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Old 25th Apr 2017, 8:26 am   #421
'LIVEWIRE?'
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Default Re: Bygone radio traders

In this area (North & West Oxfordshire) the component shops have all long gone. There were two in Banbury, one called Arrow Audio, which, IIRC, was above a shop in George Street, the other in a row of shops demolished to make way for a new road, closed earlier, Witney Audio in the town of that name, and at least one in Oxford. There were also branches of Tandy, the nearest to me being in St. Ebbe's, Oxford. As WilliamTK1974 says, they frequently sent out fliers. Every time you bought anything in a Tandy Shop, tey took your name & address, but they did stock a wide range of components, kits, and the like. Now, as everywhere in the UK, we have branches of Maplin in Oxford, Banbury, and Cheltenham, which I use from time to time.
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 9:35 am   #422
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In this area (North & West Oxfordshire) the component shops have all long gone. There were two in Banbury, one called Arrow Audio, which, IIRC, was above a shop in George Street, the other in a row of shops demolished to make way for a new road, closed earlier, Witney Audio in the town of that name, and at least one in Oxford.
I well remember Witney Audio Centre, run by Brian and Dave. Originally in Corn Street, they later moved to the High Street. They opened around 1971 (whilst I was in the Sixth Form, if my memory serves me well) and I used to buy components from them, including valves, to repair/refurbish old monochrome TVs. I also bought my first HiFi cassette deck from them, a Tandberg TCD300 (which I still have).

They were Sony dealers and had a KV-1310UB on demo in their showroom for a very long time. I believe the image of Test Card F was burnt into the phosphor screen eventually!

They did celebrate 25 years in business, but they closed down a few years after that.

Prior to Witney Audio opening, I either used mail order (Home Radio) or caught the bus to Oxford and used Westwoods in George Street (they had a wholesale operation, Duval, at the same address).

Happy days!

Last edited by dazzlevision; 25th Apr 2017 at 9:42 am. Reason: Added text.
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 11:38 am   #423
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Does anyone recall Brian(?) on St John's Hill, Wandsworth?
In the same area, I had a radio, TV and video sales and repair shop in Barmouth Road, Wandsworth during the 1980's. Not a spares shop but if someone came in asking for a component I would normally oblige and sell it to them, downfall was that those customers could become time wasters asking for advice or talking about their latest electronic project.

John
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 6:46 pm   #424
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Dazzlevision, you've reminded me of names I'd almost forgotten. Westwoods, later, IIRC, Westwood & Mason, were in George Street near the entrance to Gloucester Green Bus Station, and sold audio & HiFi equipment as well as components. The premises are now, I think, an Opticians. I often bought components from Witney Audio Centre and remember Brian & Dave vaguely. At that time, and until April 1995, I worked in Oxford for A E Malins who were Auto Electrical Engineers, where I repaired Car Radios & Stereos. I, too, used to by things from Home Radio in Mitcham by mail order.
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 7:41 pm   #425
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Ah, Malins on the Osney Mead Estate. I have visited them a few times in the 1970s, including buying a Radiomobile fitting kit for my Simca 1100.
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 7:30 am   #426
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Dazzlevision, you've reminded me of names I'd almost forgotten. Westwoods, later, IIRC, Westwood & Mason, were in George Street near the entrance to Gloucester Green Bus Station, and sold audio & HiFi equipment as well as components. The premises are now, I think, an Opticians. I often bought components from Witney Audio Centre and remember Brian & Dave vaguely. At that time, and until April 1995, I worked in Oxford for A E Malins who were Auto Electrical Engineers, where I repaired Car Radios & Stereos. I, too, used to by things from Home Radio in Mitcham by mail order.
Yes, Westwoods did become Westwood & Mason. The nearby bus station at Gloucester Green is a mere shadow of its former self nowadays.

Going back to Witney, the first electronic project I built (when I was around ten) was a crystal set and I obtained the parts from Delnevo's of Corn Street (a TV and radio dealer that was set up by Vic Delnevo in 1947 only closed down, after relocating to the High Street, in 2010). All was well. apart from the "solder", which wouldn't melt, even after sticking the end into a coal fire! I eventually discovered that I had been sold tinned copper wire!

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/you...r_six_decades/

The original TV shop in Corn Street had a lovely red and green neon "Bush" logo and name sign inside one of their two street facing windows, which was on for many, many years, right up to when it relocated. To me, it was a bit of a local landmark. They were Bush, K-B and Ekco dealers, in the days when the big makers only sold through dealerships.

The Delnevo family (originally from Italy) also ran two fish and chip shops and a fabric/haberdashers.

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Old 28th Apr 2017, 4:00 pm   #427
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OOoh does this thread bring back memories - of being a kid in the 60's and poring over Practical Wireless/Electronics and seeing Henry's Radio ads or Home Radio, going into Birmingham and fossicking in the surplus place near the Bull Ring (anything in this bin 6d) or up the back street in Bromsgrove where the component place was. Funny how they fell into two types - the modern, ordered shop with usually an older guy and some younger staff who could locate anything modern in a trice. Then there was the older place with everything stacked everywhere in dusty boxes and piles and elderly Reg or Bert in a dustcoat coming in and saying things like '50uF 300V electros? I think there's some over there' with a wave of the hand. I used to love visiting the Reg or Bert emporiums and they even existed over here in New Zealand when I arrived back in the 70's - now those and even the modern independent shops have vanished. All that is left is the odd chain store such as Tandy's or Jaycars. To be fair the internet has supplied some of the missing surplus stuff but you do miss the oldies!!!
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Old 28th Apr 2017, 5:01 pm   #428
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When I lived in Ilford, Essex in the late 50's early '60's there was a junk and surplus shop run by Fred Ruth, G2BRH, who also used to teach Morse to PMG/amateur standard, depending on skill level! The local Amateur Radio Club also met there every week. It was somewhere along the main road near Seven Kings station if anyone remembers that way back? I took my 12wpm Post Office test there in 1963 (and passed!) Still have the callsign G3PCN (Ray Bown)
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Old 1st May 2017, 12:02 am   #429
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I remember another shop over here, located in the suburban area of East Ridge, TN, near Chattanooga. Might have been called Stereo World, or something like that. They were a repair shop, and could fix about anything. Owner was a different duck, looked like a cigarette was grafted to his lower lip at all times. Anything he fixed had to be aired out a bit, but it worked. One day, I went in there and his wife was there. She told me that he was almost entirely illiterate, but seemed to have just picked up how to fix things through gut instinct. She ran the business, ordered parts etc, and he did the work. He later told me that modern gear was essentially garbage, consisting of a bunch of microchips strung together that made it hard to figure out what was really wrong with something.

They closed up shop about 20 years ago. At one point, they briefly resurfaced, but I didn't have anything to take to them, and they disappeared again. Now, there's another shop in East Ridge called Stereo World, but it's a completely different place. Seems to cater to the loud car radio market.

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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.
This is true, though it can depend on who you're talking to. Alot of people seem to look at ham radio operators as a bit odd, at least until they encounter them in a disaster or helping out at some community event. As far as fixing radios goes, people will look at you and ask how in the world you learned to do that, or why do you fix those old things when you can get one that's so much better new.

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Old 2nd May 2017, 8:22 am   #430
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Does anyone remember an Ex WD radio shop in Orpington High St in the '50s, it was just past Chislehurst road going toward the pond. I was surprised to see it spring up there, although I don't know why they were everywhere else.

Peter
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Old 3rd May 2017, 8:00 pm   #431
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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.
Hello one and all; just joined this group after lurking for a while. My very good friend Mike from Leeds, Telstar, has mentioned joining loads of times and since lurking, I realise I should have…years ago.

I now live back in Scarborough again. Derwent Radio was a shop at the top of Columbus ravine in Scarborough, sold all manner of stuff both old and new. The owner Des Wood was a licensed amateur started the shop probably in the late 60s. Catered for amateur radio needs too and sold aerials and general electronic components. My friend Malcolm Hewitt (Who later bought the shop from Des when he retired) used to spend hours in the place and as we were impecunious school kids at the time, we often came away with ‘junk’ to play with. Always one to drive a hard bargain Des, although looking back I suppose it was his living! I’m really sorry to hear of his passing. He lived not far away from me and used to enjoy flying I believe. It’s years since I’ve seen him though.

Another shop in Hoxton Road (and against all odds is still trading exactly the same way today nearly 50 years later!) is Moore’s who still keep a rather esoteric stock of spares and still do repairs I believe.

Chris G8PIC
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Old 22nd Jun 2017, 6:16 pm   #432
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Had one of my regular visits to John Birkett's shop in Lincoln last week. Always a delight to spend time browsing through all the old equipment and spares etc and having a chat with John and the group of his friends who always seem to be in the shop talking about all things radio, electronics etc etc. I make a point of buying something every time I visit. Only spent £2 this time on 10m of radio tuning drive cord, bargain !!! Last of the big spenders !

The opening times are often variable and I attach a pic of the latest times posted on his window. Long may the shop remain open.
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Old 23rd Jun 2017, 5:43 pm   #433
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There's a shop in Newcastle upon Tyne that I used to buy components for projects, repairs etc when I first started messing with electronics, Aitkens, it's still going but I think it's moved into DJ equipment but I haven't been up there for years so I don't know for sure.
I see your post about this was in 2013, when Aitkens may still just have been going.

I'm sorry to say they are no more. I am as much to blame for that as anyone, as at one time there was scarcely a Saturday when I didn't cycle the 4-5 miles into town to get my precious little white paper bag full of components (with the price added up in biro on the bag). By the time they closed down it had been many years since I had ventured in there to buy anything, but I had noticed that they seemed to have gone down the road of fewer components, more sound to light / DJ modules and things like that.

On the plus side, a 'younger' shop with a similar feel to the Aitkens of old is still going on Tyneside, namely E.S.R of Cullercoats, a simple 100yd walk straight down from the front entrance of Cullercoats Metro station. Although it also sells 'Sound Equipment' it still has racks of drawers under and behind the counter loaded with transistors, ICs and so on.
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Old 23rd Jun 2017, 8:33 pm   #434
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Any one remember Dobsons in Sheffield,corner of Queen Street and Tenter Street. I first went there mid 1940's on the recommendation of my cousin. It's long since gone and built over, he always used to have interesting bits (for a 14 year old).
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Old 23rd Jun 2017, 11:32 pm   #435
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A couple of notable shops spring to mind for me. In the late 80s, Sendz components in Southend... Loads and loads of stuff everywhere even piled up against the front windows. Later in the late 90's it was Cliffords in Dublin, not far from the bus station. I popped in there to buy some capacitors and the elderly owner of the shop came back to the counter and produced a box of NOS wax caps! I only bought the mica NOS ones...I also got friendly with Vincent Farrell who ran a stall offering repairs and radios for sale at the now defunct Mother Redcaps indoor market. He fired my enthusiasm for radio repair and freely gave me repair guidance too.
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Old 24th Jun 2017, 7:44 am   #436
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Not quite on topic, in as much as they were mail order, and didn't have retail shops, but what became of SEME, later SEME-Nedis? Their Main premises was, IIRC in Melton Mowbray, but they also had a branch in Buckingham. I had a trade account with them for maybe 15 years.
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Old 24th Jun 2017, 11:14 am   #437
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Any one remember Dobsons in Sheffield,corner of Queen Street and Tenter Street. I first went there mid 1940's on the recommendation of my cousin. It's long since gone and built over, he always used to have interesting bits (for a 14 year old).
I worked just a few yards from this location from 1987 and there was no sign of it then, just modern office blocks.
There was a radio dealer, presumably nearby, at West Bar Green whose name escapes me. Bought an old valve set from Sheffield's Monday market years ago and it had a label from this shop which would have been about 500 yards away from the market.

Peter

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Old 24th Jun 2017, 3:53 pm   #438
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Dobsons? I worked there in 1961/62.The service department where I started work was in Catherine street Doncaster and the shop was in Silver street.

Presume it was the same firm as certainly located in Sheffield for the head office.
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Old 24th Jun 2017, 4:04 pm   #439
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Not quite on topic, in as much as they were mail order, and didn't have retail shops, but what became of SEME, later SEME-Nedis? Their Main premises was, IIRC in Melton Mowbray, but they also had a branch in Buckingham. I had a trade account with them for maybe 15 years.
They were mainly a trade supplier and called round shops/workshops, much like Radiospares. I believe their original boss came from RS. Nedis is of Dutch origin I believe and merged with SEME.
I guess most people know about the name of SEME. The boss went to register the company name South East Midlands Electronics and it was turned down as being similar to another company so as he wanted to keep the SEME name he called the company Small Elephants Medium Elephants, hence their logo and being able to use SEME.
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