Burglar Alarm Britain

Where vigilante culture meets vernacular design

“Civic Alarms”, Oxford: 1970s classic

“Civic Alarms” burglar alarm, Oxford • I like the way the red circle here suggests a “stop” sign, but also echoes the red bulb above it. It’s just one of many differently-designed Civic alarms from various areas and eras I’ve come across, but I don’t know if they are all the same firm. This was found on the olde-worlde covered market in Oxford town centre, and I saw various newer examples around town too, so I assume it’s this Oxfordshire firm. But whether it’s also the 1972-founded Civic Security whose website is here, I have no idea. The geometric slab-serif font is Rockwell (or something similar), which is a classic 1970s favourite, so it’s a possibility. • Spotted: Covered Market, High Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Oxford East

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5 responses to ““Civic Alarms”, Oxford: 1970s classic

  1. Richard Wilson April 27, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Looks like you been round my stamping ground a lot Vici. A lot of companies in the Oxford area used this. Not quite sure when they started to make these sounders, but i have a feeling that they where quite ahead of its time, i certainly remembered them around in the late 80’s. Must of been one of the first to have intergrated strobe with a comfort led and a siren inside that i suppose was considered quite modern in the 80’s.

    • Vici MacDonald April 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      From a visual point of view they are very well-designed. They also seem to stand the test of time well, they are metal but all have remained fresh-looking and rust-free, so they must have had strong paint!

  2. Mr H April 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    looks to be in good nick, is it fitted inside rather open to the elments ?

    • ISS April 25, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      “This was found on the olde-worlde covered market in Oxford town centre”

      One would assume that a covered market was indoors.

      • Vici MacDonald April 25, 2012 at 10:27 pm

        Yes, it was in a totally covered market, a massive indoor arcade with absolutely no exposure to the outside weather. Indoors is clearly the way to go – I found an ancient Securicor Granley in “as new” condition inside Gatwick Airport last week, on a currency exchange bureau.

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