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“Chubb”, Camden: pentagonal imposter


“Chubb” burglar alarm, Camden • A pentagonal rather than triangular Chubb – unusual! You normally only see this shape on Initial and Shorrock alarms, so I’m guessing that when Chubb took them over they retained a few legacy sounders. The screw in the C totally ruins the effect, unfortunately. • Spotted: Charlotte Street, Camden, London, W1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras

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31 replies »

  1. I remember the Hoover boxes! Another big company that jumped on the bandwagon was Doulton Glass industries, they used DGI as their brand, again another company taken over by Modern Alarms, I think there’s one box left near me, I’ll try and get a pic!

  2. Ah – Shorrock was indeed purchased by UTC in 2007 and traded under it’s own name initially (as is typical UTC practice).

    There was a plan in place as early as 2003 to build a “UTC Fire and Security” brand in the UK – however, over time it was found that the Chubb brand carried far more weight (it was also the first UTC purchase in Europe). Fire and Security have traditionally been completely separate divisions within Chubb, and different business within UTC more so.

    That changed with the 2008 rationalisation – it was either that or start divesting businesses. So, Chubb is now Chubb Fire and Security, and has swallowed some very fine names up in the name of shareholder profit.

    As an aside, the “Shorrock” brand was actually obsoleted by Initial who owned Shorrock from around 2000 until 2007.

    Hoover – a real name from the past! They were based in the lovely art deco Hoover building on the A40 – though, it has to be said, their intruder alarm systems were never the best. Most of them were based on (even at the time) old Franklyn Controls panels, made by Bentley. The external units were made by a very young Elmdene.

    The pentagonal “Shorrock” housings were made by CQR, and I seem to remember that the Chubb Triangles were initially made by Elmdene and latterly by CQR – though the “standard” is now the pentagonal unit, as it’s simply cheaper.

    Bill.

    • It will be a pity if Chubb lose the triangle, it’s such a classic. As for Shorrock, there’s an even older one coming up soon…

    • The Hoover building is now a Tesco – sort of – as I’m sure you know. Only certain buildings were listed, so the manufacturing hall area behind was bulldozed for said supermarket. I think though (and this is really, really tragic to know) its the only Tesco to be officially known by its name (‘Tesco Hoover Building’) than its location… Shoot me now!

      • So the Hoover Tesco maybe has a Case alarm – I don’t have a good shot of one of those, it would be the ultimate Tesco to snap one on, I need to check it out. I did once photoraph the Hoover building, but for its art deco qualities rather than its burglar alarms. Would be great to find an old Hoover alarm there but unlikely I feel!

        • Thing is all the Tesco bit is complete new build and about as exciting as, er, a Tescos! Except that last time I was there – I lived near there until 2005 – they had made a bit of an effort with the Art Deco style car park lifts! Worth having a look anyway for the rest of it, esp. the listed Hoover canteen you can’t see from the road, which I think is a call centre or something – Tesco is only one of a number of occupants of the site.

    • ummmmm the Frankly Controls. I honestly thought they were called ‘Franken’, but stand corrected. Banhams used them, but only ever saw the 1+1 model, not the multiway. They were the front runner before the Bently Alpha Series with the dip switches. All went pear shaped for them when they brought out the Symthony range. Would never had guessed that the Hoover panels were Bently/Frenklyn panels.

      • Isn’t the franken panel the one painted in olive green and had a mean looking power supply that I think came separate. Never knew they were bentley panels. Weird how hoover were using a panel like franken considering how by the time hoover where using them they would of been 7 years old. I always thought hoover had their own panels.

      • Franken 1-1 panel. Isn’t that panel with the bakelite board with the two bulbs underneath the key switch? Never knew banham used them at all. I always thought banham used the radiovisor monive panel until they swapped the radiovisor bell box for the eruobell.

      • To the best of my knowledge, Banhams used the following:
        Radiovisor
        Bentley – Franken Systems 1 +1 and Multiway.
        Bentley – Alpha series
        Bentley – Symphony.
        Castle/Pyronix.
        (Seen a few Texecoms and the odd Galaxy, but they may have been take-overs.

        • Did banham use the radiovisor bell box with the franken panel at anypoint or did they switch the bell box when they switched from the monive panel to the franken in 1976 or something like that?

  3. suspect guardall made the blue triangles

    I’ve also seen the white box pictured in blue, I would picture it but its is rather tragic to be in the street snapping bell boxes !

  4. Speaking of which, just spotted an absolute beauty in Bristol this afternoon – a 1980s ‘HOOVER’ in a square metal case…. Fancy some details?

    • Definitely would like the details of where it is, that sounds brilliant. Never seen a Hoover alarm, didn’t know there was such a thing.

      • I’ve got a small list of others too, you’re welcome to send me an email, and rest assured I have never been to Crete in my life… (If you’ve googled my name, you’ll know what I mean)

    • Years ago everyone jumped on the burglar alarm band wagon, including Hoover.

      Hoover developed a DIY kit which was sold, in the main through the big DIY shops. In addiotion, they had there own installation department which became, if Im not mistaken, NSCIA Approcved (National Supervisory Concil for Intruder Alarms), which was the fore runner to NACOSS.

      Hoover were based in Wembly. I beleive they had all the equipment manufactured for them. I remember being called to a couple of them and I didnt recognise any of the control units, even from the inside no indication existed as to who made it.

      I think the contracts were purchased by…..guess who?…..ADT

  5. You are correcrt. When UTC purchased Initial they eventually merged it with Chubb. Until the merger they used both the triangular Chubb sounder and the Initial sounder rebranded Chubb. I think they probably evaluated each sounder and went with the one they felt best.

    • I also imagine the the old Initial one was vastly cheaper though… Isnt it a CQR with slightly custom lid? I’ve no idea who made the old Chubb triangle, but it certainly wasn’t Micromark! What a shame though, another ‘unique’ sounder consigned to the endless dustbin of burglar alarm history.

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