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Dragon, Cardiff: Welsh

Dragon StMarySt Cardiff nr CF10 1DX 40934_800 "Dragon" burglar alarm, Cardiff • The Welsh never get tired of their dragons, do they? And neither do I. • Spotted: St Mary Street, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF10, Wales, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Cardiff Central
Dragon, Cardiff: Welsh

“Management Security Services”, Lowestoft: twisted

Management Security Services "Management Security Services" burglar alarm, Lowestoft • It's a bit faded, but this MSS monogram is so tortuously twisted it looks like a piece of modern art. MSS also stands for "manuscript", as do the initials of Midland Security Systems, who I haven't featured yet (but will soon). • Spotted: Town centre, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Waveney
“Management Security Services”, Lowestoft: twisted

“Arrow Security”, Chelsea: go faster

"Arrow Security" burglar alarm, Kensington and Chelsea • A very completist entry as I've already shown a similar Arrow Security sounder here. This one looks newer, and the arrow's more subtly shaded with thinner "go faster" stripes, and that's about it... • Spotted: Beauchamp Place, Kensington and Chelsea, London, SW3, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Kensington
“Arrow Security”, Chelsea: go faster

“Sentry Alarms”, Hull: furry hat

"Sentry Alarms Limited" burglar alarm, Kingston upon Hull • It's not just the Queen who's guarded by blokes in giant furry hats – they're very popular on burglar alarms, as we shall see. The one above is on a blameless wall in Hull, but here's one I featured earlier that was decorating a brothel (seriously). • Spotted: Town centre, Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hull West and Hessle
“Sentry Alarms”, Hull: furry hat

“Premier”, East Grinstead: head of state

"Premier" burglar alarm, East Grinstead • After sundry aristocrats and yesterday's military dictator, our bigwigs are getting a bit more democratic. In many countries a premier is a head of state, and in some of those states – such as Britain – it's interchangeable with the term Prime Minister. This handsome blue sounder comes from the deeply conservative town of East Grinstead (as quite a few of my bigwig alarms do), and could conceivably date back to the days of John Major, so I reckon it's a Tory premier. • Spotted: High Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Sussex Mid
“Premier”, East Grinstead: head of state

“Alarmfast”, Glasgow: Caledonian sail

"Alarmfast" burglar alarm, Glasgow • Here's a more recent version of yesterday's self-explanatory "fast" alarm. They've moved to the unusual tupperware box-style shape I featured here, and pruned their weird logo to simply the spindly triangle, which now looks like a hang glider sail, or perhaps an arrow. The red sandstone wall behind it shows this is from Glasgow: Alarmfast sounders are all over the place there, as befits a 20-year-old Caledonian firm. • Spotted: Merchant City area, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G1, Scotland, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Glasgow Central
“Alarmfast”, Glasgow: Caledonian sail

“Chevron Alarms”, Windsor: arrows over arrows

"Chevron Alarms Protects" burglar alarm, Windsor • Finally, to end this "arrow" theme, what purports to be a chevron, but to my mind also passes as a double arrow, certainly in the typographical sense. And if you check out the wall I found it on (below), you'll see there's an architectural arrow directly above it. This is the last arrow for now: tomorrow, the rather less warlike theme of botanical sounders. • Spotted: St Leonards Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Windsor [caption id="attachment_11144" align="alignnone" width="472" caption="Hey, there's an arrow above the arrow!"][/caption]
“Chevron Alarms”, Windsor: arrows over arrows

“Direct Security”, Hackney: nice old arrow

"Direct Security" burglar alarm, Hackney • This is a nice old arrow logo – it doesn't even bother with "01" on the phone number. I found it on a defunct tyre shop, which was encrusted with Direct's devices – I also snapped an even older version, which I'll wheel out one day. I wonder if this Direct has any connection with the boring Direct Site Services sounder I featured a few days ago? • Spotted: Chatsworth Road, Hackney, London, E5, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington
“Direct Security”, Hackney: nice old arrow

“Wheelers”, Southwark: Zulu warrior

"Wheelers Security Systems" burglar alarm, Southwark • If yesterday's arrow-decorated shield was the sort a knight would use, this is more like a Zulu warrior's. As well as an arrow and club crossed behind it, there's a double-headed knotted arrow inside it. What the connection between African arrow overkill and an old-fashioned English name like Wheelers is, I don't know – I always thought it was a posh fish restaurant. Hmm, maybe it's a fish, not a shield... • Spotted: Tanner Street, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark
“Wheelers”, Southwark: Zulu warrior

“Shield Alarms”, Bristol: a hut made of arrows

"Shield Alarms" burglar alarm, Bristol • This is a bit strange – a shield decorated with a hut (or possibly a gate) made out of long skinny arrows. But it's from Bristol, and I've stopped being surprised by the weird sounder designs that emanate from that neck of the woods. For all I know, people in the West Country actually do live in huts made of arrows – which would presumably negate the need for burglar alarms. Although this sounder looks quite recent, of the squillions of Shield security firms on the internet, I can't find one matching this particular logo. • Spotted: Queen Square, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
“Shield Alarms”, Bristol: a hut made of arrows

“Arrow Security”, Camden: weapon in flight

"Arrow Security" burglar alarm, Camden • Now we move from purely symbolic direction arrows to the depiction of an actual weapon – one being fired at a burglar here, judging by the "flight" marks. Although I've seen a few of its sounders around and they look quite recent, I can't find any trace of Arrow Security as a going concern on the internet – maybe it was this firm (random business directory ahoy) based in Camberley, Surrey. • Spotted: Kings Cross Road, Camden, London, WC1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
“Arrow Security”, Camden: weapon in flight

“Sharp Alarm Systems”, Derby: big bold pointer

"Sharp Alarm Systems" burglar alarm, Derby • A big bold tabloid-style arrow from Sharp – albeit a trifle faded, and on what I think is a rather despised sounder amongst the burglar alarm cognoscenti. I like it, although it would be equally at home pointing to a car boot sale. The 20-year-old firm of Sharp Alarm Systems still exists, now with an even more tabloid-looking red, black and white design and some of those delta boxes that light up at night. • Spotted: Town centre, Derby, Derbyshire, DE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Derby South
“Sharp Alarm Systems”, Derby: big bold pointer

“Len Gunstone”, Bath: three arrows in one

"Len Gunstone Bath" burglar alarm, Bath • Three arrows in one – or perhaps an arrow piercing a triangular rock – for Len Gunstone of Bath, whose sounder is taking a bath in Gay Street (no chortling at the back there). Oh, I've just realised – it's also a naive monogram comprised of a very angular "L" (outer black triangle) and "G" (inner yellow triangle), with an arrow in the centre. Clever – but unreadable. Googling Len Gunstone throws up a 2012 website for a firm called BSA, aka Bath Security Alarms, whose logo is a cube inexplicably emerging from (or dropping into) a hole. Not one I've come across yet in the plastic. • Spotted: Gay Street, Bath, Avon, BA1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bath
“Len Gunstone”, Bath: three arrows in one

“Direct Site Services”, Bristol: proverbial V-sign

"Direct Site Services Ltd" burglar alarm, Bristol • Well, this arrow may be making the proverbial V-sign, but the logo is otherwise completely basic. I can't find any evidence that this firm still exists in an operational sense, though they're still listed at Companies House. • Spotted: Town centre, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
“Direct Site Services”, Bristol: proverbial V-sign

“Primary Systems Ltd”, Camden: cardiac arrest

"Primary Systems Ltd" burglar alarm, Camden • The medical-looking arrow here, with its zig-zag kink and bulging red blob, makes me think of an electrocardiogram trace tracking a pulmonary embolism. Combine this with the name Primary, and it conjures up primary health care trusts and hospitals. And that's not a good thing, because it's depressing. I can only find Primary Systems Ltd on useless old business directory sites, so I reckon the firm went into cardiac arrest itself. • Spotted: Covent Garden area, Camden, London, WC2, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
“Primary Systems Ltd”, Camden: cardiac arrest

“Arrowe”, Birkenhead: sharp shooter

"Arrowe Security Systems" burglar alarm, Birkenhead • Another alarm named after the Arrowe area of Wirral, this is an earlier incarnation of yesterday's logo. That modern one was curving and wafty like a hot air diagram, in caring sharing hug-a-hoodie style. But this straight arrow harks back to a harsher, more forceful era – the kind of weapon to shoot an errant intruder stone dead. Nice! • Spotted: Shore Road area, Birkenhead, Merseyside, CH41, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Birkenhead
“Arrowe”, Birkenhead: sharp shooter

“Arrowe”, Derby: soapsuds to sounders

"Arrowe Security Systems" burglar alarm, Derby • Although illustrated with an arrow, Cheshire firm Arrowe is not mis-spelled – its name refers to Arrowe Park and Hall in Wirral, an estate founded by Liverpudlian slave trader John Shaw, and later bought by cleaning products magnate Lord Leverhulme. These days the the park is owned by the local authority, the hall is a private care home, and the name is immortalised on a burglar alarm. From slaves to soapsuds to sounders: so goes the modern world. • Spotted: Town centre, Derby, Derbyshire, DE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Derby South
“Arrowe”, Derby: soapsuds to sounders

“Tetco”, Tower Hamlets: corporate thrust

"Tetco" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • This thrusting, self-piercing arrow is either strangely phallic or reminiscent of a devil's tail. It has a late 1980s corporate feel: something Margaret Thatcher would have approved of on a BA plane's tailfin, or the door of a privatised BT phone box. Calling your company "something-co" is equally corporate, but a risky strategy: it can sound impressive if the image is good enough, but it can also look pathetic with a shonky design. This just about falls in the former camp, so I assumed Tetco was quite a big operation. However Google only throws up a Tetco Security Systems in Deal, Kent that exists solely on business directory sites (aka business graveyards), and another registered in Cheshire that appears equally inactive. So despite its professional image and name, this firm is presumably defunct. • Spotted: Redchurch Street, Tower Hamlets, London, E2, England, 2006 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“Tetco”, Tower Hamlets: corporate thrust

“SecureAlot”, Hackney: greetings from Spamalot

"SecureAlot" burglar alarm, Hackney • These aren't quite arrows – more like half arrows or lances, which suits a name that sounds like a comedy knight from Monty Python's Spamalot. Sir Securealot the Bonkers Burglar Alarm, perhaps – mates with Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir Lancelot and Sir Bedevere The Strangely Flatulent. The firm's website has lots of phone numbers but no HQ address, so maybe they do indeed hail from Camelot. • Spotted: Mehetabel Road, Hackney, London, E9, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney South and Shoreditch
“SecureAlot”, Hackney: greetings from Spamalot

“Access”, Lambeth: for Latin speakers only

"Access Intruder Alarms Ltd" burglar alarm, Lambeth • Another swirly arrow, not as sophisticated as yesterday's, and with a design verging on the basic. Via Google I found a Southampton firm with the same phone number and a similar name and logo, but when I went to their website I found this:

About Access Intruder Systems. Content Coming Soon. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam non tortor purus, in ornare lacus. Aliquam erat volutpat. Morbi a nisl ipsum (etc etc in cod-Latin for quite some time). Call us today to arrange your FREE Survey.

So either they've not finished their website, they provide a bespoke service for Latin speakers, or they're not around any more. • Spotted: Lower Marsh, Lambeth, London, SE1, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Vauxhall [caption id="attachment_11273" align="alignnone" width="472" caption="Above: Access Intruder Systems' Latin-speaking website"][/caption]
“Access”, Lambeth: for Latin speakers only

“ESS”, Southwark: identifying arrows

"ESS" burglar alarm, Southwark • Blimey, there are a lot of security firms called ESS. There's the long-established Essex Security Services, who I've featured four times now. Then there's ESS (Electronic & Security Services) in Northern Ireland, and ESS-Security Ltd of Leeds. But the swirly arrows in this logo point to Electronic Security Solutions of County Durham, albeit a long way from their Darlington base. Which proves the value of logos: without those identifying arrows, and the fact that ESS also picture them on their website, I'd have had no way of knowing which of the four firms was behind this sounder. • Spotted: Bermondsey Square, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark
“ESS”, Southwark: identifying arrows

“APT”, Herne Bay: circuit diagram

"APT" burglar alarm, Herne Bay • This has a logo of weird broken arrows which I can only assume refers to some kind of circuit diagram. Back in 2004, when I photographed this in Herne Bay, I later wandered past a junk shop which had the APT logo on its fascia. So, unless APT were combining security with a sideline in car boot sales, by that time they had either closed down or moved onwards and upwards. There's still an APT Security in Kent boasting 20 years of experience and a much smarter logo, so maybe it was the latter. • Spotted: High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Thanet North
“APT”, Herne Bay: circuit diagram

“Scamp Security”, Hull: odd acronym

"Scamp Security Hull" burglar alarm, Kingston upon Hull • One red arrow pointing in, three green arrows pointing out – perhaps representing a burglar being caught by three scamps. Let's face it, SCAMP is an odd acronym, but the Hull-based family firm still exists, so thanks to their website I know it stands for "Security Control, Alarm Monitoring and Patrols". Or, in full, the double-secure "Security Control, Alarm Monitoring and Patrols Security". Apparently the company was established in 1962 and changed its name to SCAMP Security in 1986, but what the original name was isn't mentioned. Doubtless it was shorter. • Spotted: Town centre, Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hull West and Hessle
“Scamp Security”, Hull: odd acronym

“BAT Alarm”, Birmingham: exploding arrows

"BAT Alarm" burglar alarm, Birmingham • Robin – the Bat Alarm! Actually this belongs not to Batman but to Birmingham Alarm Technicians, whose square box was featured in the creatures theme here. My blurred shot of their delta sounder gets a showing in this arrows category thanks to – of course – its exploding arrows, which look a bit like a rotated version of the somewhat dubious "arrow cross" discussed yesterday• Spotted: Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, West Midlands, B18, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Birmingham Ladywood
“BAT Alarm”, Birmingham: exploding arrows

“Hoffman Security”, Lambeth: symbol of chaos

"Hoffman Security" burglar alarm, Lambeth • I've already featured a white Hoffman box here, when I compared its arrow logo to the Dad's Army credits. But the symbol also has more ancient origins: the central four-armed cross is a heraldic mark called the cross barbee, also known as the arrow cross, denoting movement in all directions. In the 1930s it was adopted by the Hungarian fascists, and has since become associated with extremist right wing groups such as the American Nationalist movement. The logo bears an even stronger resemblance to the eight-pointed "Symbol of Chaos" (definitely not something needed on a burglar alarm), a design first doodled  the early 1960s by the writer Michael Moorcock in for his Elric of Melniboné stories and later taken up by role playing games, comic books, heavy metal groups and the like. All connotations which were totally unknown to Hoffman, I'm sure, who in fact based this logo on the joystick controls of a CCTV system. • Spotted: Brixton Road, Lambeth, London SW9, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Dulwich and West Norwood [caption id="attachment_11252" align="alignnone" width="472"] Left, the cross barbee or arrow cross; right, the "symbol of chaos"[/caption]
“Hoffman Security”, Lambeth: symbol of chaos

“CTAC”, City of Westminster: ancient artefact

"CTAC" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • The arrowhead is an ancient artefact, and an ancient symbol – examples of both have been found dating back to prehistoric times. And examples of both can be found on this burglar alarm, which was discovered above a Covent Garden restaurant, rather than the entrance to a cave. The red shapes look like actual arrowheads, of the type fired from a bow; while the blue ones are more symbolic, in the sense of indicating direction – though diverging arrows can have more sinister readings too, as I shall discuss tomorrow. What CTAC stands for is unknown – the company's website gives no clue, though it's does say it's a niche provider of high end security solutions, and a member of Westminster Group PLC. The attractive logo recalls a compass rose, so maybe one of the Cs stands for compass, and I bet AC is "access control". • Spotted: Bow Street, City of Westminster, London, WC2, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“CTAC”, City of Westminster: ancient artefact

“Westronics Ltd”, Lambeth: space-age creature

"Westronics Ltd" burglar alarm, Lambeth • Finally, another un-nameable shape, which is a bit like the body of a sea creature, or less imaginatively a razor. Maybe the ascendancy of these rounded, amorphous shapes over the chunky, straight-edged forms of yore is due to the advent of computer-aided 3D modelling, something achievable on a laptop today but requiring NASA-like processing power not so long ago. The Berkshire family firm behind this box has appropriately space-age roots, having been founded in 1969, year of the first moon landing. That era is reflected in their logo, which I think is a condensed version of Blippo, a font from 1969 based on Bauhaus supremo Herbert Bayer's influential "Universal Typeface" of the 1920s. I note that Westronics no longer uses this design of sounder, as demonstrated by the up-to-date deltas on their official website here. However it remains the only example of this shape I've come across, and I end with it because it also pictures the next theme, a weapon popular with ancient villains and security forces alike – the arrow. • Spotted: Lower Marsh, Lambeth, London, SE1, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Vauxhall
“Westronics Ltd”, Lambeth: space-age creature

“Stevens Security”, St Albans: wrath of Zeus

"Stevens Security" burglar alarm, St Albans • Finally, the most emphatic and recent lightning strike of all, suggesting that if you tangle with Stevens Security, you'll make not just Steven but the mighty Zeus very, very cross. You'd certainly feel it if this hefty black arrow of a thunderbolt pierced you – but not for long. Tomorrow: multiples. • Spotted: Town centre, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of St Albans
“Stevens Security”, St Albans: wrath of Zeus

“Wimpey”, Chelsea: not the burger chain

"Wimpey Security Systems" burglar alarm, Kensington and Chelsea • I came across this at Chelsea Reach, en route to explore the exclusive but tacky and depressing semi-gated community that is Chelsea Harbour (whose creation cut off to non-residential car traffic a very useful public road running behind the riverfront). It's an excellent old Eurobell sounder with a long-obsolete Wimpey logo – look closely, and there's a flash of lightning in the "C" of "Security". Presumably it hails from George Wimpey, who merged with Taylor Woodrow to form Taylor Wimpey PLC in 2007, but was the UK's largest private house builder in the 1970s – the same era as this alarm. • Spotted: Uverdale Road, Kensington and Chelsea, London, SW10, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Chelsea and Fulham
“Wimpey”, Chelsea: not the burger chain

“Echo Alarms”, Nottingham: paranoia descends

"Echo Alarms" burglar alarm, Nottingham • I don't know what echoes have got to do with lightning, or why this is set in an art deco typeface. But I do know why it's a crap photo: it was getting dark and it was in a bleak and creepy residential area, so I quickly grabbed the shot and ran. (To be honest I find most of Nottingham creepy – a combination of the gloomy Victorian architecture and its reputation for drugs and gangs, I guess. That and the fact that some paranoid woman went mental at me for photographing her house there one day.) • Spotted: Beeston Road, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG7, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Nottingham South
“Echo Alarms”, Nottingham: paranoia descends

“APS”, Bristol: tangled metaphor

"APS" burglar alarm, Bristol • A tangled visual metaphor, for sure: a one-eyed arrow-shaped house, with another arrow for a nose, joined by a dotted line (or a very ill-advised facial tattoo) to some soundwaves coming from its single ear, which presumably represents this sounder. The typography is equally complex, with four different fonts, and even the box is an unusual shape and colour – the few other examples I've found have blue sides, whereas these are green. It's all very neatly laid out, and gives the impression that every detail was agonised over – all told, a most unusual sounder design. • Spotted: Corn Street, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
“APS”, Bristol: tangled metaphor

“BAT”, Birmingham: bloodsucker

"BAT Alarm" burglar alarm, Birmingham • I know this acronym stands for Birmingham Alarm Technicians, because I found the head office (pictured below) – but I still prefer to think of it as representing an actual noun-type bat. Not a baseball or cricket bat, useful though they would be for the deflection of unruly interlopers; but the flying, squeaking, sharp-fanged kind. Trained squadrons of hunter vampire bats could locate swag-toting Johhny Burglar by sound alone, disorient him with their hideous flapping leathery wings, give him a nasty blood-sucking bite, and pass on a dose of rabies for good measure. Result! • Spotted: Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, West Midlands, B18, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Birmingham Ladywood Above: a real vampire bat (photo by Barry Mansell)
“BAT”, Birmingham: bloodsucker

“Hoffman Security PLC”, Hounslow: Dad’s Army

"Hoffman Security PLC" burglar alarm, Hounslow • I've included this nice logo in my World War II theme because not only do the arrows form a Union Jack, they look, coincidentally, very similar to the opening credits of the classic WWII-based sit-com Dad's Army, even using the same font (Cooper Black, as did the Blitz alarm a few days back). To be a PLC in the Public Limited Company sense, a firm requires a minimum share capital of £50k and must offer shares to the public, which is quite rare for a security startup. I became obsessed with finding out if Hoffmann really had been a "proper" PLC, and though there's very little on the web did manage to ascertain that it was a Middlesex company built up over 20 years by a guy called Erik Hoffman, who sold up to MRFS Group in 2006. However, the comment here informs me that Hoffmann, an Israeli, did indeed build up his eponymous business into a PLC, with a logo based on the joystick control of CCTV systems rather than a Union Jack. As for the much-loved Dad's Army credits (see the image below), they were in fact a last-minute compromise after the BBC objected to the original opening, which featured harrowing imagery of Nazis and refugees. The show's creators were very upset, but with hindsight it seems the BBC were right. • Spotted: Chiswick Mall, Hounslow, London, W4, England, 2006 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Brentford and Isleworth Above: The Dad's Army credits featured British arrows retreating from Nazi ones
“Hoffman Security PLC”, Hounslow: Dad’s Army