortunately, Graeme passed away in 2005.

In 2012, the business moved to McLachlan Street, Fortitude Valley and in 2017 to the current location, 5 Ross Street, Newstead. At age 80, Alan still arrives at work before 6am each day and remains very hands on in the business.

In 2020, Alan’s grandson Ethan joined the business as Outside Service Manager, making him the sixth generation to become part of this remarkable story. Nick has a son called Harry Alan Reed and although too young to start work just yet, he already has aspirations of following in his family’s footsteps.

Alan and Graeme, among several other Queensland locksmiths, were the proud founding members of the Queensland branch of the Master Locksmiths Association of Australasia.  

Today, H.A. Reed remains the second oldest locksmith in Australia and is one of the oldest family business in Brisbane. No other Brisbane locksmith has such a long established heritage and there is something incredibly reassuring about entrusting a family-owned and operated business, that has been around for almost 150 years, with your commercial and residential locksmithing and security services.

Be sure to check out our historical items on display when next you visit us.

a reed locksmiths _elizabeth street brisbane
H.A.Reed Locksmiths Brisbane_family owned and operated since 1875

H. A. Reed Locksmiths (Since 1875)

Business Hours

Our emergency 24 hour locksmith team are available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our store hours are listed below:

Monday - Friday: 8am - 4:30pm
Saturday by appointment

H.A. Reed Locksmiths © 2023. All rights reserved.