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AFA Burglar Alarm, Westminster, W1, 2012

“AFA Burglar Alarm” burglar alarm, City of Westminster • And so we move into, um, the fourth year of Burglar Alarm Britain. I must be mad. But I’ve still got loads of alarm images to share, so I’ll keep on going. Who knows, maybe even until the next election (when the political details will all become wrong). I may not always write as much as I have done previously, but I shall still avidly read all comments and answer when appropriate, so keep ’em coming – it’s the only thing that keeps me going with this sometimes! Anyway, enough moaning, back to the chase. As you’ll see I’m still on a vintage theme, now on the somewhat confusing trail of AFA-Minerva-Thorn. This being, I think, the earliest AFA I’ve come across, with the alphabetical dialling code for Chancery.• Spotted: Berwick Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster

AFA Burglar Alarm

19 replies »

  1. A real classic, AFA was the first proper alarm company I joined about 1970 after leaving the Post Office alarm department. Vici you still haven’t posted a Post Office bell box which is still current and goes back to the 60s, a real vintage box the is still used or maybe just left up on PO walls.

        • But they must be the longest running bell box, not changing externally, even in the 60s they were very sophisticated internally as they were the only signalling device for systems protecting thousands if not millions of cash. A picture of one has to be on this site it’s unique, sorry Vici.

            • Sorry just arrived back home in Menorca, I was looking for one when in Uk for two weeks but only saw one down the side of a Post Office so no good for a photo. I’m guessing now, but on a Post Office or Sorting Office, its a gold/grey colour with two rows of vents down the front, no words or logo, best of luck.

              • Here, for all to see, is the PO bellbox Andy mentions, and what he has to say about it:

                “This is one of a few types of bell box that the Post Office used to fit. Spotted on old Post Office Shenley Road Borehamwood. Pictures taken by Alex, my son. All Post office Systems were installed by Romec (Royal Mail Engineering Company). Romec only used to install alarms for the Post Office – internal client if you like. A few years ago they went commercial and do the likes of Comet/PC World, but still do Post Office Branches and sub branches.”

                • I forgot it had a lock on the front. During the 70s a Post Office system was overcome or nearly so they added an extension bell that was painted white as the one in the picture, the main bell box was sort of grey/gold colour which I think was plated not painted so no rust.
                  In the 60s & 70s the alarms were fitted by Post Office electricians who were in the alarm department (which I was one for a few years) until ROMEC came along.
                  They also fitted alarms in mail trains and on certain platforms, yes The Great Train Robbery was before my time.

                    • Bells only which is surprising as up to late 60s it was the GPO which consisted of the Royal Mail & Post Office Telephones. Although very large amounts of cash were kept in main sorting offices that were alarmed & manned 24 hours. There was a good reason for not requiring remote signalling which I better not explain as it may still be relevant today, that’s got you thinking.

  2. Well what a memory from my past. I started with AFA in 1961 and in 1963 i had just past my driving test and i had used the night van for the weekend without permision. on returning the van on the Monday I was given 3 day suspension. what a stroke of luck. it was then when all my maintenace colloegues had to go round changing all the old Auto Call, Clarion, and Sentinal caovers for these new fibre glas ones

    Now 68 and still at it with my own company Hewes Security

    Dick Hewes

  3. Good morning and a very happy new year. I’m sure I speak for everyone, YOU CANT GIVE UP, not ne3xt, no year. It keeps us all going. You can stop when I’m snug in my grave (which will have a bell box fitted to my memorial stone). Looking forward to 2014 blogs. (PS…If I didn’t t know better I would say that one of our engineers fitted this bell, they have only used three of the four cover screws) . This box is made of fibre glass, and as can be seen, has the single pole tamper loop running through two side holes.

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Formerly cover.
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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