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Geographic

Bell Alarms, Glasgow: angular

Bell Alarms "Bell Alarms" burglar alarm, Glasgow • I've already featured many a bell, and here's a wonky angular one bearing the Scottish flag and a tiny owl. So, it probably doesn't sound that great. • Spotted: Saucihall Street, Glasgow, G2, Scotland, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Glasgow Central
Bell Alarms, Glasgow: angular

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?

“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

“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

“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

“Town & Country”, Great Missenden: cop clamp

Town & Country "Town & Country" burglar alarm, Great Missenden • This is brilliant – a T and C made out of a clamp, looking like the opening titles for a 1970s cop show. Perhaps not strictly a monogram as it's part of a larger logo, but a top design anyway. The 1983-founded Town & Country's website shows they still boast the T&C clamp on everything from sounders to vans, now in resplendent 3D red. • Spotted: Town centre, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Chesham and Amersham
“Town & Country”, Great Missenden: cop clamp

“Shipman”, Southwark: hello sailor

"Shipman Security Systems Limited" burglar alarm, Southwark • On a river you require a ship (or at least a boat). An to run it, a salty shipman – not a made-up word to justify including this alarm in the "rivers" theme, but a medieval term for a sailor. Proof: one of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" is called "The Shipman's Tale", aka "The Sailor's Tale". So it must be a real word. And having scraped the bottom of the seabed to connect this particular alarm to rivers, tomorrow I shall move on to another theme. • Spotted: Dolben Street, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark Above: some salty shipmen
“Shipman”, Southwark: hello sailor

“Coastal”, Folkestone: riverine

"Coastal" burglar alarm, Folkestone • Where do rivers go? To the coast, of course (except the ones that feed lakes, or dry up in the desert, or do weird things underground, etc etc). But in most cases they do head for the coast, so I shall file Coastal under Rivers. Even though Folkestone, where I found this, doesn't actually have any rivers – just a tiny brook called the Pent Stream. • Spotted: Town centre, Folkestone, Kent, CT20, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Folkestone and Hythe Above: not-very-exciting coastal Folkestone
“Coastal”, Folkestone: riverine

“Delta”, Hackney: creek

"Delta Security" burglar alarm, Hackney • According to useless Yahoo Answers, there are no river deltas in Britain, because there's not a vast enough area of flat land. But I've found one: the Wandle Delta. Admittedly it's just an forgotten little industrial creek off the Thames, but hey – we can't all be the Mississippi. In fact there are plans to smarten it up with posh housing, but I rather like how it looks now – must go and explore it before it's too late. Amazing the things you learn researching burglar alarms! • Spotted: Chatsworth Road, Hackney, London, E5, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington Wandle Delta Tom Bolton 5502093622_235213cc86 Above: a great pic of the Wandle Delta by Tom Bolton – see more on Flickr here
“Delta”, Hackney: creek

“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

“Brook”, Camden: babbling

"Brook Security Limited" burglar alarm, Camden • Ah, brook - a tiny babbling burn, as opposed to the mighty waterways to come. Probably nothing to do with the nearby Tyburn, one of London's many underground rivers. • Spotted: Charlotte Street, Camden, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras Above: a babbling brook (not in London, as you may guess)
“Brook”, Camden: babbling

“Avenue Alarms”, Winchester: tree-lined

"Avenue Alarms AAL" burglar alarm, Winchester • An avenue is a road lined with trees, but this was found stuck sideways on a mouldy wall – see below for its actual orientation. AAL stands for Avenue Alarms Limited, I'd guess. It looks like their label is stuck over another firm's sounder, but I can't discern which. • Spotted: Town centre, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Winchester Above: how the sounder was mounted. Below: an avenue
“Avenue Alarms”, Winchester: tree-lined

“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

“Westec”, Westminster: centred

"Westec" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Finally, I'll end with a Westec with the screw-hole centred on the UK, rather than the Atlantic as in this one, which I started with. I was pleased to learn that the design was created in 1985 by the 14-year-old son of the one of the firm's owners, as he explains here. This is rather a rusty example, sadly, but it's the only one I've got. However the firm's boss tells me it still isn't the  final version, due to the slightly wiggly type – which looks to me like a typical result of computer-traced artwork circa the early 90s, and wouldn't have been noticeable high up. There's a correct version in the comment here• Spotted: Great Titchfield Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster. 
“Westec”, Westminster: centred

“Glo Bell”, Westminster: cheeky

"Glo Bell" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • This has no globe at all – just a cheeky pun (well I assume it's meant to read "global", unless it's some kind of glowing bell). I'm rather fond of Glo Bell's cheerful-looking sounders – there's another one here. • Spotted: Eastcastle Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“Glo Bell”, Westminster: cheeky

“Aptek”, Hull: fairgroundy

"Aptek" burglar alarm, Kingston upon Hull • You'll have to squint to see this – it's a tiny wire globe top right, with the initials AP in it. Quite an attractive logo actually, if more fairgroundy than burglar-alarmy. • Spotted: Town centre, Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hull West and Hessle
“Aptek”, Hull: fairgroundy

“USA”, Southwark: speeding

"USA" burglar alarm, Southwark • This is incredibly faded, but I'm pretty certain it's a stylised world globe next to the initials USA. It is a skilled design which looks very familiar, suggesting it was "closely inspired" by something more famous, such as the iconic 1983 AT&T logo by graphics godfather Saul Bass. • Spotted: Rouel Road, Southwark, London, SE16, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark
“USA”, Southwark: speeding

“CPA Alarms”, Islington: obscure

"CPA Alarms" burglar alarm, Islington • The strange logo at the top, which to me looks like a giant molar, is in fact some unidentifiable panels (presumably not a Richard Serra sculpture) on top of a globe. The legend around it reads "Pyronix Association of Security Specialists", which is totally opaque to me, as is the acronym CPA. Googling reveals that Pyronix is a major trade supplier and the three weird planks are their logo, but all in all it's a very obscure sounder design for the lay viewer. • Spotted: Caledonian Road, Islington, London, N1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Islington South and Finsbury
“CPA Alarms”, Islington: obscure

“IDS” burglar alarm, Chelsea: controversial

"IDS Intruder Detection Services" burglar alarm, Kensington and Chelsea • I found this global alarm on some scaffolding (see below), hence I know that IDS stands for Intruder Detection Services. Even so, it still makes me think of controversial Tory Iain Duncan Smith, who is also known by these initials. • Spotted: Elystan Place, Kensington and Chelsea, London, SW3, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Chelsea and Fulham
“IDS” burglar alarm, Chelsea: controversial

“J&D Security”, Glasgow: literal

"J&D Security" burglar alarm, Glasgow • Loving this – a giant padlock clamped to a globe, illustrating literally the slogan "Securing Your World", thus placing this in the extensive "Locksmithery" category too. No clue as to what J&D stands for, though. The firm obviously are (or were) based in Scotland, but I can't find a website for them. • Spotted: Saucihall Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G2, Scotland, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Glasgow Central
“J&D Security”, Glasgow: literal

“World”, Tower Hamlets: Mercator

"World Security Systems" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • Back down to earth from yesterday's Universal with a plain old world. Like all the other burglar alarm globes featured, this uses the Mercator projection, which isn't a true representation of the continents' various sizes. For that you need the Gail-Peters projection, which makes all the landmasses look more skinny. • Spotted: Limehouse Cut, off Broomfield Street, Tower Hamlets, London, E14, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Poplar and Limehouse
“World”, Tower Hamlets: Mercator

“Global Tec”, Milton Keynes: spinny

"Global Tec Security Systems" burglar alarm, Milton Keynes • Quite a brushy, 1990s-looking "spinny" globe logo here – which despite focusing on the continent of America, was found in the moneyed home county of Buckinghamshire. Although the logo's changed, I'm assuming the box belongs to this Global Tec, who were founded in 1994, and are based in nearby Herts. • Spotted: Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK9, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Milton Keynes North
“Global Tec”, Milton Keynes: spinny

“Westec”, Southwark: global

"Westec" burglar alarm, Southwark • Today I start a "global" theme, quite popular on burglar alarms. Kicking things off is Westec, an ex-company of Mike Hardesty, one of this blog's regular and very knowledgeable commenters – you can find his (and other contributors') musings on Westec here. • Spotted: Pages Walk, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark
“Westec”, Southwark: global

“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

“Alarm Shop II” and “BST”, Camden: fighting labels

"Alarm Shop II" and "British Security Technologies" burglar alarm, Camden • Another mysterious Alarm Shop II logo, this time fighting with a BST logo. Both look like transparent labels, and it's impossible to tell which was there first. It was found in a rather picturesque grot-niche in Leather Lane – that's it, below. • Spotted: Leather Lane, Camden, London, EC1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
“Alarm Shop II” and “BST”, Camden: fighting labels

“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

“Scotshield”, Glasgow: patriotic

"Scotshield Fire & Security Systems" burglar alarm, Glasgow • You'd never get a firm called Engshield, would you? Britshield, maybe. But there's no doubt where this one's from. In fact, it's so patriotic it was found on the Rangers football stadium at Ibrox Park (see photo below). You know, the really famous Glasgow football club who went broke and are now relegated to the Irn-Bru Third Division – there's a pic of the ground here. So who knows whether they'll be able to maintain their security contract. • Spotted: Edmiston Drive, Ibrox, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G51, Scotland, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Glasgow South West
“Scotshield”, Glasgow: patriotic

“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

“National Security”, Tower Hamlets: lock ’em all up

"National Security" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • Oooer, this is a bit foreboding: a tall, harshly-lit tower casting the menacing shadow of a portcullis. Punningly, it's in Tower Hamlets – and it's national, too! Lock 'em all up, that's what I say. • Spotted: Brushfield Street, Tower Hamlets, London, E1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“National Security”, Tower Hamlets: lock ’em all up

“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

“Britannia”, Southwark: patriotic lion

"Britannia" burglar alarm, Southwark • I end the Roman Britain theme as I began, with Britannia – I never tire of their swinging sixties-style logo, which wouldn't look out of place in a Paul Smith boutique. This old box has a bulb on top, which thanks to the comment here I now know is considered somewhat insecure, as a passing ne'er-do-well could use it to lever the alarm off. • Spotted: Morocco Street, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark
“Britannia”, Southwark: patriotic lion

“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

“Britannia”, Westminster: Roman invader

"Britannia" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • You'd think invasion was a bad subject for burglar alarms – let alone for a country – but both Britain and security firms seem to revel in our colonisation by Rome. Thus there are quite a few alarms on a "Romans in Britain" theme – or, as this one more accurately puts it, in Britannia. I prefer Britannia's older two designs, here, assuming it's the same firm. But thankfully they've retained the Union Jack (or Union Flag, as we're boringly supposed to call it these days), and are to be applauded for depicting only the fourth woman I've come across on a sounder. However Boadicea might have been better, as she at least tried to keep the Romans at bay.• Spotted: Strand, City of Wetminster, London, WC2, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“Britannia”, Westminster: Roman invader

“Crusader Security (UK) Ltd”, Greenwich: fancy shield

"Crusader Security (UK) Ltd" burglar alarm, Greenwich • Crusaders are slightly at a tangent from knights, as not all crusaders were noble horsemen – the crusades were like a travelling township, with vast crowds of commoners and even women and children tagging along. However, lots of knights were crusaders, and as bloke's got a fancy shield, I'll assume he's one of them. • Spotted: Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London, SE10, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Greenwich and Woolwich
“Crusader Security (UK) Ltd”, Greenwich: fancy shield

“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

“City Alarms”, Tower Hamlets: ticked off

"City Alarms" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • While arrows and chevrons are popular on burglar alarms, their natural graphic companion the Sure Deodorant-style tick is rare, so here begins a necessarily short run of them. Hornchurch-based City Alarms rocked the tick-plus-London-skyline look for years, though they've now got a totally different logo which you can see on their website here. They've got yet another logo on their brilliant legacy Web 2.0 website here – bristling with sound effects and animations, it must date from around 2000, as it says the 1988-founded firm is 12 years old. • Spotted: The Oval, Tower Hamlets, London, E2, England, 2006 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“City Alarms”, Tower Hamlets: ticked off

“Vitesse”, Westminster: ooh la la

"Vitesse" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Ooooh la la – this is French for "quickness". The stylish two-tone logo looks straight out of a 1970s Gallic sci fi movie (or maybe off a 1990s Daft Punk CD sleeve), and sports a tick (the mark, not the insect) which, though popular on deodorants, is a rare alarm trope. The box itself is an unusual flattish metal design, the same as this rusty old Mayfair Selby /York Alarm Centre effort. • Spotted: Berwick Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“Vitesse”, Westminster: ooh la la

“Vaico International”, Tower Hamlets: global gloves

"Vaico International" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • These hands look like they're literally trying to put the world to rights on this sadly leaning sounder. There' a picture of a more recent Vaico sounder here – hands still tightly cupping their proud globe of internationalness – and the 1997-founded firm's official website is here, though it doesn't offer any explanation of the cryptic name. Globes are a very popular theme, and one I'll return to soon. These are the last disembodied hands for now: tomorrow, alarms relating to swiftness. • Spotted: Wentworth Street, Tower Hamlets, London, E1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“Vaico International”, Tower Hamlets: global gloves

“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

“Glo Bell”, Westminster: self-referential

"Glo Bell" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Sporting Edward Benguiat and Victor Caruso's ever-popular Bauhaus font from 1975, this is the only red "baton" sounder I've ever found. I've seen quite a few newer-style Glo Bell alarms around London, and though I can't find a website for them, the firm is apparently still active – good news, as I always like self-referential bell boxes featuring bells. • Spotted: Berwick Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“Glo Bell”, Westminster: self-referential

“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

“Civic Alarms”, Oxford: 1970s classic

"Civic Alarms" burglar alarm, Oxford • I like the way the red circle here suggests a "stop" sign, but also echoes the red bulb above it. It's just one of many differently-designed Civic alarms from various areas and eras I've come across, but I don't know if they are all the same firm. This was found on the olde-worlde covered market in Oxford town centre, and I saw various newer examples around town too, so I assume it's this Oxfordshire firm. But whether it's also the 1972-founded Civic Security whose website is here, I have no idea. The geometric slab-serif font is Rockwell (or something similar), which is a classic 1970s favourite, so it's a possibility. • Spotted: Covered Market, High Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Oxford East
“Civic Alarms”, Oxford: 1970s classic

“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

“Woodlands”, Westminster: ancient wood

"Woodlands Security Systems Ltd" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Another bosky firm, Kent-based Woodlands was dissolved in 2005, the year I photographed their sounder (there's a red light at the far right, so it must be still working). Their HQ was in Erith, near to ancient Oxleas Wood and the 89 acre Woodlands Farm (a charitable trust open to all) – which is possibly the source of their name. However their WSS monogram logo isn't very clear, leading the sounder to suggest it belongs to an organisation called "SS" – never a very good look. • Spotted: Oxford Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“Woodlands”, Westminster: ancient wood

“Woodside”, Westminster: bosky cops

"Woodside" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • This is a classic of what I think of as "police" design – alarms with blue-and-white graphics recalling, whether intentionally or not, the corporate identity of the UK's constabulary; in this case, the checks that adorn their cars and hatbands. It is at odds with the bucolic name of Woodside, perhaps chosen because this Finchley-based firm is surrounded by so many woods. No, I never associated Margaret Thatcher's old manor with woodlands either – but look on Google maps and you'll see Big Wood, Little Wood, Cherry Tree Wood, Highgate Wood, Queen's Wood and Coldfall Wood all in the vicinity. Who knew Finchley was so bosky? • Spotted: Horseferry Road, City of Westminster, London, SW1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“Woodside”, Westminster: bosky cops

“Oakpark Alarms”, Aylesbury: long-lived oak

"Oakpark Alarms" burglar alarm, Aylesbury • Another long-lived oak, Winslow-based Oakpark Alarms was founded in 1985. Although their website still wishes visitors a happy christmas 2010, one of the two tweets on their minimal Twitter page wishes the world a happy new 2012, so I guess they are still around (if not very good at updating web things). I was hoping Oakpark would turn out to be some leafy Buckinghamshire landmark – a historic park, or a posh golf club, say – but that appears not to be the case, so I guess it's just a random name. Their base of Winslow does have some burglar-related fame, however: it's the setting of Terence Rattigan's famous play "The Winslow Boy", based on the true story of an Edwardian naval cadet wrongly convicted of theft. • Spotted: Cambridge Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Aylesbury
“Oakpark Alarms”, Aylesbury: long-lived oak

“Oakland Security”, Beckenham: protective tree

"Oakland Security" burglar alarm, Beckenham • From burglar alarm acorns grow security system oaks, and unlike the defunct nut-based companies of the last two days, Horsham-based Oakland Security Systems, founded in 1995, is still going strong. I just learned an interesting oak fact on Wikipedia: the reason window blinds often have acorn-shaped pulls is because having an acorn on your windowsill is meant to protect against lightning. Not for any scientific reason, but because in ancient Norse myth, Thor sheltered from a thunderstorm under an oak tree. Which was pretty stupid of him, really – and I thought he was meant to be the thunder god anyway. But maybe that extrapolates to acorns and oaks being seen as protective on burglar alarms – it's certainly quite a popular motif. • Spotted: High Street, Beckenham, Kent, BR3, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Beckenham
“Oakland Security”, Beckenham: protective tree

“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

“Thorndon”, Newham: tenuous thorns

"Thorndon Chelmsford" burglar alarm, Newham • Yet another variation on thorns, admittedly rather tenuous – but it's a nice old Eurobell box, and I have to feature these things somewhere! Essex-based Thorndon were formed in 1982, an era this sounder probably dates from – but I've seen plenty of newer ones too. • Spotted: Cooks Road, Newham, London, E15, England, 2006 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of West Ham
“Thorndon”, Newham: tenuous thorns

“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