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“Keyways Alarms”, Manchester: erudite classicism

“Keyways Alarms” burglar alarm, Manchester • We’ve had visual keys, verbal keys, and now, from Manchester’s “gay village” of Canal Street, an abstract key. It’s a Greek key to be precise, as featured in this frieze below a vintage Panda sounder in Liverpool. According to Wikipedia, the correct term is a “meander” pattern or Greek fret (which sounds like a bailout-related sulk), though I’ve never seen those terms used in the UK. Whatever, it’s an erudite visual reference for a burglar alarm, although the design is otherwise pretty basic. • Spotted: Canal Street, Manchester, Lancashire, M1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Manchester Central

2 replies »

  1. Hi Vici
    My late father would have beeen very pleased that you picked up on this – one of the very few who have. The design was intentional and though we have played around with it it over the last 40 years we still use a version of it to this day – latest version can be seen on our website as well as some history which will further explain the choice of design which came about from our locksmithing origins. As for this bell box on Canal Street, it is obviously in need of maintenance!
    Kind regards
    Mike Greaves

    • Hi Mike – I’m glad you came across the entry, it’s great to get feedback like this. As it happens I have the current Keyways design lined up for tomorrow, Wed July 6, so stick around. I hadn’t googled your firm (as I often like to keep the alarm boxes mysterious), so I hadn’t realised Keyways was such a large and long-established business. You have an excellent website, and it’s always nice to see a bit of company history. I’ll update tomorrow’s entry to mention it.
      PS – having now read the company history, it’s clear your late father was a very clever man…

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