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2009

“Alpha”, Manchester: Phoenecian

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

“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

“Mono”, Manchester: lo-fi electronica

"Mono" burglar alarm, Manchester • Mono: not just a type of lo-fi single-channel sound associated with the quintessential early 45rpm pop records, but a little-known British electronica duo who had a 1990s hit with the James Bondy-sounding "Life in Mono" (apparently – I certainly don't remember it, so maybe it was just in the US). • Spotted: Deansgate area, Manchester, Lancashire, M1, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Manchester Central The unmemorable and not-very-good (in my opinion) band Mono
“Mono”, Manchester: lo-fi electronica

“Chevron Alarms”, Windsor: arrows over arrows

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

“Intelligent Security Installations”, Eton: untutored

"Intelligent Security Installations" burglar alarm, Eton • Despite the lack of pupils, I reckon those are peepers dotting the "i"s with their blank-eyed stare, although the design – unlike pupils at nearby Eton – is most kindly described as "untutored". Just as well they spell out the firm's name underneath, or the meaning would remain totally obscure. • Spotted: High Street, Eton, Berkshire, SL4, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Windsor
“Intelligent Security Installations”, Eton: untutored

“JB-Eye”, Manchester: off-the-peg?

"JB-Eye Security Systems" burglar alarm, Manchester • I've already commented on the Pacman-ness of JB-Eye, but what I'm wondering about here is the cage. Was it specially made for this bell box? Or are there off-the-peg alarm cages available? This question will make more sense when tomorrow's example has been posted. • Spotted: Deansgate area, Manchester, Lancashire, M1, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Manchester Central
“JB-Eye”, Manchester: off-the-peg?

“The Scaffold Alarm Company”, Tower Hamlets: evil

"The Scaffold Alarm Company" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • Unlike yesterday's docile fox, this one looks rather evil – so I'm guessing that he's the cunning enemy which the Scaffold Alarm Company hopes to keep at bay. There's no other explanation to link their extremely niche name to foxes – and I didn't even find this on scaffolding. • Spotted: Fairfield Road, Tower Hamlets, London, E3, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“The Scaffold Alarm Company”, Tower Hamlets: evil

“GCD”, Windsor: punk haircut

"GCD Security" burglar alarm, Windsor • This sounder looks like it's got a punk haircut, and I like the way Thunderbirds-modern Eurostile font logo matches the cobalt sky. You don't often get days like this in England – apart from the burglar alarm, the scene looks more like Florida than Windsor. The photo was taken by a very patient burglar alarm-hunting companion, who's actually more interested in Neanderthals than burglars, and tweets about our ancient ancestors here.• Spotted: Town centre, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Windsor
“GCD”, Windsor: punk haircut

“The Lock Centre”, Chichester: nerdy day trip

"The Lock Centre Alarm" burglar alarm, Chichester • A charming old piece of sunbleached script further enhanced by artistic rust, or possibly mould – totally evocative of the weatherbeaten and folorn marina where it resided. I wish I'd been able to get directly in front of it, as I dislike side-on shots like this. I stumbled across it during a friend's unsuccessful quest to find Farthings, TV astronomer Sir Patrick Moore's thatched Selsey home (in a spirit of fandom, not stalking). What a totally nerdy day out. • Spotted: Marina area, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Chichester
“The Lock Centre”, Chichester: nerdy day trip

“Keymaster”, Exeter: double whammy

"Keymaster" burglar alarm, Exeter • After the flights of fantasy of my previous subject, mythological alarms, this week's theme comes bang down to earth with that most literal of security tropes, the lock and key. Although the vast majority of front doors still rely on this combination for security – as opposed to key cards or number pads, let alone anything more futuristic – alluding to locksmithery on burglar alarms has long fallen from fashion, which means most featuring this ancient trade are pleasingly vintage (although not quite dating back 4,000 years to the original Egyptian wooden locks). This is the only example I've found that refers to a key in both name and image (and one inside the other, too) – a fine retro double whammy. • Spotted: Town centre, Exeter, Devon, EX1, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Exeter
“Keymaster”, Exeter: double whammy

“Thames Security”, Windsor: fierce royal swan

"Thames Security" burglar alarm, Windsor • Swans may look graceful, but they are fiercely protective of their nests and capable of breaking human limbs with the merest flick of a haughty wing (or so I was always warned as a child, when we lived next door to a swan-infested creek). This alarm has a posher location near the Queen's main castle at Windsor, which lies on an equally swan-infested stretch of the river Thames. Swans were once highly prized as game meat, and in the 12th century only the rich were allowed to own them; ever since then, the Crown has retained rights over all "unmarked" swans (ie those not owned by anyone else) in open water. In Windsor, this means the Thames, home of a yearly ceremony called "Swan Upping",  in which ridiculously-dressed men count the swans for benefit of tourists, and presumably to make sure none of the Monarch's birds get nicked. Thus Windsor, the Thames, swans and security are inextricably linked; and this burglar alarm is not as surreal as it may at first appear (apart from the giant floating T). • Spotted: Town centre, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Windsor
“Thames Security”, Windsor: fierce royal swan

“Detec New Romney”, Bexhill: nuclear quill

Detec burglar alarm Bexhill 2009"Detec New Romney" burglar alarm, Bexhill • The isolated marsh town of New Romney is more ancient than its name suggests, and I "detec" that this alarm's been around a long time too. Painstakingly drawn in scratchy pre-DTP pen lines, it combines the tropes of detection and tech in a naive 1970s blast of letters, as if radiating from the ageing nuclear power station at nearby Dungeness. The famous driftwood garden of overrated 1980s film-maker Derek Jarman is also at Dungeness, while Jarman himself lies long-buried in the graveyard of New Romney's Norman church. Unfortunately he doesn't add any circularity to my thesis, because I actually found this alarm in Bexhill. • Spotted: Marina Arcade, Bexhill, East Sussex, TN40, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Bexhill and Battle Detec burglar alarm Bexhill 2009
“Detec New Romney”, Bexhill: nuclear quill

“Securitech”, Exeter: mime artistes beware

Securitech burglar alarm, Exeter, 2009"Securitech" burglar alarm, Exeter, 2009 • Another shadowy intruder transfixed within a piercing beam of light (see also JB-Eye), suggesting burglary by mime artiste during a nuclear blast. I'd advise using a neutron bomb, it'll eliminate the felon but leave the building intact. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there actually is a Nu-Tron burglar alarm; I'll dig it out one day soon. • Spotted: Town centre, Exeter, Devon, EX1, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Exeter Securitech burglar alarm, Exeter, 2009
“Securitech”, Exeter: mime artistes beware

“JB-Eye”, Manchester: Pacman eats burglar

JB-Eye burglar alarm, Manchester, 2009"JB-Eye Security Systems" burglar alarm, Manchester, 2009 • "Please, Mr Pacman, don't eat me! I don't want to be a topping on your giant cheese pizza!" This looks like a tiny, pleading figure imploring a monster Pacman not to devour him. The unusual refinement of a shadow suggests a blast of nuclear light emanating from the chomping black blob. What the title JB-Eye has to do with it all is opaque – the name of some weird Pacman religion perhaps? • Spotted: Deansgate area, Manchester, Lancashire, M1, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Manchester Central JB-Eye burglar alarm, Manchester, 2009
“JB-Eye”, Manchester: Pacman eats burglar