The events you really couldn’t make up

Over the years we’ve told you what we do and know you’re aware we maintain gates, barriers, roller shutters, entry systems, automatic doors, indeed all manner of access control.

But we’ve never told you about some of the amusing incidents that have occurred during our maintenance visits. Of course, possibly the most enjoyable anecdotes to relate would be rather too lascivious to feature in this magazine, so we’ll keep it clean for 2016.

Security in large public spaces increasingly relies on CCTV and we regularly maintain quite complex, computer controlled installations.


One day there was an urgent call to the West End – coverage of a prestigious area with large footfall had conked out, no images were visible. This is an unusual occurrence, so we started with the electronics and found that the system had been foiled in a fairly basic fashion with a CD jammed in the drive; it was retrieved and the system restored.

Closer inspection of the CD revealed some very steamy adult entertainment, the night watchman probably spending more time watching this than the CCTV!

Calibrating safety beams is a delicate balance between reaction and over-sensitivity. We advise the best set-up for each application, and to comply with one client’s request, we fitted some beams to react to minimal activity.

All was well until an autumn colony of huge Battersea spiders set up camp nearby – and The gates were opening and closing in a ghostly fashion!

Luckily our engineers are not arachnophobic and the mystery was swiftly solved

Luckily our engineers are not arachnophobic and the mystery was swiftly solved, spiders removed and sensors readjusted! Actually, spiders are trumped by larger spoilsports too, urban foxes find munching on the rubber safety edges of automatic gates delicious.

Continuing the animal theme, why do felines love to squeeze into inaccessible places, only to find themselves trapped and crying for rescue? Automatic opening vents are increasingly being specified and are usually very reliable, until a little cat clambers in to enjoy the sunshine and then cannot get out.

You might have thought the fire brigade would be summoned, but Anchor Door Systems engineers arrive calmly to the rescue, fully service the unit and leave all in full working order.

This particular cat has now been banned from all rooftop areas.

Safety first means installation of high roller shutters is done using scaffold towers supplied by a third party. Out in the City our client was delighted with a smoothly operating new roller shutter, which we were pleased about. But when the hire company arrived to collect the scaffold tower they sent a much larger lorry than the one which had originally delivered it: crash, bang, wallop! The lorry completely sheared the brand new roller shutter and left it hanging at a jaunty angle. Oh dear! Back to “Plan A”!

All these examples are infrequent occurrences, but provide much amusement back in the office. Every cloud, as they say…

Norah Hickman, Anchor Group


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