Mysterious Shropshire safe is finally opened

Image caption,
Richard Eley said he could "just about slide it and move it"

The mystery of an old garden safe which refused to give up its secrets has been cracked - by a former safe designer.

Property developer Richard Eley appealed for help after being unable to open an old safe he found at a property in Newport.

He promised to split the spoils with whoever opened the safe as well as make a donation to charity.

However, after meeting with a safe designer who puzzled out how to open it, the safe was found to be empty.

He was helped by Alan Cowap, who worked for 35 years as a safe designer.

"I did not think it would be easy to get into," he said.

"It is quite old, its from the 1920s or 1930s."

The pair drilled and hammered at the safe to no avail.

Eventually, Mr Cowap had the idea of turning it onto its side and hitting it a few times, so the locking bolts fell inside.

The idea worked and the safe was opened to reveal there was nothing inside.

Mr Eley said he was disappointed.

"I really had high hopes," he said.

"I thought there would be be something of great value or intrigue inside," he said.

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