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“Hoffman Security PLC”, Hounslow: Dad’s Army

“Hoffman Security PLC” burglar alarm, Hounslow • I’ve included this nice logo in my World War II theme because not only do the arrows form a Union Jack, they look, coincidentally, very similar to the opening credits of the classic WWII-based sit-com Dad’s Army, even using the same font (Cooper Black, as did the Blitz alarm a few days back). To be a PLC in the Public Limited Company sense, a firm requires a minimum share capital of £50k and must offer shares to the public, which is quite rare for a security startup. I became obsessed with finding out if Hoffmann really had been a “proper” PLC, and though there’s very little on the web did manage to ascertain that it was a Middlesex company built up over 20 years by a guy called Erik Hoffman, who sold up to MRFS Group in 2006. However, the comment here informs me that Hoffmann, an Israeli, did indeed build up his eponymous business into a PLC, with a logo based on the joystick control of CCTV systems rather than a Union Jack. As for the much-loved Dad’s Army credits (see the image below), they were in fact a last-minute compromise after the BBC objected to the original opening, which featured harrowing imagery of Nazis and refugees. The show’s creators were very upset, but with hindsight it seems the BBC were right. • Spotted: Chiswick Mall, Hounslow, London, W4, England, 2006 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Brentford and Isleworth

Above: The Dad’s Army credits featured British arrows retreating from Nazi ones


12 replies »

  1. I would choose not to have the tel no. on the strobe – looks messy and like an afterthought. Vici i’d like to take this oppertunity to thank you for your work on here.

  2. Of course it proberbly doesn’t have anything to do with Dad’s army, or union jack, the whole point of this article is saying that it could be interperated as being like this – thats the whole point of all forms of art isnt it?

  3. hoffman was indeed a bona fide plc which could have easily been checked at companies house,also the logo has nothing to do with a union jack or dads army,it denotes the movement on a joystick used on cctv systems,and erik hoffman was israeli.pity theres no regulation on the stories published on the internet.

      • i knew erik hoffman well.saw him build up one of the largest security businesses in london being particularly proud of achieving plc status,that is the problem with our industry at the moment,laymen diluting the industry at the moment throwing in un educated comments without researching the validity of them ,if this was a newspaper or other media it would be considered as libellous but as it is the internet any rubbish can be printed such as this article which is drivel ignoring or just not interested in actual facts.

        • In fact I try to be factually accurate – this was an honest mistake. I write this from a graphic design, not a security firm background. Therefore I rely on comments from security professionals to fill in the historical gaps, as you will see from the various learned comments beneath other posts. Now you have explained it was a genuine PLC I shall correct the entry.

        • I think you’ll find every industry is like that and the above comment has nothing to do with the state of the industry these days.

          If there is any drivel or misinformation on this site it is from you. I’d love to know how the above comments are in any way libellous? Maybe you could explain to us how an artists interpretation of a publicly displayed image has knackered the industry?

          Or maybe you could just throw unsubstantiated accusations around that mean absolutely nothing? Yes, just do that, seems you’re quite good at it.

          • t seems to me more likely that the initials stand for something like “programmable logic control”, and were used simply to sound posh. I became obsessed with finding out if it really had been a “proper” PLC, and though there’s very little on the web did manage to ascertain that it was a local Middlesex company (ie probably not a “proper” PLC)

            i would say the libel is proven by the above comment,and although you say you were obsessed by finding the information,you never bothered with a 30 second search at companies house,and the drivel comes in at the use of programmable logic control and it being used to sound posh whereas the initials were a legal requirement.

    • Mr Hoffman possibly put the PLC on the box to make the company look impressive, which is good business practise. But he probably didn’t realise that only sad cases like us look at alarm boxes & not the general public.

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A book about disappearing London

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With photos by Vici MacDonald and poems by Tamar Yoseloff, Formerly is a beautiful little chapbook which is only £8.00 online – find out more here

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