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Nottingham

“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

“Acorn”, Nottingham: nuts no more

"Acorn" burglar alarm, Nottingham • This Acorn drove me nuts researching it. I assume it is the same as the squirrel-adorned Acorn Security Systems here, as the nut is the same. But there are endless security firms called Acorn, most of which seem to be defunct, or at least without websites, and none with the number above. But via the magic of phone codes and Google, I was able to discover that 0602 is a Nottingham area code which in 1995 was replaced with 0115, giving Robin Hood's city eight million (count 'em) phone numbers. A search on the updated version, 0115 927 1632, led me to Acorn Security Systems of Nottingham, who were definitely the purveyors of this sounder, as the number is basically same. A company check reveals they were dissolved in 2001, hence the lack of a web trail. You still see absolutely loads of these sounders around the East Midlands area, so they were obviously a successful firm once – maybe they reached security nirvana, and sold out to ADT. And if you like prowling on Google street view, there's still a fading signboard on their ex-premises here (also shown below). Truly, the internet is eroding our privacy. • Spotted: Castle Gate, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Nottingham South [googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=embed&hl=en&geocode=&q=Alpha+House,+Belgrave+Road,+Nottingham,+United+Kingdom&aq=0&oq=Alpha+house&sll=53.00306,-1.195965&sspn=0.016477,0.045447&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Alpha+House,+Belgrave+Rd,+Nottingham+NG6+8HN,+United+Kingdom&t=m&layer=c&cbll=53.002783,-1.203596&panoid=nGteR8F2JEnZhF3QwT5QFw&cbp=13,179.84,,2,-2.01&ll=52.998166,-1.203604&spn=0.01622,0.040512&z=14&output=svembed&w=472&h=314]
“Acorn”, Nottingham: nuts no more

“Echo Alarms”, Nottingham: paranoia descends

"Echo Alarms" burglar alarm, Nottingham • I don't know what echoes have got to do with lightning, or why this is set in an art deco typeface. But I do know why it's a crap photo: it was getting dark and it was in a bleak and creepy residential area, so I quickly grabbed the shot and ran. (To be honest I find most of Nottingham creepy – a combination of the gloomy Victorian architecture and its reputation for drugs and gangs, I guess. That and the fact that some paranoid woman went mental at me for photographing her house there one day.) • Spotted: Beeston Road, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG7, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Nottingham South
“Echo Alarms”, Nottingham: paranoia descends

“Gem”, Nottingham: rare jewel

"Gem" burglar alarm, Nottingham • I'm always a sucker for businesses optimistically named after rare metals and jewels, but sadly there are precious few burglar alarms named after precious things, even though that's what they protect. This rare gem of a sounder was found in a quaint but creepy Victorian backwater of Nottingham hemmed in between a canal and a railway, where I got lost while looking for an art gallery (a common occurrence). Note the diagram of a faceted gemstone (a round brilliant cut I reckon), which shows why I classify the chunky faceted alarms security pros call "delta" boxes as "jewel-shaped" – they have the same sort of form factor. • Spotted: Sherwin Road, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG7, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Nottingham South
“Gem”, Nottingham: rare jewel

“TecServ UK”, Nottingham: Freudian epic

"TecServ UK" burglar alarm, Nottingham • Dull though it may appear to the untrained eye, to the expert burglar alarm analyst this small device is a Daily Mail-esque Freudian epic. Clad in royal blue and English mustard with a modern yet understated font, it mixes trendy with traditional in a riot of symbolism: a padlock within a passionately flaming eye, a name suggesting service, technical prowess and patriotic values, and a sub-offer of fieriness and security. Surely the very model of a Femail reader's fantasy burglar alarm engineer – a Heathcliff of the sounder, a Mr Darcy of the bell box. Or perhaps I'm reading too much into it. • Spotted: Friar Lane, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Nottingham South
“TecServ UK”, Nottingham: Freudian epic

“Krypton”, Nottingham: noble gas

"Krypton Security" burglar alarm, Nottingham • Blimey – even Krypton can't keep the evil pigeons at bay! OK, I know it's Krypronite that can nobble Superman; Krypton, apart from being the fictional planet he came from, is in real life a rare but slightly dull "noble gas", shown bottled below. • Spotted: Forman Street, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Nottingham East Above: a vial of glowing ultrapure krypton (from Images of Elements)
“Krypton”, Nottingham: noble gas

“Macaw”, Nottingham: where’s my perch?

"Macaw Security" burglar alarm, Nottingham • The brightly-plumaged macaw protects its nest with aggressive wing-flapping and a raucous screech, presumably the rationale for its use on an alarm. This unhappy creature has been transplanted from a tropical forest to Nottingham Forest (well, nearby); hunched sullenly in thin air, it's been deprived of both colour and perch. Maybe they got nicked – it seems I'd stumbled into some kind of crime paranoia hot-spot. Shortly after photographing this I was chased down the road by a raucously screeching homeowner, who was convinced I'd been casing the joint; she claimed her large and impressive villa had recently been broken into four times, despite having a burglar alarm. Not this one, I hasten to add. • Spotted: Mansfield Road, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Nottingham East
“Macaw”, Nottingham: where’s my perch?