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Vintage Television and Video Vintage television and video equipment, programmes, VCRs etc.

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Old 24th Feb 2018, 7:48 pm   #1
linescan87
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Default End of an era.

Hello all,

Today my friend John Twamley closed his T.V. repair shop for the last time. He had been on the main street of Swords since 1972 and in the current shop since 1974.

He has had a long career in radio and electronics having started out as a radio officer with Marconi in the 50's, he travelled the world for 8 years. He meet his wife, an American, while at sea. After he married he moved to the States were after a few short stints in different places he got a job with R.C.A, there he served his time on television. He completed his apprenticeship in '68.

In 1971 they decided to move back to Ireland, he worked for Telerents then Cannon electrical for about a year. Himself and a colleague decided they would go it alone, they rented a room over a shop in Swords. For the first six months trade was poor and the other man left as he was offered a job in Dublin airport working on radio.

John persevered and it payed off. He had at one time 750 tv's out on rent (He still had three rentals out today!)

I was raised by my grandmother and we lived a few doors down from the shop. Some of my earliest memories are of going into the shop with her to pay the rent for the salora tv we rented from him. It was not long till I wss popping in after school and on Saturdays. One of the first jobs I had was putting new leads on irons and swapping out lopts, loved soldering all those pins! I would have been around 7 or 8.

Little did I know that he would become such a dear friend and I am very grateful to him for all the help he has given me over the years.

He is looking forward to getting back into amateur radio, vintage radio and clock repair in between the golf. I may persuade him to restore a tv of his own, he has helped me with many. We're also looking forward to the NVCF, this will be our sixth.

At one time there were three tv repair shops in Swords, now there are none.
I hope I have done him justice with this post.

Thanks,

John Joe.

In the photo outside the shop his son Brendan, Himself and me on the right.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 9:00 pm   #2
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Default Re: End of an era.

Great story, best wishes for his retirement, found his shop on Google street view.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 10:02 pm   #3
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Default Re: End of an era.

A great story and I wish a happy retirement to John. I now regret not seeking his shop out when I lived in Dublin in the late '90s.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 10:41 pm   #4
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Default Re: End of an era.

Thanks lads for your kind comments. John was able to stay in business so long after the decline of the tv trade because he took on all kinds of repair work. He repaired everything from vacuum cleaners to table lamps. He was also the go to place for domestic spares like cooker rings, washing machine parts and vacuum cleaner bags.

He will definitely be missed in Swords.

Cheers,

John Joe.
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 6:14 am   #5
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Default Re: End of an era.

Such a shame.

I hope he has a long and pleasant retirement, but general appliance repairs seems to be a dying trade. Everything is made to be disposable; and even if you can get the spares, they invariably hardly cost much less than replacing the entire appliance -- and of course you run the risk of another part failing sometime soon in future.

Considering that my initial ambition in life was to be a New Age Traveller, and my way of making money would have been by repairing and reselling found, discarded appliances, I think I actually got slightly lucky in failing my driving test and not getting the live-in vehicle on which I had been promised first refusal .....

Of course all this will have to change one day, when we start running out of raw materials and/or places to dig holes in the ground to put stuff in .....
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 10:36 am   #6
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Default Re: End of an era.

What a great little story and a smashing photo. Those white lab coats triggered all manner of memories from my own past!
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 11:22 am   #7
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Default Re: End of an era.

That is a wonderful story.

It reminds me of visiting John Stokes (author of 70 years of radio tubes and valves) at his shop many times in Dominion Rd in NZ. When he retired and closed down the shop, I was quite upset about it and I keep thinking back about those days.
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 1:52 pm   #8
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Default Re: End of an era.

Wonderful story of a man who must have had the life he enjoyed. Brings back happy memories.
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 2:05 pm   #9
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Default Re: End of an era.

Hi Julie,

I have to say that the idea of traveling around, no fixed abode really appeals to me.

I have a feeling this won't sink in for a while. I was in the shop early this morning as the transport museum I'm involved with was donated the safe. While I was waiting for them I looked down the road to my old home now empty and up towards the school I went to, now a wetherspoons. Amazing how things change.

Thank you for your warm wishes

John Joe.
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 2:54 pm   #10
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What a wonderful story .
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 3:56 pm   #11
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Default Re: End of an era.

My hats off to anyone who can still make a living and enjoy their life in consumer electronics .
Well done John and thanks for relating the story Joe

Cheers

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Old 25th Feb 2018, 5:03 pm   #12
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Default Re: End of an era.

Great story. Last year in my home town of Beverley, the oldest shop in town( been there since 1896) Briggs and Powell closed for the last year. We rented our tv’s ( ITTs and Trinitons mostly) from there as a kid. It was a fascinating place as a kid, all the teles and radios, hoovers, washing machines, all repaired on site. I did go back into the shop for the first time in 20 years to savour the distinctive smell of new electronics mixed with old wood and peg boards.

We also had a the Radiofusion shop ( Beverley and Hull’s own cable tv broadcaster ) where I bought my first 7” single ( Sad Cafe no less ) and I believe there was a Granada TV shop too.

Happy days now long since gone.
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 5:40 pm   #13
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Default Re: End of an era.

I've mentioned elsewhere that the two brothers who ran a TV repair business on Bridge Street Ramsbottom finally closed down in October after 35 years. They showed me an original small window from when it had been a Post Office and also the fireplace opening that housed the Boiler in a previous incarnation as a Tripe Shop! It's now morphing into a trendy eatery!

Bretski-Ramsbottom [Ramsden in the bottom of the valley] had a Rediffusion Shop and cable TV from the 50's to overcome the lack of signal penetration from Winter Hill at Bolton. So did Bexhill, I was surprised to find when I began to visit in 1998 and found a Redifussion street plate . It was distributed from Hastings.

"Progress is all very well but not when it chops up your dreams!" Leon Rosselson

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Old 25th Feb 2018, 7:23 pm   #14
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Default Re: End of an era.

Interesting story, thank you for documenting it. It is a shame it is unlikely there will be anybody interested in carrying on such a valuable activity or take over the place. As has been said, these places are a godsend for those of us looking for parts instead of chucking stuff out.
One initiative that I have seen talked about (online mostly)is 'repair cafes' - though mostly for computer /software problems and bikes rather than electronics at component level, at least it shows some increased awareness out there for keeping things going instead of buying new.

Incidentally, what's that 1980s -looking TV set with the silver fascia in the shop window? Sanyo?
Hope someone saves it and the rest of the old component stock there may be.
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 9:54 pm   #15
linescan87
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Default Re: End of an era.

I have to say Ben you have a very sharp eye for TV's, it is indeed a Sanyo. It's one of mine, I put it in the window a few weeks ago, had the winter Olympics on it.

It was interesting to see all the people who stopped to look at it, especially school kids who probably never seen a CRT set before.

John brought all the components home with him though all the really interesting stuff was destroyed in a fire in '99.

Cheers,

John Joe.
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Old 26th Feb 2018, 11:06 am   #16
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Default Re: End of an era.

What an interesting story. Its amazing he kept his business going for so long.
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Old 26th Feb 2018, 11:49 am   #17
linescan87
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Default Re: End of an era.

Just to give you an idea of the inside I'll attach a couple of pictures, these were taken last week towards the end of the clear out so the place is a bit messy.

Cheers.
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Old 26th Feb 2018, 3:03 pm   #18
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Default Re: End of an era.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
I've mentioned elsewhere that the two brothers who ran a TV repair business on Bridge Street Ramsbottom finally closed down in October after 35 years. They showed me an original small window from when it had been a Post Office and also the fireplace opening that housed the Boiler in a previous incarnation as a Tripe Shop! It's now morphing into a trendy eatery!

Bretski-Ramsbottom [Ramsden in the bottom of the valley] had a Rediffusion Shop and cable TV from the 50's to overcome the lack of signal penetration from Winter Hill at Bolton. So did Bexhill, I was surprised to find when I began to visit in 1998 and found a Redifussion street plate . It was distributed from Hastings.
Was that the shop next to Mannings the bakers?
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Old 26th Feb 2018, 4:42 pm   #19
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Ramsbottom had problems receiving BBC from Holme Moss on channel 2. From memory, 1962, depending on which side of the valley and how high, there was a chance of one or the other but not both in viewable quality, I say viewable not good.
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Old 27th Feb 2018, 12:30 am   #20
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Well just down the street Nano. Probaly Mannings, that became Schofields. Bakers still there although they don't actually bake anymore. Tommy Topping the Butcher has the last original shop frontage with a stable half door. He's just retired. Will the frontage remain? Who knows I live behind the former Royal Oak Pub [now The Oaks] in what was the New Model Lodging House but I'm the owner not a lodger. What is your Rammy connection? Where you ever on the 9 meg cable distribution?

Bretski, I lived in Hull 1969 to 70. Worked in the Employment Exchange on the Docks. Fish and Chips with the fish straight from the North sea-amazing. Very poor but if you had any sort of job you could live like a king! BBC4 recently showed a Doc about the 1968 Fishing Boat disaster when the wives led the protest. On I Player. Does Nellies pub in Beverley still use a single tap in the wall and white jugs to dispense the beer?
Daver w

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