Plymouth man is honoured by King as they both battle cancer

Sir-Fix-a-lock founder Paul Montgomery, with his pet Lottie Dog, and employees Leslie Dy-Durden and James Agnew -Credit:UpArt Photography
Sir-Fix-a-lock founder Paul Montgomery, with his pet Lottie Dog, and employees Leslie Dy-Durden and James Agnew -Credit:UpArt Photography

Plymouth’s Sir Fix-a-lock is to meet King Charles III and receive the nation’s top business honour - as both of them battle cancer. Paul Montgomery learned his locksmith business had received the King’s Award for Enterprise in the same week he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Mr Montgomery has decided to go public about his diagnosis in the hope that it will encourage other men to get checked out. He said since he put a message on social media four men have contacted him to say they are to undergo scans.

King Charles III was diagnosed with cancer in February after treatment for an enlarged prostate. He returned to public duties this week and has said he wanted to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis.

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Now the two men will meet this summer when Mr Montgomery travels to Windsor Castle to receive the King’s Award - the highest honour a UK business can be given. Sir Fix-a-lock was honoured for sustainable development, recognising how the Hoe-based business has shown “exceptional commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship”.

Mr Montgomery described how emotional the win left him, coming just a few days after he learned he has cancer. He said: “I was overwhelmed, teary but happy. This takes us to a whole new level, it takes a small business to the level of the corporates.”

He explained his cancer was caught early, after he went straight to a doctor after experiencing symptoms. He said: “I have cancer but they have caught it early. So I’m living with it. At my level it is active surveillance, I have to go back for quarterly tests, every year I will have an MRI scan and potentially have a biopsy.

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“I’m only safe because they caught it early. I got checked because I had symptoms. My reason for going public was to educate people. Because of my post four people have been tested and now have to have further tests. One in 10 men have got this.”

He added: ““It took me seven hard days to get over the news. I struggled mentally, but now I’m positive. You only die once, but you live every day, so make every day count. Next year I will do something for the Chestnut Appeal (for prostate cancer). The Chestnut unit at Derriford Hospital was amazing.”

Mr Montgomery founded Sir-Fix-a-lock in 2011 and grew the company, becoming Plymouth’s only Master Locksmith Association company and winning multiple awards including the English Veterans Awards Business of the Year and coveted Gold Award from the Armed Forces Covenant Employers Recognition Scheme. Last year he opened a shop, called Camelock, on the Hoe, employs three people and has a fleet of vehicles run totally from solar power, including an electric Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo van, called Greenevere, and a BMW CE 04 electric motorbike called Elexcalibur.

The building has solar panels and even offers free charging for charities. The business also encourages staff to walk or cycle and uses locks 90% made from renewable materials.

After winning a range of awards during the past 13 years, Sir Fix-a-lock has now landed the biggest of them all, and is among 252 organisations nationally recognised today, of which 29 are in the sustainable development category.

Mr Montgomery said the award came after a rigorous selection process. He said: “It’s a big honour, because it comes from the King, there is no higher authority in the land.

“This was hours and hours and hours of work and due diligence, they checked everything. The process went on for months, there was a team dedicated to look after these awards.”

The King’s Award for Enterprise, previously known as the Queen’s Award, is now in its 58th year and recognised as the most prestigious business award in the UK. A spokesperson for the awards said Sir Fix-a-lock win is “testament to its leadership in environmental responsibility and innovation”. The spokesperson said: “The company sets a shining example for businesses worldwide, demonstrating that sustainability and success go hand in hand.”

Mr Montgomery said he wants other Plymouth businesses to put themselves forward for the 2025 awards and be thoroughly assessed to see if they come up to scratch. He said: “We are investing and looking at the future of the planet, we want people to emulate what we are trying to do. The size of the business doesn’t matter, you are doing your bit for the environment. And difficult doesn’t mean impossible, it just means difficult. So look at what we have done. Who wants to go on this journey?”

Firms winning the award can use the King’s Award emblem for five years, and can fly a special flag outside their premises. Mr Montgomery said: “I have ordered the flag already. I will put it on the corner and the logos on my van.”

Applications for the King’s Awards for Enterprise 2025 can be found at