Portland House, now a commercial building for businesses seeking Cardiff offices, is a former Natwest bank. As a result we have some amazing original features from back when this historic building was the financial hub of the district, including many locked safes.

We recently opened one of the largest original safes, not at least to see if we were sitting on a fortune but just to feed our mounting curiosity.


This safe wasn't so tall, maybe around 3 feet, but it was clearly very thick. Being a safe certified for use in a bank it was bound to be extremely difficult to get into so we called in an expert to crack it for us.


Our safe expert used diamond coated tips to drill through the lock. The safe was so thick it took him 10 diamond tips and two sessions over two days to get it open. And needless to say that once it was open, we weren't too surprised to find out what was inside it.

Nothing inside but a credit form and two empty cups of coffee. It was probably naive of us to think that a bank would forget about some gold bullion or thousands of pounds in £50 notes but at least someone will get a cool feature cupboard in one of their new offices now.

And to almost mock our efforts, this novelty sized cheque was also hidden inside. I suppose we better make it out to that expensive safe breaker we just hired.