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News & Events

21st January 2013

Roy Lodge - Founder, 1919

It all started in the USA in 1919, to protect revenue unaccountably lost from the sale of hot dogs. Today Lodge Service offers one of the most comprehensive resources in the UK for security detection and resolution.

Lodge Service has a national intelligence network, with a new centre located at Accrington in Lancashire, featuring the latest remote monitoring technology combined with ‘conventional’ security services, manpower, investigations and screening that form an integrated and fully comprehensive package. The fusion of systems and trained manpower enables Lodge Service and its clients to target resources according to risk profile, for maximum return on investment. Lodge Service recognises that this is a key consideration for users of security today during continuing economic turbulence.

The year 1919 was a time of even greater upheaval in countries devastated by the Great War. Unemployment was endemic following the return of forces’ veterans. In the USA, the Prohibition Act was passed and it was at that time that Roy Lodge started the first recorded ‘Test Purchasing’ service, to identify ‘issues’ at his hot dog stand on the Atlanta Broad Walk.

Cash flow was good, but whenever Roy Lodge was off duty his turnover decreased, so he employed friends to ‘Test Purchase’ the stand in his absence. It was soon evident that his business partner was concealing sales and stealing turnover. He was then able to take steps to stop the losses.

Inspired by this success, Roy went on to offer a similar service to other retailers, eventually working with major store groups across the USA. Following the 1929 crash, Roy returned to his native Australia and then moved to the UK in 1934 where he established Lodge Service, offering loss reduction programmes to the country’s largest retailers.

His son John Stuart Lodge succeeded Roy in 1961 and developed the business in Western Europe, opening offices in Belgium, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, as well as South Africa.

Today Roy's grandson, Stuart Lodge, runs the organisation in the UK with £22 million turnover and nearly 800 staff and there are still local offices or franchise operations in eight other countries. It is now probably the largest of the few remaining family businesses in the sector and the only one in the top five per cent of SIA-ACS, Security Industry Authority, Approved Contractor Scheme.

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