Dick cracks open the bank safe

DREAMS of bags full of cash, bank notes and bars of gold were shattered last week when a retired bank manager finally broke into a safe in an Axbridge cafe

DREAMS of bags full of cash, bank notes and bars of gold were shattered last week when a retired bank manager finally broke into a safe in an Axbridge cafe.The owners of Bank House Cafe in The Square inherited an old bank safe from the property's former owner when they moved into the house nine years ago, but after a number of people fiddled with the lock they were unable to get into it.Over the years, many people tried to crack the safe but failed, until Dick Tyas visited the cafe.Owner Geoff Dunlop said: "A customer saw Dick looking at the safe and got very frightened because they thought he was trying to break into it. But, when we spoke to him he offered to try to open it for us."If Dick gives us the confidence to get back into it again, without us having to call him out every time, we will use it for our business."Rather than rolls of bank notes filling the safe, Dick found pieces of glass and classical music records dating back to the 1950s.Geoff and his wife, Annabel Hackney, had been given the combination to the safe from its former owner, but had not been able to open it.But Dick, aged 67, from Compton Bishop, who worked for the Bank of England for nearly 40 years, managed to open it on the first go. He said: "It was no problem for me, it was just a case of following a procedure I did for over 30 years."Geoff and Annabel opened up Bank House Cafe nine months ago after converting the ground floor into a cafe and restaurant.The former owner of the building was well known artist Liz Hunter and Dick believes she kept the glass in the safe to use as part of her work.Before the building was converted into a house, it served the people of Axbridge as a bank.


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