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Phil G4SPZ 19th Feb 2017 11:40 am

Re: Museums
One I've not yet had chance to visit, the Bakelite Museum, but I gather it's good:

Then one I've visited but forgot about, the Montacute Toy, Radio & TV Museum. Many of the radio exhibits were in 'as-found' condition when I last visited, but the nostalgia value of the collection is immense:

Stuart R 19th Feb 2017 12:18 pm

Re: Museums
We have had some Museum recommendations before, and it's a great idea to put them all in one place. There is some repetition in these threads, but might be worth referring to them or merging the content together somehow:

Might be worth double-checking that some of these are still operating before making a special journey.


merlinmaxwell 19th Feb 2017 2:34 pm

Re: Museums
And for those interested in railways

Model railway, still a bit on topic for a radio forum as there is one house with an aerial in the garden.

mark_in_manc 20th Feb 2017 10:15 am

Re: Museums
A few from my neck of the woods in or near Manchester:

Museum of Science and Industry

Sort-of-free (you will be asked for a donation), massive collection from steam engines (some working, including the only reciprocating steam generating set left in the world (Ferranti), apparently) through machine tools to electricity generation equipment, scientific apparatus etc etc etc. A great opportunity to marvel at how recently we used to make an awful lot of things in the NW. The sections for electrical generation and telecoms are harder to find but worth seeking out.

Anson Engine Museum

Cheshire's version of the 'Internal Fire' museum in Wales referenced up-thread. Loads, and loads, and loads of diesel engines of all sizes. Refreshingly amateur, lots and lots to see.

East lancs railway

Travel in style from Bury to Rawtenstall. DMUs and steam, not cheap but a good day out, esp with kids

I'll think of more but that will do for now!

crackle 21st Feb 2017 11:53 pm

Re: Museums
There is a useful facility on the Radio Museum website for listing museums.
Select the country e.g. Great Britain and click "search". You can sort the results by Museum name, town, or you can place a tick in a box to show only museums with radios.


David G4EBT 22nd Feb 2017 9:26 am

Re: Museums

Originally Posted by Phil G4SPZ (Post 920565)
One I've not yet had chance to visit, the Bakelite Museum, but I gather it's good:

I visited last year and did a write-up with some pics, which can be seen here, so I won't repeat my impressions and observations:

DangerMan 23rd Feb 2017 2:12 am

Re: Museums
I can recommend The Anson Engine Museum in Poynton, Cheshire.

Well worth a visit if you are nearby, handy from the Peak District.
A great display of engines of all shapes and sizes (incl. some steam and a W12 Bugatti/Audi engine display somewhere), and a great bunch of friendly knowledgeable guys.

Many running days:


Lots of examples and a good whizz round on their Youtube button, e.g.

KeithsTV 23rd Feb 2017 9:15 am

Re: Museums
The Beamish open air museum in County Durham is worth a visit.

The tickets last for 12 months so you can return to see what you missed on a previous visit. Plenty of vintage transport plus a couple of old radios in the 1940s area.


PaulM 23rd Feb 2017 10:16 am

Re: Museums
Open by appointment only, I often show interested parties round the 'living broadcast TV museum' here near Lincoln. There's three outside broadcast units 'Southern', 'Yorks Tyne Tees' and the BBC 'Vivat' project ( Dating from 1968, 'Southern' is without any doubt the oldest operational colour outside broadcast truck in the world and runs at something like 90 to 95% functional. 'Yorks Tyne Tees' is of a similar age but now carries examples of operational camera kit from 1960 to 1985 with a core year of about 1975.

Also on show are six 2" quad VTRs (one fully operational), several broadcast telecines machines, many 1" VTRs and many other formats plus dozens and dozens of vintage broadcast cameras (probably about 130 plus, but many are stacked away tight), There's also lots of vintage lighting, dollies and other odds and ends along with a very rare IBA DICE machine - the first all-digital standards converter designed in 1973.

There's a 'health and safety' warning as passage through the facility can be 'difficult' with 'things' sticking out and bits and pieces waiting to catch on your jumper!

There is a vague plan to hold an open day this summer but it's still in the hazy stage at the moment.

Despite the space crisis, always looking for new kit and always willing to offer advice on people's vintage broadcast TV problems.

PM me to arrange a visit, but there is a waiting list!

Best regards,

Paul M

PS You need to like sheep, turkeys, horses and chickens . . .

merlinmaxwell 13th Mar 2017 6:00 pm

Re: Museums
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I went here this afternoon (lovley day).

PJL 13th Mar 2017 10:47 pm

Re: Museums
If you are ever down south, the Seaford Martello tower museum is well worth a visit. For a start it has a good display of valve radios and a few TV's, including some quite rare items. However, it doesn't stop there and you will find pretty much every early 20c household item you can think of on display mostly in period room settings. More than enough to keep you entertained for an hour or two, have a look through the many slides as you will be amazed at just how much you can store underneath a little Martello tower.

Phil G4SPZ 13th Mar 2017 11:02 pm

Re: Museums

Originally Posted by PJL (Post 927860)
...Seaford Martello tower museum is well worth a visit.

Indeed. I mentioned this in post #20. Do check opening hours before visiting, as when I went it was only open 2.00-4.00pm every Thursday. A visit will take up all that time!

merlinmaxwell 24th Mar 2017 7:47 pm

Re: Museums
Thames Valley Police Museum, small, you need an appointment and you get a very good guided tour (the great train robbery exhibit is quite chilling) also an open day in August. The museum is small but the site enormous, I will return for the open day (firing range is included).

The TVP website lacks a direct link to the museum, however...

stitch1 2nd Apr 2017 4:35 pm

Re: Museums
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Originally Posted by KeithsTV (Post 921769)
The Beamish open air museum in County Durham is worth a visit.

I spotted this van doing some time travelling in the colliery village today. A 10.9 million grant has been awarded for amongst other things a 1950s town where I'm sure we'll see plenty radios.


KeithsTV 2nd Apr 2017 11:21 pm

Re: Museums
I'll keep a look out for it as we plan to re-visit Beamish just before Easter. The 50s town sounds interesting, wonder if I could offload some of the stuff in my loft?


hamid_1 3rd Apr 2017 11:33 pm

Re: Museums
A couple of weeks ago I visited Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker, located in Essex, between Brentwood and Ongar.

Intended to be a Government communications hub in the event of a nuclear war, it is preserved complete with vintage telecommunications technology from the 1960s-80s, including teleprinters, Strowger telephone exchange and even vintage Amstrad computers! None of the old technology is operational, but some attempt has been made to liven it up, for example in the telephone exchange, a sound recording plays, and nearby a teleprinter chatters away.

(I have previously visited Amberley Museum and Milton Keynes Museum where they have working Strowger telephone exchanges, amongst other interesting stuff. I'd recommend those museums too.)

Perhaps the most interesting thing at Kelvedon Hatch is that the bunker contained a secret BBC studio which would have been used to broadcast information to the public. The studio is preserved for you to see. It also has Cold War era military radio equipment, and had medical facilities, room for up to 600 people with enough supplies to last 3 months, and areas from which government departments could be run. Even the Prime Minister could be accommodated in the bunker, running the country and broadcasting in relative safety while the bombs rained down. Well, that's the theory, anyway. Of course, luckily it was never put into practice.

From the surface, the entrance to the bunker is disguised as a small 1950s farmhouse cottage, which gives no idea of what lies within. Inside it's massive. There are 3 underground levels. In all, I spent more than 3 hours inside, including the time watching the previously secret Government information films that were playing in various places. Some of these films were for training the bunker staff, while the "Protect And Survive" films were intended to be broadcast when a nuclear war was imminent, to tell the public what to do, such as advice on disposing of dead bodies. This was quite chilling. I still remember the Cold War and the nuclear threat. It could have happened.

The one strange thing about visiting the bunker is that there don't appear to be any staff. At the entrance, you take a handheld audio player. As you walk through the bunker, the rooms / exhibits have numbers. Keying the number into the audio player gives you a commentary. You pay the entrance fee at the end of your visit, by depositing the money into an honesty box. There are CCTV cameras all over the place, and a warning that something bad will happen if you evade payment. It costs 7.50 which I thought was reasonable. You are not allowed to take photographs inside the bunker unless you have a permit, which costs additional money.

Official Website:

Reviews on TripAdvisor:

merlinmaxwell 28th May 2017 6:05 pm

Re: Museums
A reminder is open on Monday the 29th i.e. tomorrow. I am going...

mole42uk 28th May 2017 6:16 pm

Re: Museums
I'll second the telegraph museum in Porthcurno. I was on holiday in Cornwall a couple of weeks ago and visited twice....

M0TGX Terry 28th May 2017 8:06 pm

Re: Museums
The British Horological Institute museum in Upton between Southwell and Newark in Nottinghamshire is well worth a visit if you are at all interested in clocks,watches and timepieces generally. They have an early Speaking Clock machine and the pocket watch that Scott took to the Antarctic, among hundreds of other exhibits. Open in summer on Fridays plus a couple of other days in the year so best to check ( before setting off.
Declaration of interest - my daughter is the Collections Officer.

merlinmaxwell 3rd Jun 2017 5:23 pm

Re: Museums
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I went to Milestones in Basingstoke today, they have a radio shop (see pictures). It is an interesting reproduction/museum, it's like new 1930's, a pleasant change from lots of old stuff in cabinets. The pub was shut (it does open upon occasion) but I did get my 2oz (wartime ration) of sweets from the sweet shop.

All indoors and great for a rainy day, today however was lovely and sunny just perfect for a motorcycle ride, lunch was had at a nice little pub on the way back.

Highly recommend by me.

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