Flat cable as snow chains


Chubb Alarms had a policy of not lifting floorboards etc. to install cables, instead all cables would be run surface, under carpets, on skirting boards, on plate racks or even picture pelmets. 

They had manufactured especially a flat four core cable in cream and brown PVC to match either cream or brown woodwork. 

The cable had Chubb especially chosen coloured conductors. Whereas other intruder cables had red, black, yellow, and blue cores, Chubb flat cable was red, black, orange, and white. 

The cable comprised of two cores either side of a thinner groove in the top of the PVC sheath, this groove was the point of fixing, whereas round cable was fixed with clips, the flat cable was fixed with panel pins, nicknamed gimps, the cable would blend in to skirting board mouldings etc, so actually worked very well. 

Engineers would stretch the cable to remove any curvature or kinks, then press a gimp into the groove, finally hammer home the gimp with a small pin hammer. 

Engineers joked that after installing a few hundred metres of cable, we all suffered from an industrial disease, gimpers thumb.

I was working one day with Martin when it started to snow heavily, we had been given permission to go home early in such circumstances, and bearing in mind I was riding a motorcycle, we left mid-afternoon to avoid getting stranded. 

The snow was really heavy and part way home Martin’s Sunbeam Alpine got stuck on a hill, I parked the bike and tried to push, but it was hopeless. 

Then Martin had an idea, the wire wheels on his Sunbeam were ideal for us to thread flat cable through and around the tyre, after about fifty threading on each rear wheel, Martin tried again at climbing the snowy hill, this time the car went straight up without hesitation and he made it home safely. 

I, on the other hand, still had to ride the motorbike, however as I was used to riding in winter, I too made it home safely.