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“Micromark”, Herne Bay: sixties sci-fi DIY mystery

“Micromark Security Systems” burglar alarm, Herne Bay • I’ve included this splendid space-age case in the “retro-futurism” category because it’s a top piece of 1960s-style sci-fi design, and Micro-Anything, like Anything-Tronic, conjures up the early days of integrated circuits (and yes, that does include Microsoft). I’ve seen quite a few of these around – they seem to be used by Micromark only – and they’re always still in pristine condition. I’d assumed that this was because they were some high-end piece of kit, but having done an image search on Micromark, I’ve discovered they target the cheap DIY market, as explained in this Guardian article and on this spammy-looking Security System Guide. This and several other Micromark systems (none of which I’ve spotted in the wild) crop up listed on Amazon and various price comparison sites, but they generally seem to be unavailable, so I’ll leave it to the experts to tell me more about this mysterious brand. Bizarrely, there’s a YouTube video here of some lad setting up a Micromark alarm on his wardrobe – I doubt that his mother was impressed. • Spotted: Station Road, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Thanet North

9 replies »

  1. I remember BDC electrical wholesalers (branches all over) were one of the first to stock Micromark products, and the Intruder hard wired kit (complete with 2 wire speaker cable) was amongst those products.
    This kit, along with Yale, got the professional suppliers thinking and eventually most of the manufacturers started supplying their own kits. A good economical business strategy by those who first saw it as a threat, but now forms a high percentage of domestic and small business installations.

  2. Maybe those boys need alarms on their wardrobes because they’re budding engineers, but Mr H is probably near the (Micro) mark…

    • yes vici, you’ve got it there!
      we are all interested by the whole concept of it and make those systems in our spare time because the end result is great, an alarm goes off whenever your little sister or brother comes in to steal your laptop (I don’t have a little sister or brother so the system is disarmed most of the time!)

  3. did you know that there’s a whole semi- culture of boys setting up alarms in their bedrooms and making videos? check out youtube channels like Forde52, Lcassell94 and Firekid131
    why, I have done exactly that, set up a sounder, strobe, movement sensor and control panel, but I haven’t made a youtube account yet!

  4. Looks like security is off the menu now though at – although still on the graphic at the top which presumably was a bit harder to edit given its such a massive website to look after;-) Have you ever noticed the older (non solar powered) ‘Response’ DIY alarm boxes Vici? They are also ‘fairly’ futuristic with rounded edges and an odd cross between a shadowy running intruder and a dancing gents toilet symbol as a logo!

    • I’m going to be featuring a couple of Responses soon, but I’ve never seen one with a shadowy gents toilet symbol on! Oh, and that Micromark website is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. They obviously don’t do much trade via the web…

  5. Micromark make just about anything cheap and electronic\electrical – alarms, cameras, security lights, small appliances, indoor lighting amongst other things, most of it just tat. You generally find it branded as wholesaler\distributor own brands as most of their sales are in DIY stores or in independent retailers\wholesalers.

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