UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum

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merlinmaxwell 16th Feb 2017 6:55 pm

Here is a short list of some local to me, well worth a ride out (motorcycling term, that's what I use to move about) to visit.

Maidenhead Heritage Centre, Small, free and has a paid for section devoted to the ATA, "Granny flew Spitfires".

River and Rowing, Henley A bit costly at £11 this does give a years pass. Wonderful "Tales of the Riverbank" walk through introduction (great for kids of any age!) Two mainly fixed galleries (and an extension) and a changing one.

Museum of Rural Life, Reading supurb and free. The university has other museums on campus too, open during the week in term time.

Reading Museum with free motorcycle parking just round the corner.

Wycombe Museum another small one, free with parking and a cafe, proper coffee and proper cake in huge slices.

Berkshire Aircraft Museum Jam packed with old aircraft and history of Miles (aircraft). A tad scruffy, it is a working restoration project all the time, about three quid to get in. Don't get chatting with one of the incumbents, you will be there for hours!

This is an experiment for my proposed museums section , more to follow...

JoshWard 16th Feb 2017 7:12 pm

Re: Museums
I'll plug the ones I work at...

Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket, Suffolk. 76 acres with over twenty historic buildings. Plenty of engineering, domestic and working life exhibitions. Includes a 70s ITT television, a Westminster battery portable, a Vidor television and a Beethoven radiogram

Melford Hall, near Sudbury, Suffolk. Historic country house, Tudor outside, inside is anything but. You'll have to visit to get the full story. An accredited museum but feels more like a family home. Includes an Orion AR612 in the overflow tearoom which I donated, a Roberts R25 and a Bush TR82C. Free entry for NT members

Lavenham Guildhall, near Sudbury, Suffolk. One of the finest timber framed buildings in the country, construction started 1529 by a religious guild. Has been the centre of the village ever since. Star exhibit is a 1940s Regentone. Again free entry for NT members

60 oldjohn 16th Feb 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Museums
I would like to remind forum members of my "radio and more" private museum. We are 10miles east from the Hull Ferry Terminals. It is upstairs and limited to a maximum of two people, I do not charge. If anyone would like to know more please Pm me.


JoshWard 16th Feb 2017 7:33 pm

Re: Museums
There is also a radio museum here in Suffolk, also near Sudbury

Ashamed to say I haven't been yet!

merlinmaxwell 16th Feb 2017 8:08 pm

Re: Museums
And south of me...

FAST free and parking, an recently an interesting radio display.

Army Medical Museum Inside an army camp, 100 yard walk from parking (but I am sure they will let drive up to it if walking is a problem). Free.

Aldershot military Museum A few quid to get in, (three I think), smallish, a look at military life in Aldershot through the ages.

Royal Logistics Museum Free, well presented look at what keeps the army fed with food and bullets.

And to the north...

Tring Natural History Free, overwhelming collection of stuffed animals, mice to mamoths (no actual mamoth, you get the idea). You have to like kids, local schools love days out there.

Bletchley Park Quite expensive at £15 approx, years pass though (you will need it, spend a few days in a local B&B). The TNMOC is in the same site but separate (politics!)

Milton Keynes Museum Rather good, six quid and a years pass, cafe run by lovely ladies proper cake too! The Telecoms museum (wired earth) is there, working exchanges etc..

As you all may have gathered I like museums, especially the smaller ones. I make it a mission upon the weekend to visit at least one and have yet to be disappointed. One way I find them is by using Google Earth and turning off everything except the museum tick box.

dseymo1 16th Feb 2017 8:35 pm

Re: Museums
Then there's the Land of Lost Content in Craven Arms, Shropshire - a large and eccentric collection of stuff from the past century or so. Some interesting old technology on display, including radio, TV, calculators and such. Characterised by 'We used to have one of those".

TonyDuell 16th Feb 2017 8:58 pm

Re: Museums

Originally Posted by dseymo1 (Post 919758)
Then there's the Land of Lost Content in Craven Arms, Shropshire - a large and eccentric collection of stuff from the past century or so. Some interesting old technology on display, including radio, TV, calculators and such. Characterised by 'We used to have one of those".

Or in my case (and I suspect a lot of people here), 'I was using one of those this morning'

Getting back on-thread, might I recomend the Amberly Chalk Pits Museum (I think now the Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre) :

You can easily spend several days trying to see everything...

On a much smaller scale, some public libraries have a display of artefacts relating to the area. Bromley central library does, including a couple of things relating to Muirhead. Not woth a special trip, but if you are in the area it's worth popping into the library to see if there's anything.

Paul Stenning 16th Feb 2017 9:21 pm

Re: Museums
I have made this thread "sticky" so it doesn't get lost.

dglcomp 16th Feb 2017 9:53 pm

Re: Museums
There is the Royal Signals Museum in Blandford and the TV, radio and toy museum in Montacute near Yeovil

Also further north is the Radio museum in Watchet formerly at the Washford AM transmitter site/Tropiquaria

merlinmaxwell 16th Feb 2017 10:51 pm

Re: Museums

On a much smaller scale, some public libraries have a display of artefacts relating to the area
Slough museum is now a number of 'pods' in the "Curve" this is now the library and has points for hooking up ones laptop etc. very popular. You might think that Slough is the pit of (insert word) but this building is supurb, worth having a look at. Caution, one of the lifts has doors on two sides, I spent what seemed ages waiting for the door to open before I realised the one behind me had opened.

And thank you Paul for making this sticky.

Tyso_Bl 17th Feb 2017 11:16 am

Re: Museums
The museum of Internal fire, well worth a detour in to West Wales

Paul Stenning 17th Feb 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Museums
I don't think anyone has mentioned the The British Vintage Wireless and Television Museum in West Dulwich, London yet.

HamishBoxer 17th Feb 2017 1:57 pm

Re: Museums
That is terrible Paul! Cannot miss that.

Brased 17th Feb 2017 5:08 pm

Re: Museums
We should not forget the Science Museum in South Kensington and especially the new Information Age gallery.


GMB 17th Feb 2017 10:24 pm

Re: Museums
RAF Henlow has excellent displays (some working) of RAF aircraft radios etc.

The Pitstone Green Museum of Rural Life has a display of aircraft radios etc. and a Lancaster cockpit mock-up.

Phil G4SPZ 17th Feb 2017 11:18 pm

Re: Museums
A shameless 'plug' for the Black Country Living Museum, in particular the 1939 wireless shop Gripton's Radio Stores with its collection of over fifty pre-war radio sets in showroom condition and an operational workshop to the rear. Unique, I understand, in that visitors can actually watch as restoration work progresses on pre-war vintage sets, using authentic period tools and test gear, whilst listening to pre-war 78s reproduced on our 1936 HMV gram deck. The workshop is manned most Wednesdays (by me) and Thursdays (by my colleague Len). Valves tested, 3d each, and accumulators charged for 6d while-you-wait! But please be patient...

beamcurrent 18th Feb 2017 9:54 pm

Re: Museums
1 Attachment(s)
The virtual Museum of the Broadcast Television Camera

The objective of this site is to record and document the history, technology and development of broadcast television cameras. The images and data within are drawn from the cameras and photographs in my collection and the collections of other supporters of the museum. It is hoped that this site will become a valuable reference source.

The museum is a long way from finished and I will be adding new cameras and information as and when I can, I intend to work on European and American television cameras first. There are many pages that are incomplete with gaps and omissions.

Like most museums, were their collections are mostly "in storage", my collection which supports the museum is entirely "in storage" and the museum is a virtual one that exists in cyber space. However this does have advantages:-

It means that I am, or will be, able to display everything.

Admission is Free! The Museum is open 24/7

The collection is preserved in good condition for the future

The camera pictured is an EMI 201 broadcast vidicon camera c. 1960

Another shameless plug! Regards Brian

Radio Wrangler 18th Feb 2017 10:34 pm

Re: Museums
For those who stumble into a spatial wormhole and wind up in the far Northern wastelands, there is The Museum of Communications. The Harry Matthews collection from Edinburgh University now housed in its own premises on the high street, Burrntisland, Fife. It's near a railway station and there are buses to/from Edinburgh.

There is an exhibition space that gets changed annually, but if you sound at all interested you'll get shown through all the storage areas. Entertainment radio, marine, military and amateur, TV, tape recorders etc etc... a stash of tons of journals.

It's worth finding a wormhole.


The Philpott 18th Feb 2017 11:46 pm

Re: Museums
If you are ever in the area:

Museum of Power, Langford,
Combined Military Museum, Fullbridge
Both near Maldon, Essex. Recommended.

Phil G4SPZ 19th Feb 2017 10:57 am

Re: Museums
Seaford Museum has an excellent radio and electrical display. Only open two hours a week, but worth a visit:

Also Orkney Wireless Museum, a bit remote but very good:

Finally, the Telegraph Museum in Porthcurno:

I've visited all three and can highly recommend them.

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
1 Attachment(s)
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
1 Attachment(s)

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
5 Attachment(s)
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.

merlinmaxwell 18th Jun 2017 3:22 pm

Re: Museums
1 Attachment(s)
Pendon model railway I am sure lots of the forum are interested in model railways, this one is super and air conditioned (just right for today! 28C in the shade). There is also a radio aerial on one of the 1930's houses...

Dave Moll 18th Jun 2017 3:34 pm

Re: Museums
I can't recall how many decades ago it was when I visited it, but it was certainly before I moved to Cumbria nearly thirty years ago.

merlinmaxwell 17th Jul 2017 5:03 pm

Re: Museums
4 Attachment(s)
The Battle of Britain Bunker, went there this afternoon and had a private tour of the interesting bits (been on the 'normal tour' before)

Some pics, lots of stairs (pedantically lots of steps, 76 in all, only five stairs I suppose), electrics, the plotting table and air handling

Ed_Dinning 22nd Jun 2018 8:49 am

Vintage gear in Feldkirch Austria
Hi Gents, just visited the old and interesting town of Feldkirch near the Bodensee and close to Germany and Switzerland.
They have an old (1908) hydro power station in the middle of the town.
5 sets in all probably running at less than 1MW total.
I didn't ask for a tour, but I suspect it is possible. The present gear looks 50's or 60's.

There was also a vintage radio museum in the town that I posted about a few years ago, but I couldn't locate it this time, possibly the owner has retired.


Ed_Dinning 22nd Jun 2018 7:07 pm

Re: Museums
Hi Gents, also of interest in this area is the Ill Werke hydro scheme in the Montafon valley. A good museum with all the details is located at Latchau near Golm and also in some other places.
This system is both direct Hydo as well as an impressive and increasing amount of pumped storage. Well worth a visit.


Sinewave 24th Jun 2018 10:43 am

Re: Museums

Originally Posted by merlinmaxwell (Post 960543)
The Battle of Britain Bunker, went there this afternoon and had a private tour of the interesting bits (been on the 'normal tour' before)

Some pics, lots of stairs (pedantically lots of steps, 76 in all, only five stairs I suppose), electrics, the plotting table and air handling

It's very good there isn't it. Since I've been there, there's been quite a lot of changes/development to the old RAF Uxbridge site. Sad to see in a way, but that's 'development and progress'.

chriswood1900 13th Jul 2018 5:34 pm

Re: Museums
4 Attachment(s)
I have recently returned from a holiday touring the Pacific NW of the USA. As is usual I try to fit in technology related museums, Mainly Radio, Electronics, Military, Aircraft and Cars. On my tour I took the opportunity to revisit the Spark Museum in Bellingham a beautiful town just south of the Canadian border.
I had previously written a short piece about my visit in 2015
This time I allowed myself a lot more time to spend on the Electricity and Thermionic devices sections, this museum has a particularly good collection including such rarities as some of Thomas Edison’s first lights from the late 1870S and 1880S including one of only 3 hook lights remaining, the 1832 patent model for the first continuous electrical generator (Pixii Dynamo) and many others.
During my visit I caught up with Jonathan again and he most helpfully allowed me to photograph up close some of their rare early Fleming and Audion tubes.
The delightful part of being there was the helpfulness of the team and their willingness to engage which seems to be increasingly rare in the UK’s museums.
I again would highly recommend a visit there links with more info below:-

ms660 14th Jul 2018 3:27 pm

Re: Museums
"KVOS TV Bellingham"

Used to watch that in the '70's


Beardyman 18th Jul 2018 8:07 am

Re: Museums
Local to me is the Eastney Beam Engine house, only open usually over the last weekend of the month but the website has more information, well worth a visit if steam & oil engines are your thing, they are for me!
I remember visiting the Isle of Wight Radio Museum in Arreton Manor some years ago, can't seem to find any trace of it on t'interweb though, peculiar.
If old machinery is your bag then there's the Twyford Water Works Museum, heard very good things about this but again only open at selected times,
For those of us who favour two wheels with an engine there is of course the Sammy Miller collection at Fordingbridge
There is also a small number of crafty type shops there to keep the better halves happy & a cracking good café, excellent bacon butties! ;D

Phil G4SPZ 18th Jul 2018 10:38 am

Re: Museums

Originally Posted by Beardyman (Post 1059616)
I remember visiting the Isle of Wight Radio Museum in Arreton Manor some years ago, can't seem to find any trace of it on t'interweb though, peculiar.

I believe it closed down, many years ago.

At the Amberley Museum of Technology in Sussex there is a large and eclectic collection of vintage radios, TVs, audio equipment etc and the volunteers are very willing to chat about it. There's also an amateur radio station if that's your thing.

Probably the best sections at Amberley are the large telephony and electrical displays, each in its own building.

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