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“SP”, East Grinstead: caring mitts

“SP” burglar alarm, East Grinstead • Poignantly faded in true seaside style, this shows a pair of sensitively-painted disembodied hands, in the manner of a Latin American devotional retablo, cupping the anonymous initials “SP” between them. It’s an old alarm, and a minimal name to search on: there are quite a few SP security firms on various business directories, but I can’t find one from southern England, so presumably these caring hands are defunct. • Spotted: London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Sussex Mid

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26 replies »

  1. It is The Security Partnership which was in Redhill High Street and initially owned by three ex policeman then in 1989 a supposedly millionaire joined the company with the view of opening lots of branches around the country. I joined them as regional manager for Surrey & Sussex, at the time Surrey County Council were having alarms fitted in all their schools, colleges, courts, police stations etc so we were inundated with installation work.
    A sub branch was opened in Brighton and a branch in Staines then the expansion fizzled out, I left after only nine months. It was sold old folded up a year or so later, the policeman possibly lost everything. Either at that time or later the contracts went to Abacus Integrated Systems in Coulsdon.
    Vici this first bit is more of interest to you, some of the managers and salesman were from Lander Alarms so SP did fit a lot Lander Alarms style boxes in the later stages and some of them became owners of Churchill Security and Admiral Security.

  2. Hi. Paul is correct. This bell box belongs The Security Partnership. They were a bit of a mystery to me. From my recollection, they were a decent size company that simply disappeared. I seem to think that they had something to do with Larkins (of Bournemouth), another large company who had their own monitoring station. I think that one took over the other, but not sure what way around. Would be interested to hear if anyone actually, factually knows what happened to The Security Partnership.

    • Andy your post was posted while I was writing mine so I hadn’t read yours. You are correct Larkins was owned by Paul Abbot who also owned Abacus Integrated Systems so this is how the SP contracts ended up back in Surrey. The monitoring station was closed down, Paul moved from the Bournemouth area to Banstead in Surrey around 1997, his main company was a fire alrm company in Barking, he also brought a pest control company and a company in USA.

      • Hi Mike,

        Whilst you were writing your post, I was being noisy and checking a few things out.

        It would seem that Abacus Integrated Systems have now gone – I think they are in Liquidation/Administration. The director, Paul Abbott seems to have had a colourful past. If you look at http://company-director-check.co.uk/director/910363408 he has been associated with over 100 company’s. Other firms he appears to have been associated with, known to me are Argus Fire & Security, Crimecure, Bews Security and AIS Fire and Security (who I had no idea had gone into liquidation.

        The question is, who has the Abacus Integrated Security contracts now?

        • Following this thread with fascination! There is a building near Kings Cross literally encrusted with Abacus alarms of various vintages, some ancient, some very recent-looking, so they obviously lasted a long time (albeit under slight name changes) even if in abeyance now.

        • Andy in 1996/7 Abacus were in negotiations with me & Eddy to by our company Westec Security but it all fell through I won’t say why because I don’t know how much you can say on the internet without some sort of legal action. Would you believe I then joined Abacus as General Manager intruder alarms with the aim of them gaining NACOSS approval, I did compile a Quality Manual for them but alas it never worked out and I rejoined Westec in 1998. In the 30 years I was with Eddy Enright we parted company four times the breaks helped because we never had one argument in those 30 years also one needs to join other companies to gain new ideas & knowledge.

          Abacus later became an ADT agent, I know they were still in existance in 2007. Most of the Surrey Council contracts went to Admiral Security.

          As you can see from his list of companies he is heavy into fire alarms, one of his companies was Morris Merryweather, Merryweather being the first fire alarm company in the country a few centuries ago.

          Getting back to SP after the Kings Cross fire SP won the contract to fit the fire alarms in the underground system.

  3. I suspect this was a firm called (The) Security Partnership who had a shopfront in Reigate in the 80’s. I think owners took over the alarm business from one Jeffcock Security in Lesbourne Rd, Reigate (started by a guy called Jeffcock) – bet you dont have pics of any of his boxes Vicci! ;-) (prob all stickered over by SP I reckon).

    PS. The SP logo had a sort of chain around it I think? Might be the remains of that in your pic?

    • I worked for a firm in Welling/Kent taken over by SP in 1990/91 but after a few months most of us left.

      sad days

      • Hi Simon, thanks for adding to the comments. Slightly edited for legal reasons… can everyone keep it uncontroversial please, this is just a humble light hearted blog and I can’t afford libel fees ;-)

        • I worked at Secure from 87-91 until they were bought out by SP

          i remember we (in welling) took over all the London work and there was much rejoicing from Redhill.. :)

            • I still have a “C” type secure box in my garage

              started working there 25yrs ago next week (17th)

            • Was secur alarms the white box (like the Lander) and had ginger writing on the box and quite a few in west London? I love the fact that a mysterious box with two letters prompts so many responses it makes this so interesting

              • I just assumed SP was some tiny Herne Bay firm (though I did guess it probably stood for Security Partners), I only ever found that one box – despite having done many a burglar alarm trawl in Reigate, where they appear to have had links. I never thought SP would provoke such interest!

              • I think the Secur Alarms you are thinking of was the Croxley Green firm who used white S type and then the Lander Bell Boxes. They were aquired by Astor Security of Hemel Hempstead with High Tech Security and Club Security. The whole lot end up with ADT.

                The owners of Secure Alarms fell out, hence the reason for selling it and both started new firms, one called Croxey Alarms and the other called M25 Security Systems. Both still going. Croxley are major competition to us….they are so cheap.

                • Ahh this all makes sense.. as the house im thinking that used to have a secure then had it replaced by a HI-Tech and then by a ADT.
                  Where were Club security based? there’s an estate nr me with Club security systems all eurobells (sorry if this is going a bit off topic)
                  I see a lot of M25 and Croxley near to here

    • Can’t see a chain on the logo, but it’s incredibly faded. As for Lesbourne Road, I lived in Reigate in my schooldays and we used to tease people from Lesbourne Road for being “lesbians” … seemed funny aged 14! Also there was a notorious Hells Angels pub in the road, it’s a lot more posh now. As for Jeffcock alarms (fnarr fnarr), no, never seen one.

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Formerly

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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