Challenging cliff top location calls for tough lock solutions

The Minack Theatre, perched at the top of Cornish cliffs, is a challenging and dramatic environment for facilities teams to handle in terms of security and access control. A suited masterkey system based on the ABUS Zolit cylinder has made life simpler and improved security for the Minack team which now has a single masterkey to cover the whole site from outbuildings and concession stalls to the main public and staff entrances. 

The Minack Theatre is an open-air theatre, balanced on the cliffs high above the Atlantic Ocean in Porthcurno in Cornwall. Built primarily by actor Rowena Cade and her gardener in the 1930s, the theatre is carved into the granite cliffside offering a panoramic backdrop for theatrical and musical performances throughout the summer months. Its unique setting and historical significance make it not just a theatre, but an experience that draws performers and audiences from around the world.

Single masterkey solution

The site itself covers not just the stage and seating areas but a number of cafes, food and souvenir concessions, storage and staff buildings. Maintaining security and access control proved to be a challenge for the facilities team who were carrying multiple keys from legacy lock installations over the years.

The theatre brought in local architectural ironmonger Jeb Supplies to plan and install a single masterkeyed system across the whole site including padlocks for gates and outbuildings as well as the main customer-facing areas. The position of the site – in an exposed coastal location – meant that the system had to be able to withstand a harsh marine environment without loss of function.

Zolit 1000 is a secure and versatile cylinder bespoke cylinder system that offers an all-in-one solution for large master key projects like Minack Theatre. The Zolit range has a proven track record on prestigious projects across Europe and the 2000 version features technical copy protection, patent protection until 2034, plus trademark protection to ensure it meets tough security requirements. 

Jeb Supplies chose the Zollit 1000 system for its reliability and because it offered simplicity matched with sufficient flexibility for this multifaceted project. “We chose to work with ABUS on this project because of their excellent reputation for reliable, quality cylinder system,” says Jeb’s Alec McQuay. “They offered us pinning training and assisted us in designing the masterkey system so the support we received from ABUS was second to none. The products we installed are specifically designed to withstand marine environments so we are confident that they will continue giving reliable service for years to come.”

The ABUS masterkey system installed by Jeb Supplies includes Submariner 83WPIB/53 Padlocks, a range of products designed specifically for challenging environments where the highest security level is required. So resilient is the Submariner that it is regularly used on North Sea wind farms, a harsh environment that would render conventional padlocks useless within days. Manufactured in an all-stainless, it features a ball-bearing locking mechanism, providing a marked advantage over traditional spring-loaded systems in terms of weather resilience. The Submariner’s design incorporates a sealed body, a key guard, and ultra-tight shim guards on the shackle to minimise exposure to the corrosive elements. Engineered for scenarios where rust prevention is critical like the Minack Theatre, this padlock is the go-to choice for environments subjected to salt water and other corrosive conditions.

Story for AIJ? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in Features