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Modern Alarms, Southwark, 2010

Modern Alarms

“Modern Alarms” burglar alarm, Southwark • It may seem like I’ve featured about a squillion Modern bellboxes over the years, and indeed I have. But never a bright yellow rectangular one before; the only others of this shape I’ve posted were this very faded dirty one, and another ancient one above a road sign. Although I do realise the innards are probably the same… • Spotted: King’s Bench Street, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark

17 replies »

  1. Eurobell was a motorised bell unit, the old Modern Alams cheeswedge boxes at the end of thier life started to incorperate these features however the more compact modern looking Eurobell pushed the cheeswedge out of existance. Modern/ADT enhanced the eurobell to a sounder and introduced the threepenny bit box that we all now see – a very durable long lasting style, it has not been changed out for some 20 years – however soon to have new rebrand as Tyco – ADT.

    • Strange as Tyco is not well known in UK, perhaps their directors are too remote from the real world or are they planning to sell more of their vast products in UK or Europe.

      • Really? Tyco own nearly everything. There isn’t a lot of things I buy that don’t have Tyco on it. They have bought most of the major players in most manufacturing markets and supply chains and have rebranded them and stuck Tyco all over everything.

        If you are in the UK and haven’t heard of Tyco then you haven’t been out much recently!

        • It just shows you how things change, I retired to Menorca over four years ago, hence my comment about Tyco. When I worked at ADT 2001 – 2004 the name Tyco was not well known even in the alarm industry, they would buy a manufacturing company, retain the company name with a small Tyco logo displayed. They did change their CEO in 2003 perhaps that has something to do with the changes.

  2. Oh thanks, is it Andy? it’s quite nice to clear up some old mystery’s. The tann bell must give a very different kind of ring then the eurobell slow ring they used for many years afterwards. Would it be right that they must of stopped putting these on walls around 1984?

    • Yes…It is Andy. I have never ever been any good at remembering years of anything, but thinking and working back, I think you are about right. The Friedland 6″ Under some bell was favoured by most. I think the Tan bell was a bit cheaper!. The Friedland, Tann and Euro bell all gave completely different rings. Any from Essex Security knows all about Euro Bells

      • I remember several shops and industrial areas near to where I grew up had these coffin modern boxes and they had very strange old fashioned rectangular black and grey PIR’s that made a very loud knocking noise as you walked past! It may not of been a PIR, but must of been one of the first movement based detectors. I only guess and wonder about the years these boxes put up, as often I take it to the next level and think of what music was in the charts when some of the boxes where put up!

        • Yes the Tan bell was cheaper & slimmer, also the other type’s striker occasionally jammed, so no sound when the alarm went off, pretty useless for a bells only system. From memory wasn’t the Eurobell a motorized operation.
          Richard the knocking noise you heard from the PIR was the relay dropping in and out when the detector tripped, used in all early movement detectors, beams etc until reed switches were used.
          Early 70s music, how about The Carpenters.

            • We used the Friedland in the later half of the 70s, I can remember we used the 3 spacers supplied with the bell when we built our own bell boxes. We used the small Cybertone electronic sounder internally because it was ear piercing, small and easy to hide in a house, all our engineers were supplied with a inch and a quarter hole cutter so they could be cut into skirting board or side of staircase.
              I’m sure we used the Tann around 73 – 76 at Express Alarm Services in Surbiton.

  3. There are some that are some rare ones in day glow Orange and even rarer ones in blue. Does anyone know if they housed a bell or siren?

    • For sure…..I have one. The housed a Tann 6″ Under done bell, two pie micro switches, one detecting removal of cover and the other to detect removal from the wall along with a small self actuating bell circuit board. A real bell box!!!! The Blue version pre dated these and were normally said ‘Modern Automatic Alarms’ – the original name of the company.

  4. This was the original Modern Alarms Bell Box. I have one in my collection in my office. There were latterly thousands of these. When they stopped using these they started using the round Euro Bell and then changed the cover to the familiar shape used today by ADT.

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