In which G.M. Norton gets well and truly leathered.
Like loose change, a bunch of keys have a nasty habit of jangling in one’s trouser pocket.
Although I often carry a satchel, like my enemies, I like to keep my keys as close as possible and that means on my person.
Apart from the jangling issue, there’s two other pet hates from carrying around keys; an unsightly bulge and the damage a set of keys can cause to the pocket lining. Honesty, keys rival that of a moth. In the last few weeks, two trouser pockets have developed holes and despite meaning to repair them, it slips my mind. Before you know it, I’m sauntering around town in them again and worrying that I’ll lose the key to my motorcar.
My trousers deserve more. I demand more. So that’s why I commissioned a fellow on Instagram to make a leather key case for me.
The chap’s name is Ian and he runs Hubb Leather, producing all kinds of leather goods from belts and wallets through to glasses cases. His most recent work is another bespoke order, this time a case to carry around one’s field telephone.
I contacted Ian and explained my needs; something to hold at least five keys (including my bulbous car key), made of oxblood leather and with sturdy brass fittings.
Ian sourced the brass hardware which he promptly sent for from Japan. He suggested a tan leather on the inside, which appealed and I suggested yellow stitching. As the famous foot physician, Dr Marten would attest to, oxblood and yellow stitching is a classic combination.
In total, the whole process took exactly four weeks, from initial ‘What-ho’ through to signing for it from the postie. The majority of time was spent waiting for the brass fittings to be shipped over to Blighty.
The leather key case cost £50, which I feel is quite a bargain. This is a bespoke item, made by hand by a chap whose name I know.
The key case is beautifully constructed. The oxblood really is an exquisite colour and I’m enormously looking forward to seeing how it ages. It’s quite a slim case so slips very easily into my trouser pocket and doesn’t get in the way when I’m using my keys.
I would encourage you to take a look at Ian’s Instagram and Facebook pages. If you would like something made yourself, do drop him an email and tell him I sent you.
Protagonist of 'Norton of Morton'