Mysterious locked cupboard opened after 40 years


Inside the cupboard

The caretaker of a tower block in Hove had always wondered what the mysterious locked cupboard on the 11th floor contained. It had been locked for as long as he had known, and it emerges now that it was sealed up to 40 years ago.

But what was lurking inside?


According to the Argus, 64-year-old caretaker, Ronald Mclintock, finally succumbed to his curiosity, and broke into the cupboard at the top of the stairwell in Victoria Court. He found a stockpile of food and essential items - including 250 tins from the 1970s and 1980s. He dated them from the fact that the prices showed they were bought after decimalisation in 1971 but before half pences were abolished in 1984. It means that the cupboard could have been locked up to 40 years earlier.

The Metro reported that apart from one exploded tin of prunes it was all in good condition, and Mclintock speculated that it seemed as though someone was preparing for the apocalypse - although there's a chance that it was simply a larder that was closed up and forgotten abut when someone moved out.

Frozen in time

It's not the first time that a twist of fate has left somewhere frozen in time - with food still on the shelves. Last year an LA resident found a bomb shelter under his back garden. The shelter had been built and stocked during the Cold War in 1961, and when the new owner looked under a hatch in the garden he found the shelves stocked with goods from the 1950s and 60s.

We wrote last year about the house in Worksop which had been left frozen in the 1920s. There were hats and coats left on the racks from the time, and Bovril and tinned sardines on the larder shelves. The property had been decorated in 1923, and nothing had changed between then and 1985 when the last family member moved out and donated it to the National Trust.

Last year a Harrogate mansion went on the market - after being left untouched for 30 years. Pineheath House, which has 40 rooms, was the autumn residence of Indian-born aristocrats. After their death in 1986 it was passed to their daughter, who never visited, and it went on the market only after she passed away. The property was still full of furniture and objects from the time including newspaper cuttings and dinner party invitations.

But perhaps the strangest story was back in 2010, when a Paris apartment was unlocked for the first time in 70 years. It had been abandoned when the owner fled to the South of France at the outbreak of the Second World War. She never returned, and it was only reopened when she died at the age of 91. Among the articles left exactly where they had been placed seven decades earlier was a painting which later sold for €2.1 million