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Old 8th Mar 2017, 12:54 pm   #401
G3VFB_Anton
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Default Re: Bygone radio traders

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M and B Services at the top of Margate High Street (Kent). Chap called Brian ran it, always a good source of components and "bits"
Does anyone recall Brian(?) on St John's Hill, Wandsworth? He ran an amazing emporium in the 70's and living round the corner I was in there nearly every day.
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 9:35 am   #402
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I was very interested to see the thread about Taylors of Macauley Street, Huddersfield. As a radio enthusiast in my teens in the 1950s, this was by far my favourite shop in the whole of Huddersfield and I well remember the stooped figure of Mr Taylor emerging from a back room to sell me a Bulgin connector or whatever. In later years his daughter took over and I was fascinated to read that she was a former model.

I am wondering if anyone knows anything about another Huddersfield radio shop called Radio Equipment Company, in Market Avenue. All I know is that it was set up by Clifford Stephenson (later a prominent Huddersfield councillor) when he was 21 around 1924. He went on the become chairman of the Radio and Television Retailers' Association.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 3:10 am   #403
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Not sure if anyone's interested in things on this side of the pond, and the "golden era" of radio shops was likely over by the time I came along. But I can think of a few things from my area and the US in general.

Shields Electronics back when it was at the corner of Dodds Ave. and 23rd Street in Chattanooga. They'd been there quite some time, and more than a few of their staff members had been around almost since the beginning. Back before the anti-tobacco laws were so strict, one of the men smoked constantly in the office, and it sounded as though he'd been at that a bit longer than was good for him. But the place was like a treasure cave, with racks of components such as capacitors and resistors, belts for belt-drive turntables... It was where my brother bought a NOS stylus for the Select-A-Vision player he bought on ebay. They moved to a suburban area and lost a great deal of that. They seem to specialize in gun safes and home/commercial security these days.

Roy Cox Appliance in Red Bank, TN- This was a old-school, small-ish town radio and appliance dealer. You could almost imagine going in and walking out with a brand-new Zenith Royal TransOceanic radio, or putting a down-payment on a new RCA hi-fi system. As time went by, they gravitated more toward laundry appliances, cookers, and the like. They town wanted to widen part of the road they were on, and the shop was a casualty of that project.

Ed's TV on Brainerd Road- This shop may have been a Zenith dealer. He could pretty much fix anything. There were always more than a few console TV carcasses behind the shop. My great-grandfather had a Zenith transistor set that he took there when it came time to change its batteries since its battery box had broken. Seems like Ed decided it was time to retire, and the building's since been demolished.

Can't remember the name, but a TV shop still appears to exist on Rossville Blvd in Chattanooga. The story I heard was that the previous owner learned how to fix TVs back in the late 50s. There was some kind of scandal with the man and his spouse. Last I saw, the sign said that they fix flatscreens, plasma, and LED, so maybe they're still going.

In general, shops that once sold parts, radios, and other electronic goods have taken a hard hit over here in recent years. Radio Shack comes to mind as a prime example. Almost as though they were a victim of their own success and complacency. Sears Roebuck was another place to go for radio and stereo equipment. It was fun to walk through that department of the store and drool over stuff. Now, it appears they're circling the drain quickly.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that people who want "just a radio" rather than some kind of whiz-bang marvel of technology are in the minority these days.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 6:29 am   #404
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I was in my teens a decade or so later, Roger. The only radio sort of place I can remember anywhere near the old market in Huddersfield (long gone and still lamented) was Charlie Shaw's on the Shambles. That was purely a radio and TV retailer, since moved to New street opposite Wood's.

I'm trying to remember the TV repairer on Venn street, near the junction with King street, next to Sydbros. They had a Mullard one-armed bandit valve tester in the public part of the shop.

Hi William, I'm definitely interested. It seems like similar market forces have been at play on both sides of the Atlantic. There was a long established amateur radio dealer near London, by the name of The Radio Shack, so when the Tandy corporation decided to expand their franchises this way, the name was already taken, so they traded as Tandy, here. They were useful sometimes for components, but their finished goods were generally seen as not the best. They wouldn't let you buy anything without getting your address first. I got tired of being a dumping ground for tons of advertising, so I started saying '1601 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC USA' None of them figured it out. Visiting California for work, I got shown round all the usual surplus outlets and told that they were a shadow of what they once were... oh and the amateur radio section at the Bascom Bandit in Sunnyvale.

There is a difference in attitude in our two countries If you can play around with electronic or mechanical things and make them work, or design new things. In the USA you are considered useful, in Japan and Germany you are respected as one of the creators of their level of wealth. In Britain, you are considered odd.

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Old 20th Apr 2017, 1:36 pm   #405
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Interesting to read those recollections! I fear those days are gone for good.

Actually, nothing can compare with the government surplus shops in London in the early 1950s. Lisle Street, Tottenham Court Road and Edgware Road were full of small shops selling amazing gear at knockdown prices. Lisle Street was in the middle of sinful Soho so radio gear was not the only thing on offer.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 10:20 am   #406
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Does anyone remember J E Annakin at Otley, I used to send most of my pocket money to him in return I got wonderful ex WD bits and pieces.

If I remember correctly he had the call sign 'G2AK' I worked that call some years ago, I think it was possibly his son that was using it but he was still alive at the time.

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Old 21st Apr 2017, 7:48 pm   #407
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Hi Peter, I visited him a few times at his home in the 80's when he was selling off the last of his stock. I think he was approaching his 90's then.

Ed
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 8:53 pm   #408
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If I remember correctly he had the call sign 'G2AK' I worked that call some years ago, I think it was possibly his son that was using it but he was still alive at the time.
I'm sure that G2AK was the callsign of Chas H. Young who had a shop in Corporation Street in Birmingham. Used to window shop and occasionally buy stuff there.

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Old 21st Apr 2017, 9:13 pm   #409
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You're quite right Keith my memory is failing me - again.

Ed

Yes it was some years ago, I got my licence in the early '80s and it wasn't until about '87 I got my HF licence. I was surprised to hear he was still going then.

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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 7:06 am   #410
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It was the late 60s and very early 70s when I used to visit the shop and the other radio shops in Hurst Street, Norman H Field had two shops and there was a third whose name I can't remember. It was usually after school games afternoons when we were bussed to a local swimming baths. It was easier for me and one of my friends to go into the city centre and catch one bus home than to keep changing busses to get home. The added bonus was to visit the various radio shops and see what we couldn't afford.

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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 7:45 am   #411
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Any one remember Derwent Radio in Scarborough ? Des Wood the owner passed away 3 weeks ago. Des had a lot of ex governments bits and pieces and stock much similar to J Birkett in Lincoln.
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 8:46 am   #412
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Once, just once, I got to Derwent Radio, up Columbus Ravine in Scarborough when it was open. Every holiday on the East coast I must have nagged and nagged. We went past but it was usually closed. That one time I remember goggling at a panadaptor... such an esoteric thing then. I came away with a copy of the American Ham radio magazine.

Decades later at George's G-QRP doo in Rochdale someone mentioned Scarborough, and I recounted the tale of attempts to get back to this treasure cave again. Des introduced himself! Flabbergasted is an understatement. A genuine nice guy.

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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 7:32 pm   #413
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Default Re: Bygone radio traders

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Hi William, I'm definitely interested. It seems like similar market forces have been at play on both sides of the Atlantic. There was a long established amateur radio dealer near London, by the name of The Radio Shack, so when the Tandy corporation decided to expand their franchises this way, the name was already taken, so they traded as Tandy, here. They were useful sometimes for components, but their finished goods were generally seen as not the best. They wouldn't let you buy anything without getting your address first. I got tired of being a dumping ground for tons of advertising, so I started saying '1601 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC USA' None of them figured it out. Visiting California for work, I got shown round all the usual surplus outlets and told that they were a shadow of what they once were... oh and the amateur radio section at the Bascom Bandit in Sunnyvale.

There is a difference in attitude in our two countries If you can play around with electronic or mechanical things and make them work, or design new things. In the USA you are considered useful, in Japan and Germany you are respected as one of the creators of their level of wealth. In Britain, you are considered odd.
Radio Shack did send out a large amount of ads, along with typically having something in the Sunday newspaper. Their catalog was almost as good as getting the Sears or JCPenney Christmas catalog. Some stuff held little appeal as we didn't yet know what it was for, but there were pics of big roof-mounted TV antennas, stereo gear, and the kits on par with "150 Electronic Experiments." Great fun stuff to drool over. Surprising that y'all didn't see their store brand gear as the good stuff. They had a reasonably good reputation here. Optimus was the top line, then Realistic, IIRC. They also had the Free Flashlight Club for a time, and the monthly Free Battery Club.

Seems they hitched their wagon to cell phones at a time when that seemed like a good idea, but then, the market got saturated and they were no longer on top.

Funny what you said about being useful or being odd. Kind of depends on the situation. Ham radio people seem to almost get put on the same shelf as those who posit conspiracy theories about government mind control. Another problem is that we seem to discourage school-age people from pursuing trades, which would include repairs to expensive electronic items.
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Old 23rd Apr 2017, 7:12 am   #414
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Does anyone recall Brian(?) on St John's Hill, Wandsworth? He ran an amazing emporium in the 70's and living round the corner I was in there nearly every day.
Is that Brian J Reed? Yes I visited there, and had a few mail order shipments from him. He used to advertise in the Radio Constructor.

When I visited, he looked most unhealthy, I thought how much he needed to get out into the country, not be stuck in a shop in London!

I'm still using up some glass germanium transistors I got from him in the 1980's.
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Old 23rd Apr 2017, 1:12 pm   #415
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I remember buying stuff from Brian J Reed whose shop was at 161 St John's Hill, which I discovered when I moved to this part of London in 1973. At that time he was trading as The Radio Shack, no doubt much to the annoyance of the American outfit of the same name.

He advertised regularly in Radio Constructor, taking 2 and 3 full page adverts. By 1980 he was trading under his own name Brian J Reed. His opening hours were 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and Sunday afternoon! Not surprised he looked a bit the worse for wear! Apparently he had been trading there for 23 years at that point.

I can't remember when he closed, but must have been at least 20 years ago. The shop front remains largely unaltered but is now a trendy estate agents called Peter Woods.

Peter
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Old 23rd Apr 2017, 3:13 pm   #416
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I had a TV shop at 61 St Johns Hill Sevenoaks in 1969.

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Old 23rd Apr 2017, 11:37 pm   #417
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Thank kalee20 and Peter88gate for recalling Brian Reed and for the picture. There was also a place in the Fulham Road (Putney) end where I bought my first valve an HL2 triode - they also advertised in various mags and did hifi gear as well as radio. Happy Daze
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Old 24th Apr 2017, 11:55 am   #418
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Default Re: Bygone radio traders

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I'm sure that G2AK was the callsign of Chas H. Young who had a shop in Corporation Street in Birmingham. Used to window shop and occasionally buy stuff there.
I remember hearing G2AK on topband or 80m - I think he lived in Sutton Coldfield. I went to the shop a lot in the late 60s. It was always busy with at least three counter staff on Saturdays. I don't know if I ever encountered Mr Young himself. There was a youngish chap serving there who would be kind to enthusiastic schoolboys with a shopping list and throw in the odd roll of hook-up wire, etc. It was very convenient because many buses stopped on Corporation Street.
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Old 24th Apr 2017, 3:42 pm   #419
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There was also a place in the Fulham Road (Putney) end where I bought my first valve an HL2 triode - they also advertised in various mags and did hifi gear as well as radio.
This was Lovering Bros. at 827 Fulham Road, on the corner of Crookham Road. As you say they mainly did hifi gear and audio as well as radio though they also had some component stocks.

Strangely enough this is also now an estate agents - Kinleigh, Folkard & Hayward although Loverings was originally only the corner shop.

Peter (originally a resident of Fulham but now living in Wandsworth!)
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 2:07 am   #420
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Hi Nick,

I remember Chas Young from his earlier shop in Dale End, but I don't
think I ever saw him at Gazette Buildings in Corporation Street.

Kind regards

Dave
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