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Unexplained acronym

FSE, Camden: smiley

FSE "FSE" burglar alarm, Camden • I love this. Who knows what it stands for, but it resembles a fat clownish smiley face, using a classic 1970s "go-faster stripes" font Stop, by Aldo Novarese. In fact this sounder was probably designed in the rave-tastic 1990s, when such "go-faster" styles came back into vogue; there's a learned article about it here• Spotted: Gordon Street, Camden, London, WC1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
FSE, Camden: smiley

AE, Marlborough: protected

AE "AE" burglar alarm, Marlborough • I'm assuming this is a triangular monogram saying AE, which would be a clever piece of typography. Alternately it could represent a 3D letter "A" with stripey sides. Either way, like yesterday's AAI, it's clearly designed to fill the whole delta – and unlike this wonky ASG, is protected from pigeons / seagulls, too. • Spotted: Town centre, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Devizes
AE, Marlborough: protected

AAI, Westminster

AAI "AAI" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Another triangular A-based monogram, specially designed to fill the whole delta. I hope Andy from AAI, a regular contributor to this blog, will forgive me for showing a somewhat vintage example; there's a newer version here• Spotted: Margaret Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
AAI, Westminster

ASG, Newquay: seagull poo

ASGSecurity BankSt Newquay nr TR7 1AX 00032_800 "ASG" burglar alarm, Newquay • A descendent of Alarm Service Group – there's some comment about that on this ASG entry. I must say, to the untrained eye, this isn't the world's neatest installation. And, being in Cornwall, that's probably seagull rather than pigeon poo. • Spotted: Bank Street, Newquay, Cornwall, TR7, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of St. Austell and Newquay
ASG, Newquay: seagull poo

CAS Security, Hackney: beaky

CAS Security "CAS Security" burglar alarm, Hackney • This is a very peculiar design; I can't work out whether the logo is meant to be a monogram, a stylised object of some kind, or just random. To me, it most suggests a weird beaky face. I saw loads of these in Birmingham recently, so it's not an uncommon brand. • Spotted: Shoreditch High Street, Hackney, London, E1, England, 2006 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney South and Shoreditch
CAS Security, Hackney: beaky

NT Security, Westminster: flowing

NT RidingHseSt nr W1W 7AR 70807_800 "NT Security" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Now we move onto birds, firstly of the arbitrary (ie not overtly hawkish) kind. Not totally clear what kind of avian this flowing illustration represents, but I reckon it's a dove. Or a swift. • Spotted: Riding House Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
NT Security, Westminster: flowing

B.D. Security, Fulham: barking

BD ChelseaHarbour Hamm&Ful nr SW10 0XD 6118_800 "B.D. Security" burglar alarm, Hammersmith and Fulham • I have long been waiting to show this excellent cartoon logo, in which which I think B.D. stands for 'barking dog'. There weren't any guard dogs in earshot when I photographed it, though; maybe the firm is based in Barking. • Spotted: Chelsea Harbour, Hammersmith and Fulham, London, SW10, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Chelsea and Fulham
B.D. Security, Fulham: barking

Sim, Glasgow: smartphone

Sim BrookSt Bridgeton Glasgow nr G40 2AB 00299_800 "Sim" burglar alarm, Glasgow • Not just an unexplained acronym, but an early computer game (Sim City et al), and the heart of every mobile phone, whether smart or stupid. • Spotted: Brook Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G40, Scotland, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Glasgow Central
Sim, Glasgow: smartphone

PC, Stratford-upon-Avon: minimalist

PC HenleySt StratfordUponAvon nr CV37 6PT 20029_800 "PC Security" burglar alarm, Stratford-upon-Avon • Three popular security tropes in one minimalist logo: police and thieves, locksmithery, and of course computers. I think we can leave political correctness out of it.  • Spotted: Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Stratford-on-Avon
PC, Stratford-upon-Avon: minimalist

RVTV Security, Chelsea: wibbly

RVTV Security "RVTV Security" burglar alarm, Kensington and Chelsea • More camera techiness, this time with  a TV-themed sounder. At least I assume the unexplained acronym refers to security TV: it's a pretty dull old logo, and the grey globe gives no clue at all. Unless it represents a giant bouncy ball that wibbles out and squashes you, like in The Prisoner. Now that would be a good burglar deterrent. • Spotted: Beauchamp Place, Kensington and Chelsea, London, SW3, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Kensington
RVTV Security, Chelsea: wibbly

ACS, Westminster: scary

ACS "ACS" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Wow, these are impressive all-encircling waveforms, like something from a scary 1950s sci-fi movie. Bring on the theremin music! • Spotted: Duke of York Street, City of Westminster, London, SW1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
ACS, Westminster: scary

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

Tcom, Oxford: abbreviation

Tcom "Tcom" burglar alarm, Oxford • An abbreviation for telecom, geddit? And an unexplained acronym, if it stands for anything else. • Spotted: New Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Oxford East
Tcom, Oxford: abbreviation

Eke Security, Stroud: eek!

Eke Security "Eke Security" burglar alarm, Stroud • Eek! Vertical and horizontal in a little cross. I wonder if EKE is an unexplained acronym, or  a standalone name. • Spotted: High Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Stroud
Eke Security, Stroud: eek!

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

HPS, Sheffield: sideways

HPS "HPS" burglar alarm, Sheffield • Blimey, not exactly the world's most inspired logo. And either the box or the label is on sideways... • Spotted: Union Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Sheffield Central
HPS, Sheffield: sideways

AES, Lambeth: rocket

AES "AES" burglar alarm, Lambeth • Kind of a triangular stack going on here, like a rocket of initials with a blast of phone numbers beneath. Fanciful, moi? • Spotted: Secker Street, Lambeth, London, SE1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Vauxhall
AES, Lambeth: rocket

“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?

“Fab”, Cardiff: fab indeed

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

“SDS Security”, Merton: tiny

SDS Security "SDS Security" burglar alarm, Merton • A funny old sounder with a tiny SDS monogram, which in typical style is repeated in more legible text right next to it. SDS later used swanky chrome boxes with a larger monogram and no repetition - there's an example here• Spotted: Merton Road, Merton, London, SW19, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Wimbledon
“SDS Security”, Merton: tiny

“GAF Alarms”, Islington: punny

GAF Alarms "GAF Alarms" burglar alarm, Islington • One of my favourites, both for its awkward yet traditional 1920s-style monogram, and the fact that GAF is a sort-of pun on house, though I'm not sure if that's intended.• Spotted: Whitecross Street, Islington, London, EC1, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Islington South and Finsbury
“GAF Alarms”, Islington: punny

“ATA Systems”, Bristol: intricate

ATA Systems Protegimus "ATA Systems Protegimus" burglar alarm, Bristol • Not sure if this is related to yesterday's ATA – the trestle-tabley monogram's quite similar, if somewhat ambiguous as to whether it says AA or ATA. The surrounds, however, are vastly more intricate: a heraldic array of shield, crossed swords, scary cyclops eye, what looks like a maltese cross poking out from behind, and all supported with a scroll bearing the Harry Potteresque declamation "Protegimus" (we protect). Leaving nothing to chance, then. • Spotted: Nova Scotia Place, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2013 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
“ATA Systems”, Bristol: intricate

“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

“ASG Security”, Falmouth: sacrilege

ASG Security "ASG Security" burglar alarm, Falmouth • Oh sacrilege. You can just about see, underneath this sticker, the superb original Alarm Service Group design, which I eulogise here. Somebody went and replaced it with this awkward three-letter monogram, which remains unexplained, despite repeating the initials twice. • Spotted: Killigrew Street, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Truro and Falmouth
“ASG Security”, Falmouth: sacrilege

“ADT Security Systems”, Hackney: wonky

ADT Security Systems "ADT Security Systems" burglar alarm, Hackney • ADT is so familiar it's easy to overlook the logo, which is actually a rather wonkily-drawn three-letter monogram. Just for a change here's a variation on the famous yellow hexagon, and on its side, too. • Spotted: Shacklewell Lane, Hackney, London, E8, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington
“ADT Security Systems”, Hackney: wonky

“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

“CPM”, Hackney: wordplay

CPM "CPM" burglar alarm, Hackney • Not sure if this rather minimal logo is meant to be a clever play on "post meridiem", as in "see you in the evening", but I shall give it the benefit of the doubt. • Spotted: Curtain Road, Hackney, London, EC2, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney South and Shoreditch
“CPM”, Hackney: wordplay

“AAI”, Camden: red triangle

AAI "AAI" burglar alarm, Camden • Today I start the theme "monograms". The UK definition of a monogram is "a design composed of one or more letters, typically the initials of a name" (though in America I think it is defined as at least two letters); and the initials should be specially-drawn, generally entwined in some way. There are so many monogrammed sounders I can't show them all in one run - it would go on for months - so I've decided to start with nine of my favourites, taking us up to the end of the year. Honourary pole position must go to Hertfordshire-based AAI, whose boss Andy Gilmore is a regular commenter on this blog. I always reckoned the AAI monogram had been designed to fill up as much of the sounder as possible, which he confirms: "Our logo was designed by my [business] partner's daughter-in-law, who was studying art. When designing the logo, we wanted something which was clear and obvious even from a distance." Apparently it was inspired by the Nu-Tron design, another of my favourites, and AAI base all their company's branding round their logo's triangle – never changing the shape of the bell box, even when switching manufacturer. And though AAI, like most monograms, also falls into the "unexplained acronym" camp, Andy Gilmore confides that the initials were based on Andy, Adam, Ian - the latter pair his first (brief) business partners, when he was just 14. What a great story! • Spotted: Percy Street, Camden, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
“AAI”, Camden: red triangle

“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

“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

Ghost under “MJA”, Glasgow: tell-tale

Ghost under "MJA Security Systems" burglar alarm, Glasgow • A handsome black marble wall with a tell-tale shiny spot where an earlier sounder resided - and the newspapers advertised are probably on their way out, too. Looks like the MJA sounder was chosen to match the overall colour scheme. • Spotted: Merchant City area, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G1, Scotland, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Glasgow Central
Ghost under “MJA”, Glasgow: tell-tale

Ghost under “ASG Vision”, Bristol: anagrams

Ghost under "ASG Vision (on OS Resolution)" burglar alarm, Bristol • Triple acronym whammy: ADG on OSR on something that was a flat-ended oval. Maybe one of these also-Bristolian APS jobbies? In which case the total initials are ADGOSRAPS, whose anagrams include Rap Ass Dog, Spar as God and Drag Soaps. Wow, deep. • Spotted: Broad Street, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
Ghost under “ASG Vision”, Bristol: anagrams

Ghost under “GC”, Chelsea: comeuppance

Ghost under "GC Fire & Security" burglar alarm, Kensington and Chelsea • And now mighty Chubb gets its comeuppance, with just two measly corners peeking out from beneath a somewhat less venerable brand (albeit one boasting soundwaves – always a good point). • Spotted: Beauchamp Place, Kensington and Chelsea, London, SW3, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Kensington
Ghost under “GC”, Chelsea: comeuppance

Ghost under “ADT”, Tower Hamlets: last gasp

Ghost under "ADT" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • Now onto ghost alarms that have been cruelly obliterated by newer models. I reckon this round-cornered square can only be the last gasp of a tupperware box-shaped Securicor Granley (or one of its spin-offs). At least it got replaced with a sounder that matches. • Spotted: Coventry Road, Tower Hamlets, London, E2, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
Ghost under “ADT”, Tower Hamlets: last gasp

“HSS Alarms”, Tower Hamlets: yeoman

"HSS Alarms" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • HSS used to be based in Harlow, so I reckon HSS stands for Harlow Security Systems. Aptly for a sounder located in Tower Hamlets, it pictures a Beefeater - aka a Yeoman of the Guard, which is apparently an incorrect term for Yeoman Warder, ie a geezer who ceremonially "guards" the Tower of London. That looks like a vicious weapon he's carrying, but in fact it's just a decorative staff. Tomorrow however, the theme is indeed weapons. • Spotted: Redchurch Street, Tower Hamlets, London, E2, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“HSS Alarms”, Tower Hamlets: yeoman

“Assure”, Glasgow: foot guard

"Assure" burglar alarm, Glasgow • The correct name for these guys is Royal Foot Guards, and the Her Maj has four in front of Buck House whenever she's in residence (two when she's not). This one's lurking in a non-standard sentry box roofed with Assure's "AA" logo. Has anyone informed the Palace? • Spotted: Merchant City area, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G1, Scotland, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Glasgow Central
“Assure”, Glasgow: foot guard

“SOS Security Group”, Lambeth: 1970s disco

"SOS Security Group" burglar alarm, Lambeth • Although I have a category called "1970s disco", that's for 1970s-looking typography. Whereas this old sounder shares a name with an actual 1970s disco group, The SOS Band – famed mainly for the classic "Just Be good to Me" (which is actually from the early 1980s). • Spotted: Lower Marsh, Lambeth, London, SE1, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Vauxhall SOS Band. That's an SOS for the hair police.
“SOS Security Group”, Lambeth: 1970s disco

“MOD Alarms”, Sheffield: subculture

"MOD Alarms" burglar alarm, Sheffield • Perhaps named to suggest the suitably militaristic Ministry of Defence, this sounder also recalls the 1960s Mod subculture, a bunch of youths noted for smart suits, flashy Italian motor scooters, and love of fighting greasy rockers on the beaches of southern England. So, not a pop group exactly, but represented by many 1960s bands such as the sharply-dressed Who and Small Faces – and, in 1980s revivalist form, The Jam. • Spotted: Alma Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S3, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Sheffield Central Some mods. Who are also The Who.
“MOD Alarms”, Sheffield: subculture

“Abba”, Lambeth: Swedish disco

"Abba" burglar alarm, Lambeth • Oh yes, an ancient Abba alarm with soundwaves in the background. Named after a Swedish group formed in Stockholm in 1972, or possibly a north London electrical shop I ran across recently, also called Abba. • Spotted: Brayburne Avenue, Lambeth, London SW4, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Vauxhall The other Abba
“Abba”, Lambeth: Swedish disco

“Ambassador”, Old Coulsdon: dog-head

"Ambassador" burglar alarm, Old Coulsdon • More cockles, and a dog prancing on someone's head. Loads of these heraldic alarm shields have helmets on top, and this is a bit like Hadleigh – maybe they all copied the same piece of clip art. They all look like logos for local government rather than burglar alarms, anyway – I could see this over the entrance arch of an LCC council estate. Heaven knows what LPC stands for here, or how it relates to an ambassador. • Spotted: Court Avenue, Old Coulsdon, Surrey, CR5, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Croydon South
“Ambassador”, Old Coulsdon: dog-head

“WEC Alarms”, Nottingham: cheery acronym

"WEC Alarms" burglar alarm, Nottingham • An cheery yellow unexplained acronym livening up a nice green Georgian house, though not exactly "in keeping". The building is some kind of defunct costume museum, opposite Nottingham's stupid castle, so a shield seems appropriate. I learn from their website that WEC were established in 1981 as a subsidiary of Woodthorpe Electrical Contractors, who were formed in 1963 – hence the name. • Spotted: Castle Gate, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Nottingham South

“WEC Alarms”, Nottingham: cheery acronym