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Excellence

Ace, Newham, 2006

“Ace” burglar alarm, Newham • And yet another Ace. Got to get rid of them somehow. There’s a similar trapped one here. • Spotted: Leytonstone Road, Newham, London, E15, England, 2006 […]
Ace, Newham, 2006

Ace, Southwark, 2010

“Ace” burglar alarm, Southwark • Another Ace. There are millions of them, it seems. • Spotted: Belvedere Buildings, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of […]
Ace, Southwark, 2010

Ace, Southwark, 2010

“Ace” burglar alarm, Southwark • Similar to the one here. • Spotted: Price’s Street, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark
Ace, Southwark, 2010

TOD, Cardiff, 2012

“TOD Security Systems Quality Reliability Service” burglar alarm, Cardiff • In its tod, like. I also saw quite a few Tods in Shropshire and the Welsh borders. • Spotted: High Street Arcade, […]
TOD, Cardiff, 2012

Alpha, Derby, 2010

“Alpha” burglar alarm, Derby • And now a very short run of Greek letters. Starting with Alpha, natch. (And still quite grungy.) • Spotted: Town centre, Derby, Derbyshire, DE1, England, 2010 […]
Alpha, Derby, 2010

Alert Security, Islington: mini-monogram

Alert Security "Alert Security" burglar alarm, Islington • There's a mini-monogram on this faded oldster if you look closely – an A in a shield up at the top. To my mind (ie the sad mind of a graphic designer), it makes a rather attractive composition with its background of semi-painted wall (see below). • Spotted: Camden Passage, Islington, London, N1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Islington South and Finsbury Alert Security
Alert Security, Islington: mini-monogram

Choice, Hackney: essay

Choice "Choice" burglar alarm, Hackney • Another triangle-circle combo, this time channelling the ever-popular pizza-cum-Pacman furrow. This one's more Pacman than pizza, and they've practically written an essay on it, in really tiny type. • Spotted: Charlotte Road, Hackney, London, EC2, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney South and Shoreditch
Choice, Hackney: essay

Abel, York: label

“Abel” burglar alarm, York • Bit of a cheat, because this is just a triangular label. And it’s not even that triangular. • Spotted: Low Petergate, York, Yorkshire, YO1, England, 2011 […]
Abel, York: label

“Best”, Chelsea: Mr Boasty

Best "Best" burglar alarm, Kensington and Chelsea • The excellence category ends with a simple boast of "best", although I have to say this doesn't look like the world's best alarm. There's a little full stop after every letter, so maybe it's B.E.S.T – something-something-security-technology is my guess. • Spotted: Sydney Street, Kensington and Chelsea, London, SW3, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Chelsea and Fulham
“Best”, Chelsea: Mr Boasty

“Optima”, Herne Bay: fontastic

Optima Alarms "Optima Alarms" burglar alarm, Herne Bay • Presumably this is meant to suggest more Latin, ie optimus, from which we derive optimal or optimum – all words for best. Optima however is a typeface, though not the one used on this sounder. • Spotted: High Street, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Thanet North
“Optima”, Herne Bay: fontastic

“Ultra”, Liverpool: verily

Ultra "Ultra" burglar alarm, Liverpool • More Latin, though this just means very very very very. Which is, verily, quite an avant-garde name for a burglar alarm. • Spotted: Stanley Dock area, Liverpool, Merseyside, L3, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Liverpool Riverside
“Ultra”, Liverpool: verily

“Alpha”, Manchester: Phoenecian

Alpha "Alpha" burglar alarm, Manchester • Ancient Greek for "A", deriving from the Phoenecian for "ox" – and since those days, ie quite a long time ago, used to describe something very good. • Spotted: Deansgate area, Manchester, Lancashire, M1, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Manchester Central
“Alpha”, Manchester: Phoenecian

“A1”, Westminster: alphabetical

A1 Security Systems "A1 Security Systems" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Nice Eurobell suggesting a Roman road, something very good, and an ambition to come first in alphabetical lists... • Spotted: Great Titchfield Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“A1”, Westminster: alphabetical

“Prime”, Newcastle: dog food

Prime NewBridgeSt Newcastle nr NE1 2ST 30176_800 "Prime Security Systems" burglar alarm, Newcastle upon Tyne • I've been to Newcastle several times, so am shocked to find this is the first (and indeed only) burglar alarm I've ever photographed there. And this from someone who has even photographed sounders in Hull and Hereford (which, let's face it, are not exactly on Tripadvisor's top 10 city breaks list). So, just as well that Prime suggests excellence. Or dog food. • Spotted: New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Newcastle upon Tyne East
“Prime”, Newcastle: dog food

“Fab”, Cardiff: fab indeed

Fab Security System "Fab Security System" burglar alarm, Cardiff • Finally I made it to Wales, where I found this utterly fab FAB alarm. A keyhole and a Thunderbirds catchphrase – can't get more excellent than that. • Spotted: Womanby Street, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF10, Wales, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Cardiff Central
“Fab”, Cardiff: fab indeed

“Abel”, Falmouth: able

Abel "Abel" burglar alarm, Falmouth • OK, so it says Abel not Able – but Abel's founder, quoted here, says the name was intended to suggest the company was "able" (among many other things) – therefore qualifying for the category of excellence. Anyway, I like the Eurobell sounder; and I found it in the Cornish town of Falmouth, which is excellent in itself. • Spotted: Arwenack Street, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Truro and Falmouth
“Abel”, Falmouth: able

“Adept”, Bath: understated

Adept Fire & Security Systems Ltd "Adept Fire & Security Systems Ltd" burglar alarm, Bath • This logo with its strange pink spot suggests only borderline excellence, as adept is such an odd, understated word: the thesaurus offers flowery synonyms like adroit, accomplished, and dextrous. But it's more fun playing "antonym alarms", so my non-excellent doppelganger would simply be called "Inept fire and security". Which might not catch on. • Spotted: Miles's Buildings, Bath, Avon, BA1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bath
“Adept”, Bath: understated

“Alert”, Margate: awakenings

Alert Security "Alert Security" burglar alarm, Margate • Alert reads as both an adjective and a verb: boasting that the excellent security is awake (as one would hope), but also promising to alert security (and awaken all the neighbours too) in case of felony. It's not exactly Shakespeare, but it is quite clever. • Spotted: Fort Hill, Margate, Kent, CT9, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Thanet North
“Alert”, Margate: awakenings

“Precision”, Edinburgh: straightforward

Precision HighSt Edinburgh nr EH1 1SR 00588_800 "Precision" burglar alarm, Edinburgh • Another straightforward statement of alarm-appropriate excellence: I would have been more excited to find a firm called Inaccuracy, or Sloppiness. Red triangles are quite a popular motif, I've noticed – maybe it's something to do with suggesting a "stop" sign (though it also looks like a "play" button to me).• Spotted: High Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Edinburgh East
“Precision”, Edinburgh: straightforward

“Decorum”, Camden: genteel

Decorum Alarms "Decorum Alarms" burglar alarm, Camden • Surely the most genteel name for a burglar alarm firm ever, and appropriate for the decorous Hampstead borders where I found it. Should belong in a posh little sub-genre with Kudos from Bath, which featured right at the start of this blog, and which has the same type of clock-radio-alike sounder. • Spotted: Finchley Road, Camden, London, NW3, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn
“Decorum”, Camden: genteel

“Elan”, Westminster: puzzling

Elan "Elan" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Elan – a funny word for a sounder, but it does mean excellence, of a sort. The thesaurus offers a plethora of slightly effete-sounding synonyms conjuring up a cocktail party at Blandings Castle: flair, style, panache, brio, esprit, verve, spirit, gusto pep, zip, vim, oomph. A jigsaw puzzle cocktail party, perhaps... • Spotted: Langham Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“Elan”, Westminster: puzzling

“Ability”, Camden: generic

Ability Security Systems "Ability Security Systems" burglar alarm, Camden • Ability. Well, it's a form of excellence, albeit somewhat generic. "So, what particularly excellent quality does your firm have?" "Ability, mate." "OK, my good fellow, can't argue with that. You're hired!" • Spotted: Greville Street, Camden, London, EC1, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
“Ability”, Camden: generic

“Pro-Guard”, Stroud: professionalism

Pro-Guard Security Solutions Ltd "Pro-Guard Security Solutions Ltd" burglar alarm, Stroud • There are lots of guard alarms, but this starey-eyed sounder is the only one offering the added excellence of professionalism. If you wanted unprofessional guarding, maybe you'd hire a certain quadratic firm who messed up a bit during the Olympics, ha ha. • Spotted: Threadneedle Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Stroud
“Pro-Guard”, Stroud: professionalism

“Maxpro”, Stroud: extravaganza

Maxpro Security Systems Alarm Stroud "Maxpro Security Systems Alarm Stroud" burglar alarm, Stroud • Now we move from general business excellence to the self-proclaimed pros. In this case a superb 1970s disco extravaganza called Maxpro, which either stands for the maximum amount of professionalism possible, or some geezer called Max. • Spotted: Russell Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Stroud
“Maxpro”, Stroud: extravaganza

“Boss”, Derby: top cat

Boss Security Ashbourne "Boss Security Ashbourne" burglar alarm, Derby • No arguing with this - it's da boss. And of course boss is slang for excellent, as well as meaning top dog. Speaking of which, I'd like to think it was inspired by Boss Cat rather than Bruce Springsteen, though probably it's neither. • Spotted: Town centre, Derby, Derbyshire, DE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Derby South
“Boss”, Derby: top cat

“Executive”, Oxford: flunkey

Executive Alarms Oxford "Executive Alarms Oxford" burglar alarm, Oxford • Ah, executive - that all-purpose word intended to suggest high-powered business excellence, but which actually just means someone who does things, a functionary. As an adjective, it's usually added to bump up the price of something essentially crap which only a working flunkey would need, to elevate it one rung up the aspiration ladder - a polyester suit, say, or an Alan Partridge-style motel suite. Not that I'm suggesting this sounder is crap - it does boast a Ziggy Stardust-style lightning flash, after all. • Spotted: High Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Oxford East
“Executive”, Oxford: flunkey

“Class Systems”, Hackney: Marxism today

Class BroadwayMkt nr E8 4PH 40431_800 "ClassSystems.co.uk" burglar alarm, Hackney • You could read this as being a classy product, but looked at another way it's almost a Marxist statement, especially in the rapidly gentrifying area of the People's Republic of Hackney where I found it - on a posh shop surrounded by not-so-posh ones. • Spotted: Broadway Market, Hackney, London, E8, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney South and Shoreditch
“Class Systems”, Hackney: Marxism today

“Simply Quality”, Camden: scrolled

Simply Quality Security Systems "Simply Quality Security Systems" burglar alarm, Camden • I love this – the utterly boasty claim "simply quality", with a faux woodcut of a ribbon-bound scroll of excellence. Being a sad old graphic designer, I actually recognise it as a bit of early 1990s computer clip-art, no doubt intended for graduation invitations. • Spotted: Finchley Road, Camden, London, NW3, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn
“Simply Quality”, Camden: scrolled

“Status”, Stratford-upon-Avon: Mr Boasty

StatusAlarms Cook'sAlley StratfordUponAvon nr CV37 6PT 20121_800 "Status Alarms Coventry" burglar alarm, Stratford-upon-Avon • Starting today is the essentially boasty theme of excellence - whether a self-proclaimed quality of the burglar alarm firm, or conferred by the bell box upon the client. In this case it's the latter: with this sounder, you will gain status. I once saw one on a Prince of Wales pub, which is an ideal site. You can also get light bulbs (the old fashioned energy-gulping kind) called Status, which - like a burglar alarm - is either on or off, I guess. • Spotted: Cook's Alley, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Stratford-on-Avon
“Status”, Stratford-upon-Avon: Mr Boasty