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“Amco”, Camden: military badge

“Amco” burglar alarm, Camden • I suppose AMCO stands for Alarm Monitoring Co. But what of the Harry Potterish legend “Superna petamus”, which doesn’t, as the petals in the middle would suggest, mean “always flowering”? Well, the slightly different “Superna Petimus” means “We seek higher things”, and is the motto of RAF Cranwell, where RAF officers are trained. This spelling, I think, means “let us seek higher things”, and though AMCO’s logo doesn’t look like RAF Cranwell’s coat of arms, it does resemble a British military badge. So endeth a super-category started several weeks ago, namely militia. And now, as Monty Python famously said, for something completely different… • Spotted: Goodge Place, Camden, London, W1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras

2 replies »

  1. The old AMCO badge is historic in that the company was originally started as a traditional “bells only” alarm company called “No 6 Group Security Systems”. The business was formed as a subsidiary of “No 6 Group” which was based at Allerton Park Castle, the former wartime HQ of No 6 (RCAF) Group, where permission had been granted by the RCAF to use its wartime badge. This was in the format of a standard RAF badge with the central design being a Yorkshire rose overprinted with a Canadian maple leaf.

    “No 6 Group Security Systems” modified the badge keeping the basic design but changing the crown (so as not to infringe official royal designs) and changing the motto to “Superna Petamus” – “let us seek higher things” – NOT the Cranwell motto “Superna Petimus” – “We seek higher things”. The MD of No 6 Group was a former Cranwell Cadet and liked the idea of aiming for better security (with higher bell boxes!) so he modified the motto to suit the company’s aims!

    However, in 1993, when the police announced that they would not respond to alarms sounding, the company realised that noisy alarms did little except annoy people, so after testing conventional “call-back” monitored systems he decided that live audio interactive monitored alarms were the only ones that worked. Hence the Alarm Monitoring Company was born with the trade mark “AMCO”, but in the short term utilising the existing bellbox design. The short term turned out to be longer than anticipated as business grew when people realised that this was the only type of monitoring that got rid of intruders before losses occured. It was only after many years, when the former RAF MD started taking a back seat and a dynamic young Marketing Director took over marketing, that the bell box design change. The old box may have gone, however, the companies aim to provide the best security for everyone remains – “Superna petimus”

    • Thanks for contributing such a detailed and fascinating explanation of this unusual logo – I’m glad I managed to find an example. By the way, any further comments you make will now go straight through onto the blog without moderation.

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