HarryM’s Lockpicking Group in London

Unfortunately, although I visited the group in London twice before the lockdown, I didn’t get around to posting this brief review until now. I expect that the sessions will resume once the lockdown is lifted. This review was written after my first visit in December:

Two months ago we became aware of a new lockpicking group starting up in London. The lockpicking sessions at the London Hackspace stopped a while back, and haven’t restarted. Fortunately, Harry M has started a lockpicking group in London (although not a TOOOL affiliated one). Since none of the rest of us knew him, I decided to take a trip down to his meetup, to experience it for myself.

Although it was easy to find the location from their Meetup page, it wasn’t trivial to find the place for the first time. Being sandwiched into a small space between two restaurants can make it hard to find. Fortunately I spotted the small sign saying “lockpicking” stuck up on the door. Once I was buzzed in, I found the space to be nicely lit, cozy, and already reasonably well attended – despite being 10 minutes early!

Harry makes an effort to personally greet everyone, and I was no exception. Harry was friendly and very enthusiastic, and put me at ease right away. It also helped that there were a few faces which I recognised, such as Mark, who helps run the sessions as well as helping organise DC4420. The group comprises a mix of information security professionals based in London, and a good number of enthusiastic beginners.

I didn’t know what to expect in terms of resources, so it was fantastic to see a great collection of locks for any difficulty level. I brought along a few pieces to share myself, with the aim of inspiring and challenging the more experienced members of the group. There were snacks and drinks available, and a fantastic atmosphere of sharing and learning. Since lockpicking is often a difficult skill to start learning – and it can be frustrating if you’ve been picking at a lock for an extended amount of time without making progress – it’s really important to have a supportive atmosphere, which this meetup definitely had.

Overall, I had a great time, and I was really glad I travelled down to meet Harry. I would definitely recommend dropping by for lockpickers near or in London, whatever your skill level might be!

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