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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 4:20 pm   #1
Valvepower
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Default Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

Hi,

This is a slightly off beat post, but I feel it just fall’s within the remit of the forum….

I went to London this weekend to see the Pink Floyd exhibition Their Mortal Remains at the V&A museum, which I’d recommend. As well as the history of the band they exhibit some of their equipment, which includes the many amplifiers they have used in their time, which will appeal to the amp heads on the forum, but that’s not the reason for the post.

The reason for the post is that in the final part of the exhibition they show a video of Arnold Lane from 1967, and at the beginning of this video there is about a minute showing Tottenham Court road in the 60’s showing where the UFO club was located (they performed at the UFO club in the 60's), but as well as the UFO club there were some great pictures of the Radio Shops that used to be Tottenham Court road as well. I spotted Lasky’s, Premier Radio, G.W. Smith, Lind – Air and a few others….

Seeing this had me trawling the net and I think I may have found similar pictures of Tottenham Court Road - they may even be from the same source as the footage used in the exhibition?

Anyway, here is a link to the site with the pictures of Tottenham Court road showing the radio shops.

https://news.fitzrovia.org.uk/2015/0...s/#prettyPhoto

Regards
Terry
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 4:41 pm   #2
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

Brilliant! Pure nostalgia, the shops, the buildings, the cars, the people, a time gone by.. I love that G W Smith building, it looks like a top heavy wedding cake!
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 4:52 pm   #3
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

Wow, that magic shop. That reminds me of an amusing story from my school days. I'll post it here later. It is radio related.
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 6:06 pm   #4
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

I remember as a teenager going to London on holiday with my parents: 1973. I spent all my holiday money in Lasky's, Proops Bros, and another shop, the name of which escapes me. After what seemed like an hour wading amongst boxes and crates spewn all over the floor, I came out with a tropical WWII flying helmet, a couple of pairs of DLR5 headphones, a Morse-telegraph training key and assorted other bits and bobs. great!
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 6:20 pm   #5
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

I never visited and so this is the first time I've seen some of these places to where postal orders and, in the case of higher-priced items, Dad's cheques went.

Fascinating architecture - a mixture of styles through to 1930s art deco - no doubt all lost.
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 6:35 pm   #6
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

I used to love looking through all the gear in these shops in the early 70s when I used to go to London with my Dad, I remember one shop had loads of 1930s valves in a rack and I always used to sort through them for spares for the old Philips Mono-knob set that I had in my bedroom.
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 6:54 pm   #7
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

Oh the memories!! I was a young Subs. Apparatus Engineer for the GPO (London Telephone Region Centre Area) Museum exchange area and this was my patch. I worked in all these premises on a daily basis. The single story "shack" shops were thrown up after the war. The basements had duck boards covering what amounted to an open sewer. Very often the "pong" was indescribable!

I used to spend a lot of time rummaging in Wirecomps & Proops Brothers. I loved the area one moment you were in a radio shop or bank the next you were working in the premises of dodgy night clubs or "working girls" etc.

A callow lad from Muswell Hill grew up pretty quickly!

Regards Steve

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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 8:19 pm   #8
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

Hi again,

I was using my mobile phone before, which is very fiddly to use for posting here. I'm on my laptop now, so I'll tell the story I eluded to earlier above.

In 1969, the engineering and tech. drawing teachers at our school arranged a trip to the model engineering exhibition at ( i think ) Olympia. In the afternoon the teachers said we could go off and do what we liked, as long as we were back for 5pm, so I decided to go to Tottenham Court Road. Some of the other kids decided to tag along, as they had nothing better to do, even though they had no interest in radio.

We all went on the tube and emerged from the station. If i recal correctly, that Magic shop in the photo was very close to the station and as we crossed the road, it was right in front of us. I left the other kids looking in the Magic shop window while i went a few yards up the road to one of the electronics/radio shops. There were a few customers waiting to be served and, after a few minutes, i noticed one of the kids come into the shop and stand around at the back for a little while before leaving again. I was about to be served and said to the assistant, "Can I have a...." but was interupted by a City gent, complete with bowler hat and brief case, who said, "POO", whilst looking accusingly at me. I realised that the kid who'd been lurking at the back had dropped a newly purchased stink bomb!

I can't remember to this day if i completed my purchase or made a quick exit.

All the best

Aub
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 11:04 pm   #9
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

Loverly pic`s I remember all the Radio Shops very well, those days you could buy a 19 set for, if I remember correctly, £4/19 11d !! (£4.99)
I remember Proops and I think one shop called Z & I Aero services ? Heathkit also had a show room in Tottenham Court Rd.
And not forgetting there was also Lisle Street in Soho, I think GW Smith had two shops there, but I could be wrong.
Looking at the pic`c in the link and the Cinema 24 Club, reminded me was it a coincidence, that most Radio Shops in London, were always located near Book Shops, Clubs and Cinema`s that catered for the more "discerning Gentleman".
Happy days, enjoyed looking around the shops as a kid aged about 13.
73`s G6HZG.
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Old 4th Sep 2017, 11:21 am   #10
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by its ur aerial View Post
I remember Proops and I think one shop called Z & I Aero services ? .
Z&I were at one time big in the valve-imports-from-who-knows-where business: pretty much anyone working in the radio/TV business in the 50s/60s would have been aware of their "Zaerix" brand valves.

I wonder what "Z&I" stood for - the initials of the founders perhaps?
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Old 4th Sep 2017, 12:01 pm   #11
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

They were evidently "good businessmen" in one way and another, as I gather that one of their lines was getting Soviet-bloc valves passed with CV-listing and thus probably in some items of Western military kit! I believe that that business acumen eventually got stretched a little far, though, in that they were done for some sort of mis-description....

Was it also them that supplied various items of Soviet-era test gear- I had a U4324 multimeter, a no-nonsense but handy thing that was eventually pinched.
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Old 4th Sep 2017, 12:14 pm   #12
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

According to their catalogue, Z&I were the UK's "sole distributors" of valves and semiconductors from the USSR, and also held stocks from various manufacturers in the UK and Eastern Europe:
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Old 4th Sep 2017, 12:19 pm   #13
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

Zagiel & Igel.

Lawrence.
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Old 4th Sep 2017, 12:22 pm   #14
m0cemdave
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

I guess that's them in the picture (just added)
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Old 4th Sep 2017, 12:29 pm   #15
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turretslug View Post
Was it also them that supplied various items of Soviet-era test gear- I had a U4324 multimeter, a no-nonsense but handy thing that was eventually pinched.
I had one of them too. Taut-band, and a lot less likely to die-if-dropped than an AVO8!

The importers were "Technical & Optical Equipment", who also did "Z3N1T" [Zenith] SLR cameras, "Snowcap" fridges, "Vega" transistor-radios etc from the USSR. See here: http://cameras.alfredklomp.com/toe/

The Russian end of the operation was 'owned' by Mashpriborintorg - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mashpriborintorg - who was the Communist world-trade agency for anything technical/electronic.
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Old 4th Sep 2017, 12:30 pm   #16
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m0cemdave View Post
I guess that's them in the picture (just added)
I reckon so, those are their surnames bye the way, intials F and A respectively, I say F but it depends which text you read on Google, some say F others say E

Lawrence.
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Old 4th Sep 2017, 12:31 pm   #17
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

Pure Nostalgia

Plus a fair bit of annoyance at not buying the stuff that was new RAF 'Surplus' at the time. Could do with it now!

I lived in South London and Dad worked on the buses and the Underground so I thought nothing of getting the bus/tube to Edware Road and Lisle Street (not so much Tottenham Court Road as the was boring modern radio stuff)

I remember Henrys Radio as being double fronted with a counter full of compartments with components in. There was an old guy with sticking out white hair who was always there serving. Brown paper bags for your 'goodies'.

We bought our 3in oscilloscope tube from Z&Is and I would scan their catalogue for days thinking about all the odd phosphors and scope tube types they had on offer and were stacked in cardboard boxes on the shelves.

Have fun going up the Goodge Street scary automatic lift and you could stare through the windows of Mullards in Torrington Place, so state of the art.

Somewhere on the Edgeware Road we bought spray cans of 'crackle' paint for our Practical Electronics Oscilloscope. I think that I went in the cinema to see Midnight Cowboy.

Happy Days!
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Old 4th Sep 2017, 12:39 pm   #18
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

That's the Mashpriborintorg logo, prominently displayed on the stand behind the two gentlemen in the picture.

My catalogue is from 1971 and includes a page of L/S/D to decimal Pounds / Pence conversion tables.

Last edited by m0cemdave; 4th Sep 2017 at 12:43 pm. Reason: additional info
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Old 4th Sep 2017, 6:00 pm   #19
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turretslug View Post
Was it also them that supplied various items of Soviet-era test gear- I had a U4324 multimeter, a no-nonsense but handy thing that was eventually pinched.
And the U4315 which I still have and occasionally actually use.
I certainly remember the days of Tottenham Rd and Lisle St in the early 70s. Lugged a 30ft ex-army mast back on the train one day - still supporting my longwire but not in the best condition.

Dave
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Old 4th Sep 2017, 7:46 pm   #20
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Default Re: Radio shops in Tottenham Court road.

In my youth (1980s) when I lived near London I can remember walking up the Edgware Road. I can remember Henry's radio, Lee Electronics (mainly ham radio) and also the place opposite Lee Electronics. I think it was Arrow but I can't remember now.

Quote:
I love that G W Smith building, it looks like a top heavy wedding cake!
Yes I agree! Some of those old buildings had plenty of character.
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