A set of barristers has been left with a tantalising Christmas mystery after staff found an ancient safe in its cellar.

An office manager at South Square Chambers set the ball rolling when he alerted staff to the "heavy duty ancient looking safe" hidden in the back of one of the building's basement vaults.

"It's been stood idle in all my time here", he wrote in an email to the insolvency set based in Gray's Inn. "And I don't have a key to open it. Can anyone shed any light on who's it is or what might be inside?" He told staff it would "take some serious power tools to break into it".

So heavy they built around it.


RollOnFriday was passed a copy of the email some time ago, but attempts to reach the office manager were met with silence. After a while we asked the clerks to confirm everyone's faces hadn't melted off after an Ark of the Covenant-style incident. The request went unanswered.

Finally, Chambers Director William MacKinley, or a Djinn inhabiting his body after being woken from its 1,000 year slumber, replied. He confirmed that the safe had been cracked. "We asked a locksmith", he said. But after finally gaining entry, the barristers didn't find gold, a mummified Lord Lucan or compromising photographs of Princess Margaret. MacKinley said there was "nothing in the safe except a few old keys", and no-one has any idea what they open. It leaves the barristers with another puzzle and, like so many things in life, an anticlimax. Merry Christmas.

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