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Zoological

A meta category for all members of the animal kingdom, from fierce to cute, from literal to mythical

Cobra, Southwark, 2012

“Cobra” burglar alarm, Southwark • And another Cobra, just its head this time. • Spotted: Druid Street, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey […]
Cobra, Southwark, 2012

APE, Frome, 2008

“APE Bristol” burglar alarm, Frome • More informative version of the simian soundwaves also featured here. • Spotted: Town centre, Frome, Somerset, BA11, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat […]
APE, Frome, 2008

Phoenix Total Security, Westminster: galaxy

Phoenix Total Security "Phoenix Total Security" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Why is everything in the sky named after Greek mythology? As well as a constellation, the fire-renewing Phoenix bird has lent its name to a prototype launch vehicle, a galaxy cluster, a dwarf galaxy, a NASA mission to Mars, and – as Project Phoenix – the famous SETI, a search for extraterrestrial intelligence. And now, for the third time on this blog, it's on a burglar alarm too. • Spotted: Marylebone Road, City of Westminster, London, NW1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
Phoenix Total Security, Westminster: galaxy

Cerberus, Bristol: hades

Cerberus "Cerberus" burglar alarm, Bristol • Weird blank arched alarm named after the three-headed guard dog to the entrance of Hades, also known as a constellation and a dark spot on Mars, amongst other astronomical things. There's a very tiny logo on there, but I can't work out what it is: it looks like a  a book, a shield and a knight stumbled into the telepod machine that turned Jeff Goldblum into The Fly.• Spotted: John Street, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2013 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
Cerberus, Bristol: hades

Greystag, Birmingham: stationary

Greystag SnowHillStn Birmingham 6150_800 "Greystag Security Systems" burglar alarm, Birmingham • And finally for this run of crazy creatures, a grey stag I spotted just last week in Birmingham – it seems to be the guardian beast of choice on every train station there. • Spotted: Snow Hill station, Livery Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B3, England, 2013 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Birmingham Ladywood
Greystag, Birmingham: stationary

Hawk, Exeter: grumpy

Hawk MarketSt Exeter Devon DSCN4093_800 "Hawk" burglar alarm, Exeter • What a grumpy-looking bird! I found it on a fish shop (well, aquarium supplies), thus doubling its relevance to this update of the creatures theme. • Spotted: Market Street, Exeter, Devon, EX1, England, 2013 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Exeter
Hawk, Exeter: grumpy

Group 4 Falck, Camden: mixture

Group4Flack FortessRd nr NW5 2HP 10381_800 "Group 4 Falck" burglar alarm, Camden • This is boring, but it does have a little bird which, since the firm is called Falck, I am guessing is a falcon mixed with a bit of hawk. • Spotted: Fortess Road, Camden, London, NW5, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
Group 4 Falck, Camden: mixture

Eagle, Westminster: completist

Eagle MargaretSt nr W1W 8RX 70864_800 "Eagle" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • I've  featured this not-massively-exciting logo before, but here it is again on an unusual-shaped box, only the second example I've found (the first is here). Completist! • Spotted: Margaret Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
Eagle, Westminster: completist

Eagle Security, Camden: clawing

Eagle GtRussellSt WC1 nr WC1B 3LS 0039_800 "Eagle Security" burglar alarm, Camden • And now we move onto the fierce, hawkish birds so popular in urban areas. This one's a mite heraldic, but it also looks like it might claw you to death. Not, I have to say, the finest rendition of an eagle I have ever seen. • Spotted: Great Russell Street, Camden, London, WC1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
Eagle Security, Camden: clawing

Wessex Fire & Security: updated

Wessex bellbox1_800 "Wessex Fire & Security" burglar alarm, Shaftesbury • I first featured the Wessex owl here, and it's one of my all-time favourites. The firm has just updated their identity, so I'm happy to report that they've kept the wise old bird: far more charming the fierce beasts popular in more urban areas, and an appealing contrast to the dull corporate-type bell box designs that seem to be proliferating. • Spotted: Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7, England, 2013 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of North Dorset
Wessex Fire & Security: updated

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

Dragon, Cardiff: Welsh

Dragon StMarySt Cardiff nr CF10 1DX 40934_800 "Dragon" burglar alarm, Cardiff • The Welsh never get tired of their dragons, do they? And neither do I. • Spotted: St Mary Street, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF10, Wales, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Cardiff Central
Dragon, Cardiff: Welsh

Salamander, Stratford-upon-Avon: Shakespearean

Salamander ChurchSt StratfordUponAvon nr CV37 8EJ 20083_800

"Salamander Monitored Alarm Systems" burglar alarm, Stratford-upon-Avon • A while back I featured a gecko, and now here's a salamander. Will this motley parade of non-burglar-alarm-appropriate creatures never cease? Or is it actually a clever piece of Shakespearean-style wordplay on "monitor lizard"? • Spotted: Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Stratford-on-Avon

Salamander, Stratford-upon-Avon: Shakespearean

Cobra, Hackney: yum

Cobra KingslandHiSt nr E8 2PB 70407_800 "Cobra" burglar alarm, Hackney • It's eaten a giant bulb! • Spotted: Kingsland High Street, Hackney, London, E8, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington
Cobra, Hackney: yum

Blakeglow, Southwark: dolphin

Blakeglow BermondseySt nr SE1 3UB 50865_800 "Blakeglow" burglar alarm, Southwark • A contender for the least-convincing burglar alarm corporate identity award, this tiny peeling sticker looks like it was drawn in biro, and – bizarrely – features that noted guardian beast, a leaping dolphin. At least, that's what I think it is; the shape of its beak seems to rule out a killer whale. • Spotted: Bermondsey Street, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark
Blakeglow, Southwark: dolphin

Ivory, Camden: tusker

Ivory MapleSt nr W1T 4BE 70565_800 "Ivory" burglar alarm, Camden • It's a long time since I featured alarms with animals on, and since then I've come across several more sounders featuring wildly improbable guardian beasts. So here's a reboot of the "Crazy Creatures" theme, starting with this magnificent tusker, storming forward to trample intruders to death. • Spotted: Maple Street, Camden, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
Ivory, Camden: tusker

Alarm Vision, Cardiff: spiky

Alarm Vision "Alarm Vision" burglar alarm, Cardiff • This is great. I love the way the Welsh feel driven to put red dragons on everything – and how can you not like a tiny mythical creature poncing around in a spiky monogram-cum-waveform? • Spotted: Quay Street, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF10, Wales, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Cardiff Central
Alarm Vision, Cardiff: spiky

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

“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

“Dragon” burglar alarm, Bath: Welsh magic

"Dragon" burglar alarm, Bath • Some Taffs crossed river to Bristol, it seems, and deposited their red dragon there. Dating back to at least 829 AD, "Y Ddraig Goch" still features on the Welsh flag today, though by Tudor times the poor thing was also supporting the English crown's coat of arms. Reminds me of an old children's song: "Puff the magic dragon, lived by the sea..." (blubs uncontrollably). • Spotted: Milsom Street, Bath, Avon, BA1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bath
“Dragon” burglar alarm, Bath: Welsh magic

“Security Ltd”, City of London: lions passant

"Security Ltd" burglar alarm, City of London • This shows three lions "passant", as on the Royal Arms of England, dating from the 1198 Great Seal of the Realm. How things last: if only the seal's first owner, Richard I, could have known the design would endure to enhance burglar alarms and football kit over 800 years later. Oddly, there's no actual firm's name on this, unless they're just called Security Limited. Maybe they are. • Spotted: Aldersgate Street, City of London, London, EC1, England, 2006 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“Security Ltd”, City of London: lions passant

“Wright Security”, Lewisham: lion rampant

"Wright Security" burglar alarm, Lewisham • This heraldic lion is similar to yesterday's, only facing the other way, and punching rather than slashing with its paw. Known as a "lion rampant", it's a venerable heraldic device that has been used to represent England since Norman times – though because of the colour scheme, this looks more Scottish to me. • Spotted: Deptford Bridge, Lewisham, London, SE8, England, 2002 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Lewisham Deptford
“Wright Security”, Lewisham: lion rampant

Sheba Alarms”, Southwark: non-rottweiller

"Sheba Alarms" burglar alarm, Southwark • I used to live in a really tough part of London where everyone had rottweilers, and they were all – depending on if they were boys or girls – called Tyson or Sheba. The dogs, that is. However this is a lion, and Sheba was a biblical land (probably Yemen), so either this is a lion of the desert, or the designer thought it was a mutt. • Spotted: Dolben Street, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark
Sheba Alarms”, Southwark: non-rottweiller

“Brocks Alarms”, Islington: non-faded

"Brocks Alarms" burglar alarm, Islington • You don't see too many of these old Brocks boxes with the lion and shield on; normally they are plain white with just the logo at the top. I never know whether that's because they started like that, or the lion and shield faded off – I suspect the latter. A nice design anyway, and it heralds (geddit) the last shield, as the knightly arm-borne protection falls away leaving just a few heraldic-style animals. • Spotted: Albermarle Way, Islington, London, EC1, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Islington South and Finsbury

“Brocks Alarms”, Islington: non-faded

“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

“New Century Security”, Bristol: double whammy

"New Century Security" burglar alarm, Bristol • This is a double whammy: a shield-within-shield logo. And not just that, but a gauntlet clutching a lightning bolt, a rampant lion, a window at night (I think), a repetition of their name, and what looks like the European stars. There's even another version with "21st" above the title, just in case you thought the new century was the 18th. Talk about covering all the bases. • Spotted: Surrey Street, Bristol, Avon, BS2, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
“New Century Security”, Bristol: double whammy

“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

“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

“Knighthood”, Tower Hamlets: tricky moves

"Knighthood" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • Pictured twice and named thrice, this shows a knight in the chess sense, renowned for its tricky moves. Or maybe the owner of this company actually does have (or hanker after) a knighthood – not impossible, as Sir Jules Thorn would attest, were he still alive. • Spotted: Blackwall Tunnel North Approach, Tower Hamlets, London, E3, England, 2006 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“Knighthood”, Tower Hamlets: tricky moves

“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

“Knight Installations”, Dorking: thrusting sword

"Knight Installations" burglar alarm, Dorking • This is brilliant – 1970s type framing a triumphal image of a knight in ceremonial armour, complete with plumed full-face visor, cloaked warhorse, St George's Cross jerkin and massive thrusting sword. So very Dorking, and so much more effective than a guard dog. • Spotted: Town centre, Dorking, Surrey, RH4, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Mole Valley
“Knight Installations”, Dorking: thrusting sword

“Swift Alarms Supplies”, Westminster: fast flier

"Swift Alarms Supplies Limited" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • There are billions (approx) of security firms featuring birds, but this is only the second Swift I've found – the other one is here, and is called simply Swift. This looks like the same silhouette and font as on that one, so I reckon it's an older incarnation of the same company which, judging by the 0892 code, was based in the Tunbridge Wells area. The selfsame bird can be found on the current website of  Swift Alarms Group, and indeed it says they started life in Tunbbridge Wells in 1978 as Swift Alarms Supplies Limited, so my guess was right. I should have just gone to their website first... • Spotted: Newman Passage, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“Swift Alarms Supplies”, Westminster: fast flier

“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

“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

“Gardner”, Gloucester: wrong kind of gardener

"Gardner Security" burglar alarm, Gloucester • Finally, a gardener to keep up with all these botanical sounders – though one with poor spelling, and in possession of a lion. I assumed it was this Gardner Security, who lasted from 1981 to 2010, then became subsumed by Christie Intruder Alarms, the 42-year-old firm behind the famous CIA "crouching man" sounders. But a comment below tells me that this is a different Gardner Security, of Gloucester – who sold to Modern in the 1990s, thus ending up as part of ADT So now you know. • Spotted: Town centre, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL1, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Gloucester
“Gardner”, Gloucester: wrong kind of gardener

“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