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CMR Electrical, Bristol: tiny

CMR Electrical Telephone Bristol "CMR Electrical Telephone Bristol" burglar alarm, Bristol • A tiny, tiny old logo with a giant telephone number. It's too small to make out here, but the logo is a wee house surrounded by a giant chain and keys. • Spotted: Small Street, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
CMR Electrical, Bristol: tiny

Southern Electric, Islington: 1980s

Southern Electric Security Systems "Southern Electric Security Systems" burglar alarm, Islington • This is a very 1980s-looking illustration, though I daresay the alarm is more recent. Whether it's the same Southern Electric as this electricity firm – now with very different look – I have no idea. • Spotted: York Way, Islington, London, N1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Islington South and Finsbury
Southern Electric, Islington: 1980s

London Electricity, Southwark: plug

London Electricity Security Systems "London Electricity Security Systems" burglar alarm, Southwark • Now for a few electronic-themed sounders. You still see quite a few of these London Electricity alarms around, usually pretty faded. Though it remains a familiar logo (a plug made of L and E, geddit?), it's an old one – the firm actually became LEB in 1990. • Spotted: Tyers Gate, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark
London Electricity, Southwark: plug

MAS, Liverpool: cathedral

MAS Formby "MAS Formby" burglar alarm, Liverpool • This is on Liverpool Cathedral (the C of E one) - there's a distance shot of it here. Given it nearly reads Mass,  the Catholic one might have been more apt. • Spotted: Town centre, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Liverpool Riverside
MAS, Liverpool: cathedral

GSS, Lambeth: extended

GSS Grays "GSS Grays" burglar alarm, Lambeth • I like the way the extended sci-fi-style type of this unexplained  SS-themed acronym fills the whole sounder. Grays Security Systems, perhaps? • Spotted: Lower Marsh, Lambeth, London, SE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Vauxhall
GSS, Lambeth: extended

Fife Alarms, Edinburgh: shrieky

Fife Alarms "Fife Alarms" burglar alarm, Edinburgh • Another medieval instrument, and even shriller than the clarion, a fife is a small, shrieky flute beloved of marching bands. It's also a place in Scotland of course, which is probably what this alarm was named after. • Spotted: Howe Street, Edinburgh, EH3, Scotland, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Edinburgh North and Leith
Fife Alarms, Edinburgh: shrieky

Vocal Vale, Norwich: choral

Vocal Vale "Vocal Vale Great Yarmouth" burglar alarm, Norwich • Another classical music reference, with another double initial, and again found in Norwich - I wonder if it's related to yesterday's Sonata Security? Conjures up Welsh miners singing in a valley (or something). • Spotted: Town centre, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Norwich South
Vocal Vale, Norwich: choral

“4KL Crowthorne”, St Albans: forking ‘ell

4KL Crowthorne "4KL Crowthorne" burglar alarm, St Albans • The Berkshire village of Crowthorne is home to Broadmoor mental hospital – notorious for the famous murderers within – so security may well loom large in locals' minds. What 4KL stands for I have no idea however – it sounds like the title of a Prince song. Or maybe Ronnie Barker's famed epithet, "forking 'ell". • Spotted: Town centre, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of St Albans
“4KL Crowthorne”, St Albans: forking ‘ell

“i2i Security”, Middlesbrough: geddit?

I2I BridgeStEast Middlesbrough nr TS2 1NW 30101_800 "i2i Security Middlesbrough" burglar alarm, Middlesbrough • There's only one eye so it's Eye 2 I, geddit? If it was Eye 2 Eye, they'd have had an eye on both Is. And if it was I 2 I, it would suggest serious undermanning. Or something. Found above a suitably poetic Lord Byron sign (see below). • Spotted: Bridge Street East, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, TS2, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Middlesbrough I2I BridgeStEast Middlesbrough nr TS2 1NW 30100_1200
“i2i Security”, Middlesbrough: geddit?

“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

“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

“Lingfield Alarm Supplies”, East Grinstead: local

Lingfield Alarm Supplies Co Ltd "Lingfield Alarm Supplies Co Ltd" burglar alarm, East Grinstead • An attractive building-block monogram for what sounds like a small local company, yet I also found an ancient LAS sounder in Bath once - which is rather a long way from Lingfield on the sleepy Surrey border. Maybe it's one of those DIY jobbies. • Spotted: London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Sussex Mid
“Lingfield Alarm Supplies”, East Grinstead: local

“AT Alarms”, Derby: clunky

AT Alarms "AT Alarms" burglar alarm, Derby • Called AT in the logo, and ATA in the monogram, with neither explained (Alarm Technology, perhaps). I wonder if the  clunky ATA is meant to conjure up the scales of justice? Because it looks more like a trestle table. • Spotted: Town centre, Derby, Derbyshire, DE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Derby South
“AT Alarms”, Derby: clunky

“AGE”, Great Missenden: slow response

AGE Security Aylesbury "AGE Security Aylesbury" burglar alarm, Great Missenden • Hope they didn't have to wait an age for a response, ha ha - lthough I think they will now, as I can find no evidence this firm is still trading. Presumably the initials actually stand for Aylesbury something-or-other. • Spotted: Town centre, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Chesham and Amersham
“AGE”, Great Missenden: slow response

“Western”, Falmouth: staring eyes

Western MarketStrand Falmouth nr TR11 3DF 02023_800 "Western Security Systems We Watch Day and Night" burglar alarm, Falmouth • Not the most obvious time reference, but the roundel at the top states "we watch day and night". And to reinforce the point, there's a pair of staring eyes - one in the light, one in the dark. Nice! • Spotted: Market Strand, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Truro and Falmouth
“Western”, Falmouth: staring eyes

“Burglarm”, Winchester: eccentric

Burglarm Southampton "Burglarm Southampton" burglar alarm, Winchester • And finally, to see out 2012, one of my all-time favourite monograms, which I have been waiting two long years to feature – the eccentrically-titled Burglarm, whose monogram inexplicably features an S-shaped serpent struggling out of a letter "B". I suppose it stands for Burglarm Southampton, and since it's not a town noted for snake infestations, the slithering fellow must represent a burglar. Anyway, Burglarm are no more: founded in 1968, they were taken over in 2006 by the rather grand Berkeley Guard, who maintain a nice page of Burglarm history here. • Spotted: Town centre, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Winchester
“Burglarm”, Winchester: eccentric

“East Tower”, Westminster: bridgetastic

"East Tower Security Systems" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • I love bridges on burglar alarms but have only ever found two, the other being yesterday's Tamar. Tower Bridge of course spans the Thames, which like the Tamar is named after an ancient word meaning "dark flowing" – although muddy flowing would be more apt. East Tower are a long-running company, and I have many variations of their sounders, fortunately all bearing this wonderful logo. • Spotted: Vauxhall Bridge Road, City of Westminster, London, SW1, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster Above: the real Tower Bridge
“East Tower”, Westminster: bridgetastic

“Tamar”, Exeter: gridlocked

"Tamar Security" burglar alarm, Exeter • Ah, the eternally gridlocked Tamar Bridge, slender link across he Tamar between Devon and Cornwall. It's not named after the Jewish temptress of Biblical legend (more's the pity), but an ancient British word meaning something like "dark flowing", as is the Thames. • Spotted: Town centre, Exeter, Devon, EX1, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Exeter Above: the real Tamar Bridge
“Tamar”, Exeter: gridlocked

“Severn Telford”, Ironbridge: industrial

"Severn Telford" burglar alarm, Ironbridge • Found on the River Severn near Telford, so does what it says on the can. Probably dates back to the Industrial Revolution, which started at the spot I found it – Ironbridge Gorge. Oh, and the Severn is Britain's longest river, don't you know. • Spotted: Tontine Hill, Ironbridge, Shropshire, TF8, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Telford Above: the River Severn at Ironbridge Gorge, near Telford
“Severn Telford”, Ironbridge: industrial

“Clydetec”, Glasgow: fired up

"Clydetec Alarms CCTV Door Entry" burglar alarm, Glasgow • I've heard of the Red Clyde, but representing it with a house in flames? Not doing wonders for Glasgow's image, surely. • Spotted: Lynedoch Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G3, Scotland, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Glasgow Central Above: the mighty Clyde at Glasgow
“Clydetec”, Glasgow: fired up

“Waveney”, Sheffield: wavy

"Waveney" burglar alarm, Sheffield • The River Waveney separates Norfolk and Suffolk, and meanders through the Norfolk Broads. Although I found this sounder in Sheffield, some considerable distance away, the wavy logo suggests it is indeed named after the eponymous waterway. • Spotted: Queen Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Sheffield Central Above: the River Waveney at Beccles, not Sheffield
“Waveney”, Sheffield: wavy

“Roding”, Tower Hamlets: wasteland

"Roding Security Services" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • Another river-cum-creek, the Roding weaves through Essex before reaching the Thames via Barking Creek and Creekmouth, crossing a strange industrial wasteland that's been the subject of both literature (Iain Sinclair's psychogeographic ramblings) and art (Jock McFadyen's vast bleak paintings). But what's that in comparison to being immortalised on a burglar alarm? • Spotted: Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets, London, E1, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow Above: the River Roding, just before reaching the Thames at Barking
“Roding”, Tower Hamlets: wasteland

“Lee”, Camden: revitalised

"Lee Security" burglar alarm, Camden • This is probably named after a person, but as it's a popular sounder in East London, I like to imagine it references the fascinating River Lee (or Lea), a snaky waterway which branches into so many channels it's hard to keep track of. It used to be pretty much a ditch by the time it petered to an end at Bow Creek, but thanks to the Olympics has been totally re-landscaped and revitalised, and is now rather beautiful. • Spotted: Betterton Street, Camden, London, WC2, England, 2002 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras Above: the River Lee (aka Lea) at Bow Locks, London, where it meets Limehouse Cut
“Lee”, Camden: revitalised

“Isis”, Oxford: posh

"Isis Security Systems" burglar alarm, Oxford • Oxford's other famous river is the Isis (a posh name for the Thames), which like the Cherwell gives its name to a long-running student magazine. Isis was also an Egyptian goddess, and this sounder piles on the references with the visual pun of a startled-looking eye. I reckon that's a CR logo underneath it, another brand that's common in the town. • Spotted: Cornmarket, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Oxford East Above: fops punting on the Thames, aka the Isis, at Oxford
“Isis”, Oxford: posh

“Cherwell”, Oxford: apocalyptic

"Cherwell Fire and Security" burglar alarm, Oxford • I love this: a "W" made of fire, leaping apocalyptically from a pool of soundwaves. Pronounced "Churwell", the Cherwell is one of Oxford's two famous rivers, and also lends its name to a venerable student newspaper (these days, a website). The other famous river? That's tomorrow. • Spotted: High Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Oxford East Above: punt rollers (to help foppish punters avoid the weir) on the Cherwell at Oxford
“Cherwell”, Oxford: apocalyptic

“Camguard”, Aylesbury: Granta

"Camguard" burglar alarm, Aylesbury • This C in a sea claims to be guarding the River Cam, which as its name suggests runs through Cambridge, where it's also known as the Granta. The sounder however was found in unlovely Aylesbury, which is 60 miles away and on the River Thame. • Spotted: Canal Side Terrace, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP21, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Aylesbury Above: the River Cam at Clare Bridge, Cambridge. Punters ahoy!
“Camguard”, Aylesbury: Granta

“Avon Alarms”, Bristol: gorge

"Avon Alarms" burglar alarm, Bristol • There are several River Avons in the UK, because Avon is a derivation of the ancient British word for river: thus River Avon actually means River River. This charmingly discotastic sounder refers to the lovely "Bristol Avon", which runs through Gloucestershire and Wiltshire en route to Bath and Bristol, where it cleaves the mighty Avon Gorge then heads out to sea. Avon Alarms are a familiar sight in the city, which also used to be in the county of Avon, before it got turned into a "unitary authority". • Spotted: Clifton area, Bristol, Avon, BS8, England, 2006 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West Above: the Avon Gorge, Bristol
“Avon Alarms”, Bristol: gorge

“A1 Alarms”, Southwark: straight

"A1 Alarms" burglar alarm, Southwark • The A1, running from London to York and Edinburgh largely following a straight ancient Roman route, is famously the UK's longest numbered road. This company probably meant their name in the sense of "very good", but seeing as I've found examples of their sounders in both London and York, perhaps they did have the highway in mind too. • Spotted: Bermondsey Street, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark Above: part of the very long A1
“A1 Alarms”, Southwark: straight

“M25”, Borehamwood: flooded

"M25 Security Systems Ltd" burglar alarm, Borehamwood • As I write this, there is such severe weather across the UK that loads of roads and rivers are flooded. Something of a coincidence then, that my new theme is "roads and rivers". I start with London's orbital motorway, the M25, currently submerged in parts. • Spotted: Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Hertsmere Above: The M25 (unflooded)
“M25”, Borehamwood: flooded

“Essex Security Services”, Tower Hamlets: not scimitars

"Essex Security Services" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • Courtesy of Essex Security Services, already heavily featured on this blog, come what I at first thought were three scimitars – curved sabres good for slashing from horses, and much favoured in medieval Arabia. But as I am reliably informed by the firm's head honcho (see comments, below), they are in fact Seaxes: Germanic daggers from which the Essex-bound Saxons took their name, and which now feature in the Essex coat of arms. • Spotted: Redchurch Street, Tower Hamlets, London, E2, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“Essex Security Services”, Tower Hamlets: not scimitars

“A1 Security”, Norwich: traffic cops

"A1 Security Protecting the Community Norwich" burglar alarm, Norwich • This piece of DIY heraldry conjures up the police force with its badge, checkers, and ribband reading "Protecting the community". But they're obviously not traffic cops, as the A1 – aka Britain's longest numbered road – doesn't go anywhere near Norwich. A name chosen to rise to the top of the phone directory, then. • Spotted: Town centre, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Norwich South
“A1 Security”, Norwich: traffic cops

“Bristol & West Security”, Bristol: criminal tattoo

"Bristol & West Security" burglar alarm, Bristol • The name looks and sounds as if it's a building society (the old fashioned non-hedge fund sort) – so maybe it was. Under Photoshop enhancement, the faded carbuncle above the name (below) resembles a Russian criminal tattoo. Phenomenally complex, it incorporates two unicorns, a massive old ship on a shield (shades of old Westward TV logo), crossed human arms clutching scales of justice and a snake (law v burglar v, geddit?), and the legend Quality in Service. They don't make 'em like that any more. • Spotted: Baldwin Street, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
“Bristol & West Security”, Bristol: criminal tattoo

“Absolute Security”, East Grinstead: bricky battlements

"Absolute Security (Surrey)" burglar alarm, East Grinstead • Is it just my imagination, or are there a disproportionately high number of militia-related alarms in the deep Surrey "stockbroker belt" (quaint term in these days of rapacious bankers) of Dorking and East Grinstead? Whatever, this faded sounder showing two bricky little battlements was old when I photographed it in 2004, so I reckoned the company wouldn't be around any more. But an internet search throws up an Absolute Security in Surrey of 20 years standing, so despite a distinct lack of fortifications on their website, I reckon it's the same firm. • Spotted: Middle Row, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Sussex Mid
“Absolute Security”, East Grinstead: bricky battlements

“Baymont Alarms”, York: city wall

"Baymont Alarms York" burglar alarm, York • At last, a portcullis attached to an actual, realistic building: a bit of York's ancient city walls, no doubt, or some local fortress. I thought Baymont sounded like a place, but it doesn't seem to be, so maybe it's someone's name. • Spotted: Bootham Crescent, York, Yorkshire, YO3, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of York Central
“Baymont Alarms”, York: city wall

“Knightsbridge”, Merton: horsey bling

"Knightsbridge Security Systems Ltd" burglar alarm, Merton • Giant chains, jewelled keys and a white horse (at least that's what I think it is) on top: that's one blingy portcullis Knightsbridge have in their possession, worthy of Harry Potter or Katie Price. Though like West London Security, the placing is slightly off – wealthy Wimbledon Village may very well be full of bespoke portcullises, but it's a long way from Knightsbridge. Dodgy geography seems to be a feature of portcullis alarms. • Spotted: High Street, Wimbledon Village, Merton, London, SW19, England, 2006 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Wimbledon
“Knightsbridge”, Merton: horsey bling

“Sussex Alarms”, Brighton: superior helmet

"Sussex Alarms" burglar alarm, Brighton • Not, as it may appear, Darth Vader, but a Roman soldier in his finely-crafted helmet.Sussex was positively crawling with Romans in olden days, their metal headgear being vastly superior to the barbarians' leather contraptions. Not that I am suggesting Sussex is full of barbarians. • Spotted: Old Steine, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Brighton Kemptown
“Sussex Alarms”, Brighton: superior helmet

“Anglian”, Lowestoft: fish-fingery fellow

"Anglian" burglar alarm, Lowestoft • I used to fondly imagine this stencilled knight was some archaic reference to Anglia TV, left stranded high and dry in far-flung, fish finger-smelling Lowestoft. However the other day I drove past an office in equally fish-fingery Cornwall bearing this selfsame logo, so I now know it is a product of Anglian Homes, which isn't quite as exciting. • Spotted: Town centre, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Waveney
“Anglian”, Lowestoft: fish-fingery fellow

“Norman Security”, Lowestoft: fancy peerages

"Norman Security Lowestoft" burglar alarm, Lowestoft • That's enough aristocratic bigwigs for now. I blame it all on the Normans, who after 1066 took only a few years to replace the Anglo-Saxon landholders with rich French upstarts and a fancy system of peerages, paid for then just as now. Norman Security go back nearly as far: according to the local business site here, they are are "a sister company to Norman Electrical who have been trading since the 1950s" – though the lack of a dedicated web presence suggests both may now be defunct. • Spotted: Town centre, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Waveney
“Norman Security”, Lowestoft: fancy peerages

“Baron Security”, Islington: ball shortage

"Baron Security" burglar alarm, Islington • Baron Security of Epping sounds like the kind of dodgy title an unsuspecting American would buy over the internet. Barons are entitled to be called "lord", but it's actually a rather lowly rank, being bottom of the five rungs of the peerage. And in this case even the coronet is dubious: it should have six silver balls around it, like the one pictured below – I reckon the Baron flogged them on Ebay. Of course, I jest. Baron is a surname as well as a title, so that's more likely the origin of 1985-founded Baron Security's name. I still prefer to think of this firm as being owned by a rampaging, serf-baiting, coronet-pawning Essex aristocrat, though.• Spotted: Camden Passage, Islington, London, N1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Islington South and Finsbury [caption id="attachment_12237" align="alignnone" width="472"] A baron's coronet, showing four of its regulation six balls[/caption]
“Baron Security”, Islington: ball shortage

“Shef-Guard”, Sheffield: local cradling

"Shef-Guard" burglar alarm, Sheffield • More giant house-caring hands: this pair is either cradling a family home or crushing Noah's ark. The local geographical reference in the name is nice – suggesting it's specifically the citizens of Sheffield whom long-established Shef-Guard have been shielding for the last 25 years. • Spotted: Norfolk Row, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Sheffield Central
“Shef-Guard”, Sheffield: local cradling

“Jaguar Alarms London”, Wandsworth: holey cat

"Jaguar Alarms London" burglar alarm, Wandsworth • Presumably this minimalist and somewhat holed Jaguar is a vintage remnant of the Acton-based Jaguar Alarm Company featured here – a company later acquired by Ambush, as discussed in these comments. This so-called (by me) "baton" sounder is unusual for having a blue bulb, and the logo printed directly on to it – all the others I've found have red bulbs and labels. Riveting! • Spotted: Battersea High Street, Wandsworth, London, SE11, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Battersea
“Jaguar Alarms London”, Wandsworth: holey cat

“Anglia Property Guards”, Norwich: not Alan Partridge

"Anglia Property Guards" burglar alarm, Norwich • Strictly speaking this monogram reads AGP, rather than APG, although the G is pretty indecipherable. It's just as well they spelled the whole name out, or I might have thought it was a reference to Norwich's finest export, Alan Partridge, aha. It's such a vintage alarm I wasn't expecting the firm to exist any more, but they're still going strong – you can see their current sounder and more legible logo here. Coincidentally they're based in a place called Banham, which is of course the name of another long-lived burglar alarm firm. • Spotted: Town centre, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Norwich South
“Anglia Property Guards”, Norwich: not Alan Partridge

“OxLox Alarm Systems”, Oxford: baton sounder

"OxLox Alarm Systems" burglar alarm, Oxford • Today I start a brief run of what, until someone tells me their proper name, I can only call "baton" sounders – these long, slim, rather elegant boxes, with a flat circular bulb at the top. From the ancient phone numbers it's clear they are vintage, and they generally sport interesting graphics. This one, OxLox, is superb: it looks like a piece of art typography, or concrete poetry, and namechecks a bizarre anglo-jewish food combination – ox (as in ox cheek or ox tail) and lox (as in the cured salmon you get in bagels). In fact it's a clever play on "Oxford Locks", for an Oxfordshire firm that is no more. (Update: a commenter, below, says they do still exist but with a different phone number.) • Spotted: George Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Oxford East
“OxLox Alarm Systems”, Oxford: baton sounder

“Wychwood Security”, Cirencester: ex-wood

"Wychwood Security" burglar alarm, Cirencester • Spookily-named Wychwood, which sounds like something out of Harry Potter, was once a royal hunting forest covering much of West Oxfordshire. It was also once an Oxfordshire security firm, but Wychwood Security Services is nowadays part of Advance Vision Group, aka AVG, a 1989-founded firm whose sounders I'm not currently familiar with. As for Wychwood, their WSS monogram was a bit more fancy than Woodland Security Systems’, but it still majors on an ill-advised "SS”. • Spotted: Town centre, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cotswolds
“Wychwood Security”, Cirencester: ex-wood

“Bushwood Security”, Westminster: tangled thicket

"Bushwood Security" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Named after both a bush and a wood, this is very botanical, in name if not design. At first I assumed it was titled after the Bushwood area of Leytonstone, near to Epping Forest – an enclave once described as a "hidden gem" by Time Out's property section. But web research suggests Bushwood were a Wandsworth firm who later changed their name to Barking Dog Security (not from Barking, ha ha), whose excellent dog-based sounder I've not featured yet. And now the URL www.bushwoodsecurity.co.uk leads to a sub-site of Crown Security Systems (the one I featured blurrily here), so maybe Crown bought out the original Bushwood. It's all very confusing. • Spotted: Berners Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“Bushwood Security”, Westminster: tangled thicket

“Beanacre Alarms”, Frome: rural old bean

"Beanacre Alarms" burglar alarm, Frome • Just what you'd expect to find in the rural West Country, Beanacre is an obviously botanical name, as it sounds like an acre you grow beans on. And sure enough, there is indeed a place in Wiltshire called Beanacre – which is where this elderly alarm emanated from, as this local business site attests. It's not the world's most exciting acre – that's a picture of it, below. • Spotted: Town centre, Frome, Somerset, BA11, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Somerton and Frome [caption id="attachment_11499" align="alignnone" width="472" caption="Welcome to Beanacre. Please drive carefully."][/caption]
“Beanacre Alarms”, Frome: rural old bean

“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

“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

“Cirencester Intruder Alarms”, Cirencester: oddity

"Cirencester Intruder Alarms" burglar alarm, Cirencester • Another square oddity, which reminds me of a 1970s clock radio – I'm loving the big blue bulb. The name conjures up visions of American secret agents rampaging round deepest Gloucestershire (which they probably do). • Spotted: Town centre, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cotswolds
“Cirencester Intruder Alarms”, Cirencester: oddity

“Swale”, Southwark: bulky kitchen container

"Swale Security Systems Ltd Aquila group" burglar alarm, Southwark • Eight-sided but not a regular octagon, this resembles a bulky kitchen container. I've only found a few of these ungainly objects, which are sometimes mounted vertically. Swale makes me think of Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales, but it's actually an area of Kent at the mouth of the Thames. Its main town is Sittingbourne, and that's where this firm was based, though I think it exists no more. Aquila Group describes itself as "a group of independent electronic security companies", which presumably swallowed Swale up. Their website has limited functionality, but there's a picture here of an Aquila sounder similar to the day before yesterday's heptagonal Servian. Then there's a German Aquila Group that has the same logo, but deals with giant cargo ships; and all sorts of international conglomerates and financial funds with a similar name, who surely have nothing to do with little Swale Security. Aquila is Latin for "eagle", and can refer to the Roman legion standard, a constellation, and Roman boss-god Jupiter's pet raptor (who in Greek mythology carried thunderbolts for Zeus), hence the popularity of naming for shadowy James Bond-esque behind-the-scenes organisations.• Spotted: Decima Street, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark
“Swale”, Southwark: bulky kitchen container

“ESS”, Tower Hamlets: bottom-lopped shield

"ESS" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • Here's a rarely-seen shape that's very similar to Banham's proprietary shield, but with the crucial difference of having its bottom lopped off. Although ESS is an unexplained acronym, l happen to know that this psychedelic soundwave design belongs to Essex Security Services, who seem to regularly update their logo and sounders – not to be confused with ESS (Electronic & Security Services) in Northern Ireland, or ESS-Security Ltd of Leeds. Not the most exclusive set of initials, clearly. • Spotted: Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets, London, E1, England, 2006 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“ESS”, Tower Hamlets: bottom-lopped shield

“Avon Security”, Bristol: round-cornered triangle

"Avon Security" burglar alarm, Bristol • Avon calling: a modern take on the triangle, available with different-coloured surrounds. You don't see them that often, although it's a nice-looking design; however Avon have managed to take it downmarket with a basic, skew-wiff sticker. • Spotted: King Street, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
“Avon Security”, Bristol: round-cornered triangle

“Royale”, Hackney: regal relic

"Royale Security Systems" burglar alarm, Hackney • This looks around the same age as the preceding alarms, but it's so weathered it's hard to decipher the phone number. I could cheat and pretend it has a 3-letter exchange code, but in fact it doesn't: as far as I can make out, it says "Royale Security Systems ?? Benfleet 328?8". Benfleet is in Essex, near the Canvey HQ of the charming old Pearl box I featured recently. This competitor has fared less well, but I can see it once had a classic 1950s-style logo, and I reckon the casing started out as bright blue. I've done a Google search on the firm, but unsurprisingly turned up nothing at all, so any info would be welcome. Tomorrow: the new year ushers in more royal alarms, only somewhat newer than this one. Meanwhile I'll be down in beautiful Bristol, no doubt photographing yet more wonky West Country alarms and being forced to trudge the perimeters of various loser football grounds in recompense. Happy New Year! • Spotted: Shoreditch High Street, Hackney, London, E1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney South and Shoreditch
“Royale”, Hackney: regal relic

“Granley”, Tower Hamlets: short and sweet

"Granley Burglar Alarm" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • A very nice old Granley, with the kind of short and sweet (and therefore memorable) phone number we can only dream about nowadays, where BIS stands for for Bishopsgate in the City of London. To see more vintage alarms with three-letter phone codes, check out my Flickr gallery here – the photos were mainly curated from a Flickr pool called ONE TEL LET, featuring all sorts of objects bearing old-style exchange codes. It's full of fascinating photos (for those of a nerdy bent, anyway), and I recommend a look. • Spotted: Wentworth Street, Tower Hamlets, London, E1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“Granley”, Tower Hamlets: short and sweet

“AFA”, Chelsea: ancient takeover?

"AFA Burglar Alarm" burglar alarm, Kensington and Chelsea • This AFA alarm has the same phone number – CHA 2888 – as yesterday's Auto Call, and was found on the same bit of posh Chelsea wall, just round the corner from Harrods. Although like most AFA boxes it hasn't worn well, the design looks more recent than Auto Call's, so I assume AFA took them over. There's a really interesting comments thread about the company's long history below this AFA alarm, but it doesn't mention Auto Call, so if anyone knows more I'd be interested to hear it. • Spotted: Beauchamp Place, Kensington and Chelsea, London, SW3, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Kensington
“AFA”, Chelsea: ancient takeover?

“Pearl Alarms”, Tower Hamlets: faded attraction

"Pearl Alarms" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • What a beautiful old alarm, its evocative name recalling the faded fairground attractions of its home towns of Canvey and Southend, and matching perfectly the seaside-blue wall and decaying Dream Land awning. I've been parking beneath this sounder for years, as it's usually the nearest free spot to the Whitechapel Gallery, yet I never noticed it till the other week. The building's gaudy paint job is quite recent, so maybe that's what finally made it stand out. • Spotted: Wentworth Street, Tower Hamlets, London, E1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“Pearl Alarms”, Tower Hamlets: faded attraction

“Alarm Systems Torquay”, Bath: hydrant sign

"Alarm Systems Torquay" burglar alarm, Bath • This looks like the miniaturised eye from yesterday's odd alarm, staring out from one of those yellow H signs signifying a fire hydrant (see below). It could be a black magic symbol, but it's more likely to be a monogram – saying H, OH, HI or even OHI – but with a sounder this old there's no info to be found. • Spotted: George Street, Bath, Avon, BA1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bath Above: a fire hydrant sign (photo by Bishty)
“Alarm Systems Torquay”, Bath: hydrant sign

“Wakefield Security & Fire”, Shoreham-by-Sea: surreal

"Wakefield Security & Fire" burglar alarm, Shoreham-by-Sea • A while ago I published an old Wakefield alarm with unfair accusations of sleepiness – so here's a more up-to-date example, which is very wakeful indeed. It's also one of only a four sounders I have found decorated with photographic images, the others being two birds and a chain. This looks like something out of a surrealist film, and is almost as unnerving as yesterday's creepy eye sticker. The firm's proprietor, in a comment below, explains that there's also a globe reflected in the eye's iris, though sadly it's not visible in this photo. • Spotted: Town centre, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Worthing West
“Wakefield Security & Fire”, Shoreham-by-Sea: surreal

“Swat Selby”, York: digital snooping

"Swat Selby" burglar alarm, York • Another mysterious SWAT alarm, this time with a bulb and a fancier "AT" monogram than yesterday's. I've been googling SWAT and still can't find out much about them: their website is just a holding page saying "coming soon", which could date from any time in the last few years. It bears this swirly "AT" rather than yesterday's clunky effort, so maybe this is the more recent alarm, though it looks pretty ancient. I came across quite a few old SWAT sounders in York, but no new-looking ones, so whether the firm still exists I don't know. I suppose I could ring the number on their website's holding page, but I haven't reached that sorry stage yet, so restricted myself to digital snooping. On one of myriad business aggregator pages (which is where businesses go to die) SWAT turn up on there was a positive review from 2010 – possibly an insider job – saying they were a long-established family firm. I also visited their address on Google Street View, but there was no sign of them there, although as it's a multiple-occupancy business centre, that doesn't prove anything. So all I have learnt is that Selby – which I had never heard of before – has an abbey, lies beside the River Ouse, and looks as if it's falling down. • Spotted: Grape Lane, York, Yorkshire, YO1, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of York Central
“Swat Selby”, York: digital snooping

“Swat Selby”, York: mystery bird

"Swat Selby" burglar alarm, York • They like birds in York: yesterday a raven, today a hummingbird. Although the "SW" in "SWAT" suggests it's a swift. Or a swallow. Yes, I think it's a swallow – hovering over the badly-drawn monogram "AT" rather than a nest. In Selby. As swallows do. I wonder if SWAT is intended as a verb – as in swat all pesky burglars – or as an acronym, as in its original meaning of "Special Weapons and Tactics" (which would be rather exciting in smalltown Selby) or, more locally, "Selby's Wonderful Alarm Technologists"? All very mysterious. • Spotted: Low Petergate, York, Yorkshire, YO1, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of York Central
“Swat Selby”, York: mystery bird

“Southern Safeguards”, Brighton: safe-smitten

"Southern Safeguards" burglar alarm, Brighton • Another spread eagle, and even more bonkers than yesterday's: what looks like a Southern Bald Eagle smitten by a massive and badly-drawn safe, in a rather literal reading of the firm's name, Southern Safeguards. Not the newest of items, judging by both the naive design and the moss growing along the top. • Spotted: St George's Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Brighton Kemptown
“Southern Safeguards”, Brighton: safe-smitten

“Ram Security”, Reigate: angst-ridden

"Ram Security" burglar alarm, Reigate • A depressed-looking ram found on an old-skool corner cafe (actually called Corner Cafe, which is my idea of a proper name) in one of Reigate's less prime areas. Maybe it's protecting them from battering rams. Or maybe they sell battered rams. OK, it's a crappy joke. I wonder if the security firm's owner decided a ram would be a superb logo, so came up with the name "Reigate Alarm Master Security" (RAMS, surely) to match it? Or if the less-than-catchy name came first, then the boss thought, "Eureka! This calls for some clip art of a frowning uncastrated male sheep on my bell box"? I went back recently and the alarm's still there, but it's now so yellow and tattered that the ram looks positively angst-ridden. • Spotted: Dovers Green Road, Woodhatch, Reigate, Surrey, RH2, England, 2002 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Reigate Above: a real ram (photo by Martin Stoltze)
“Ram Security”, Reigate: angst-ridden

“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

“Armadillo”, Brighton: abject but armoured

"Armadillo Brighton" burglar alarm, Brighton • I love this alarm. A completely abject-looking armadillo, mournfully slouching above some stylish compressed type. (Being an insect-eater, it is possibly pining for the fly on the Ape alarm, below.) I've found another one in Aylesbury, which is newer than this and uses the Cooper Black font above the same illustration; and a quick web search reveals that the doughty little fellow represents Armadillo Safeguards, a 25-year-old firm based in Sutton, Surrey. Comical though it may be, unlike many burglar alarm creatures the armadillo at least has some relevance to the security trade, as it rolls up into an impenetrable armoured ball when threatened – although its guardian credentials are somewhat hampered by terrible eyesight. It falls into what I think of as the "defensive" rather than "offensive" category of anti-crime identity – somewhat abstract distinctions I shall explore further one day.• Spotted: Eastern Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Brighton Kemptown Above: A real armadillo (photo by www.birdphotos.com)
“Armadillo”, Brighton: abject but armoured

“Rely-a-Bell” and “Essex”, Tower Hamlets: crowned

"Rely-a-Bell" and "Essex Security Services" burglar alarms, Tower Hamlets • Another striking composition from the endlessly-picturesque Petticoat Lane area, which is studded with vintage alarms. These have got two lines of defence: a communal half-veil of pigeon netting, and individual mini-crowns of pigeon spikes protecting their exposed heads. They're very well preserved, so it seems to have worked. • Spotted: Wentworth Street, Tower Hamlets, London, E1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“Rely-a-Bell” and “Essex”, Tower Hamlets: crowned

“Essex”, Tower Hamlets: netted

"Essex Security Services" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • This seasidey sunbleached sounder looks like it's been caught in a fishing net. In fact it's another example of pigeon netting, necessary because the alarm resides in the same torrential guano zone as these revolting ADTs. The lovely old Essex logo looks like it pre-dates the chain-link example of a few days ago, but as you can see from the comment below I'm wrong: one of the company's head honchos tells me it's a later design. It's more attractive, but it's also a lot more violent: three immense curved sabres, enough to see off burglars and arial arse bombers alike. • Spotted: Wentworth Street, Tower Hamlets, London, E1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“Essex”, Tower Hamlets: netted

“Wilkin Alarms”, Sheffield: yellow peril

"Wilkin Alarms Sheffield" burglar alarm, Sheffield • The common theme of all these poo-struck alarms is the colour yellow, which perhaps in some mysterious way loosens birdy bowels. This virulent lemon example really does look like a piece of contemporary art. Which I realise isn't a great advertisement for contemporary art. • Spotted: North Church Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Sheffield Central
“Wilkin Alarms”, Sheffield: yellow peril

Essex Security Services”, Tower Hamlets: last link

"Essex Security Services" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • This is my last locksmithery post for now, and I can't pretend it's been an rivetting theme. Some of the imagery has been quite nice, but I've certainly run out of things to say about chains. I found this in White Post Lane near Hackney Wick, one of the entry points to the Olympic Park. At the moment it's an area of picturesque ruins, colonised by artists' studios, and very photogenic; catch it while you can, because apparently it's soon to be as blandified as the rest of the new-build area. Although I haven't photographed many alarms actually in Essex (as I never seem to go there), I've got loads of from Essex Security Services, because East London is positively bristling with them. The firm's still going strong, with a very different design, but this is an early example – I'll be posting another, more violent, variation in a few days. Coming tomorrow: pigeon problems, principally poo. • Spotted: White Post Lane, Tower Hamlets, London E9, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
Essex Security Services”, Tower Hamlets: last link

“Wakefield”, Worthing: Sleepfield, more like

"Wakefield" burglar alarm, Worthing • Sleepfield, more like: this was found in West Worthing, which is even more snorey than its dozy neighbour "main" Worthing, mobility scooter capital of the world. Back in 2003 digital cameras weren't up to much and I wasn't taking burglar alarms too seriously, hence the extreme blurriness, but you can just about make out a chain containing the initials WSS at the top. I'd like to get a better shot of this, and Google Street View, though usually a couple of years out of date, shows it as still there. So maybe I'm in luck – assuming I can be bothered to go back to Worthing. My brother (who tweets very amusingly about the underbelly of South Coast life as @LordScumland) lives there, so maybe I will. • Spotted: Tarring Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11, England, 2003 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Worthing West
“Wakefield”, Worthing: Sleepfield, more like

“Mayfair Selby”, York: football fixture

"Mayfair Selby" burglar alarm, York • Here's an updated, unfaded version of yesterday's identity, with a double helping of chain-draped heraldry, and traces of a less curvaceous bell box behind it. It's still quite old, because the firm is now called Mayfair Security and uses a different typeface (Officina, font fans), though the shield remains. The wall behind the sounder is red because it's part of York City FC's stadium – a visit to which was reparation for subjecting my football-addicted travelling companion to endless bouts of burglar alarm photography (and the being shouted at that goes with it). • Spotted: York City FC, Bootham Crescent, York, Yorkshire, YO30, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of York Central
“Mayfair Selby”, York: football fixture

“Mayfair Selby” label, York: faded chains

"Mayfair Selby" label on "York Alarm Centre" burglar alarm, York • Now we move from locks to chains, of which this is a particularly heraldic example. It once said Mayfair Selby, though the red text has long ago faded away; and by the magic of Photoshop, I have also discovered that the alarm underneath says York Alarm Centre, which presumably exists no more. A security system palimpsest, if you will. • Spotted: Shipton Street, York, Yorkshire, YO30, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of York Central
“Mayfair Selby” label, York: faded chains