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

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Old 8th Mar 2018, 5:52 pm   #101
usradcoll1
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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.

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

Dave W
When I read this posting a while back, I thought to myself " A Tripe Shop!"
Is that the nasty looking stuff I'm thinking about. When I saw it in the butcher's meat case, it sure doesn't appeal to me! It looks like foam rubber.
The Mexican people make a Stew out of it, called Menudo. It looks like it's heavily laced with spices and tomatoes with those little white chunks floating in it.
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 4:30 pm   #102
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Brilliant John, (Post 60)

I couldn't sum it up better myself.
I started out with domestic radio & TV servicing in th eearly 1960's. Life then was really interesting, with the coming changeover to UHF/625 lines. I got into real trouble one day, after converting a Plessey 405 only + VHF/FM TV into permanent 625 line operation. In a slack moment in the workshop, with the boss on holiday, it seemed like a nice project. He admired the conversion, but wasn't happy with the hole in the side of the cabinet, that I'd made to accommodate the UHF rotary tuner!

Then of course it was the progression to colour. I remember going to a TV show at Olympia, when colour was launched, & being interviewed by a very young Joan Bakewell, on the Mullard stand.
As you say, it was an interesting job.

I moved out of domestic TV, into Broadcast Television engineering, just after the introduction of colour but still kept in touch with the domestic scene, as we often used domestic TV receivers in non-critical positions. However, even the broadcast industry slowly went the way of the domestic TV servicing, with the eventual progress of domestic cameras, the line between real broadcast & consumer becoming rather blurred and some kit being named 'Prosumer'. About that time much of the broadcast kit became uneconomic to repair.

For instance, I used to repair cameras & recorders that had been used in war-zones, some with the odd ricochet bullet mark!
However, with the use of smaller, cheaper Prosumer kit, the tape would often be removed, & the camera just ditched & left where it was.

It's a good job we still have all this interesting older equipment there for us repair addicts to preserve, & not just preserving the equipment, but also our sanity, and dare I say it, our youth!
I still get a real buzz out of resurrecting old radio & TV equipment, as I am sure we all do.

David.

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Old 10th Mar 2018, 5:16 pm   #103
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Fascinating stuff from you professional lads. As a mere hobbyist, I frequently get asked to repair things for nothing, as if I enjoy it so much that I'm sitting here waiting for work to come in so I can spend hours working on it, just for fun... I have to tell people that if I did have any spare time, I would rather spend it tinkering with my own stuff or playing with my grandchildren.

Out of the blue I received a request from a complete stranger via this Forum to test a batch of valves. Assuming the owner wanted to sell them as "Avo tested", I quoted a realistic price based on my opinion of what my time's worth. Needless to say, I heard nothing more.
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 5:49 pm   #104
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I repair stuff occasionally for other people, either because it's something interesting, or because it's for a friend.

Three rules:

Nothing gets left at my place. I'm short enough of space.

The owner is present whenever I'm doing anything (They can put in as much time as I do) No show, no do.

I'm not interested in anything the local TV shop can handle. They have a living to make and they're a lot more efficient at their sort of stuff.

Without these, I'd get exploited. As I'm not doing it for money, I get to be dictatorial.

You could have had a little fun, Phil by saying you'd use a different make of tester. Someone wanting to use the valves would be fine, but someone wanting to auction them would see their value dropping

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Old 10th Mar 2018, 6:10 pm   #105
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That idea never occurred to me, David! Your sense of humour is more wicked than mine. As it happens, I do have a little Weston TV-4A/U 'tube emission checker' which is good for many types of valve, and much quicker to use than the Avo, but as it can't measure gm it isn't so useful.
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 6:56 pm   #106
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The owner is present whenever I'm doing anything (They can put in as much time as I do) No show, no do.
I use that one - it's pretty effective
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 12:15 am   #107
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Re #101, Tripe is the stomach of a cow. I used to see it in Butchers' shops in East London when I was a kid, but haven't seen any for years. Some people love it but I've never been tempted.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 3:09 pm   #108
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Hi.
The title of this thread got me to thinking of a local character I knew who had a small TV repair shop, the like of which was probably in every town. I started to write a little about him, but saw that it would take up far too much room. Therefore I've jotted my memories about Uncle William in an attachment for you to have a look at. I'm sure you will relate to it!
Attached Files
File Type: docx Uncle William.docx (14.5 KB, 91 views)
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 4:25 pm   #109
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You are absolutely right, of course. But it's hard to charge the old dear face to face for something you or I could do in our sleep - you forget it's rocket science to them.
Last week, mum in law phoned, her 18 month old washer had been accidently switched off just before the cycle end. She panicked as the door wouldn't open after a couple of minutes waiting. She couldnt find the instruction book and my wife suggested switch it off at the plug 5 minutes and try again. Still no go.
I said I would call round later that afternoon.
In the meantime she had phoned the small local business who she bought it from (and also a new microwave). When she phoned us to tell us this and that he had a £45 callout charge (about 1.5 miles in same town) I hurried up my lunch and set off. I missed the bloke by 2 minutes. In the 10 minutes or so he was there, he turned the knob to drain, let it pump out, then waited and opened the door!
He gave her a bill for £45 + £9.00 vat. She doesn't remember the total £54 when she first rang. So, 90 year old mum paid up in cash. It was only a small load basic zanussi, not a Miele! Today, she said she found the instruction book and it said to place in drain mode first. She said she felt foolish now.
I was angry and said I would take it up with the shop, especially as when she phoned she was told callout charge was £45, no mention of vat. But no, she was afraid it would cause trouble, don't do it. I may want them in the future!
So, the moral is, repair technicians will not be out of a job with charges like that around!
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 4:46 pm   #110
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While I sympathise with you, Rob, I can see this from both sides. It wasn't a Miele, I know, but it could have been, and it's hardly practical to have different prices for different makes. Also it could have been ten miles away - again, if distance were taken into account there would have to be a complex pricing structure with obvious room for misunderstanding.
I agree he should have told your mum-in-law about the VAT. When I was VAT registered, I never quoted 'plus VAT' unless it was for a business. This meant i didn't get the 'I'll pay cash so no VAT' comedians and I extracted the VAT content at the end of the week.
Luckily as a one-man-band, I can vary my prices on a case by case basis, so hopefully I'm fair with my customers. A shop with employees doesn't have that luxury.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 5:18 pm   #111
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In a way, I can see the point of his charges, although he knew where she lived. It was the extra VAT element that really niggled me. It was a young chap, said he was still learning as well! IMHO he should have just checked back and asked the firm if he could reduce the amount. It is a private business. They knew the model and the fault description.
40+ years ago, I was self employed and being my own boss used discretion on charges if need be. It was never a minimum charge, just hourly rate plus mileage charge. Even that upset some people who never even bought the appliance from me! This more often than not gained goodwill as well.
Probably getting a bit OT, but maybe at those rates not disclosing the vat his business will also join the end of an era! Mum in law certainly won't buy from him again.
Rob
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 6:57 pm   #112
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The title of this thread got me to thinking of a local character I knew who had a small TV repair shop,
A heart warming story there, Glyn. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 7:15 pm   #113
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The VAT shouldnít have been charged unless it was quoted ex VAT. Has for the service call out charge, I donít think itís excessive but thatís just my opinion, for comparison check online, one was £119, did include VAT.

If you havenít, itís worth discussing it with the shop, surprising what can be sorted out, after all they will want future business from you. All depends how you approach them and being a small local business will have some discretion.

Good luck, hope you can come up with an amicable outcome.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 8:06 pm   #114
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The title of this thread got me to thinking of a local character I knew who had a small TV repair shop, the like of which was probably in every town. I started to write a little about him, but saw that it would take up far too much room. Therefore I've jotted my memories about Uncle William in an attachment for you to have a look at. I'm sure you will relate to it!
I really enjoyed that too Glyn, thanks for posting. 'The man who can do everything' - I knew one. I called round one day - 'hang on a bit, I'm just sewing my cat up, she's been run over'.

Well, he had worked in a circus, but still...
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 8:45 pm   #115
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Just picked up [belatedly] on emeritus re the East End [p107 Eel Pie?] and the other chap in the States who is unable to comprehend tripe the food [p101*] as opposed to "that's a load of tripe" [meaning rubbish]. It may seem counter intuitive to the original opinion but so called "offal" [the unwanted cheaper animal bits] has always been a staple of the relatively poor, usually transformed into something rather delicious by necessity.

When people get very wealthy they are often seen to be paying high prices for a reversion to simplicity, eg basic bread dipped in olive oil with a bean salad etc. In Industrial Lancashire and obtained from Bury Market, Tripe was a staple along with Black Pudding-now very trendy. We'd have it with salads, in summer chilled and sprinkled with salt and vinegar along with brown bread and butter Yum!! Some people would cook it in milk but that didn't appeal in my household, probaly too Mexican

Apart from the Market there was a chain of UCP shops [United Cow Products] ...I'm not making any of this up-sounds like Desperate Dan of the Beano comic with his Cow Pies doesn't it You could get every type of Tripe from White Honeycomb to Flat and browner stuff plus many other remaindered products including "Brawn" a sort of poor man's Pate, "elder" too gritty and "knuckles".

The Bury UCP shop is still there in a different guise. It's actually also a part of Vintage TV History. Candid Camera, was a Granada TV program where Jonathan Routh played practical jokes on the public eg a car was apparently "driven" in for repair but it had no engine! In the Bury UCP, a man eating Sausage and Chips [it wasn't all offall] valiantly puts up with a hand that keeps emerging from behind the Coat Rack and stealing his sausages. Happy Days!

The fact that the ex-TV/Tripe shop is now a trendy eatery in Ramsbottom [the Chorlton of North Manchester- but really Lancashire] rather makes my earlier point about wealth I think! Marc in Manc will know what I mean.

Dave

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Old 11th Mar 2018, 8:52 pm   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Welsh Anorak View Post
The title of this thread got me to thinking of a local character I knew who had a small TV repair shop, the like of which was probably in every town. I started to write a little about him, but saw that it would take up far too much room. Therefore I've jotted my memories about Uncle William in an attachment for you to have a look at. I'm sure you will relate to it!
What a nice story! Do you know the name of the documentary in which Uncle William appeared in? I would like to see if it has been uploaded online.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 9:15 pm   #117
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Lovely story, Glyn:- thank you for that. Rather sad too. I'm sure there were lots of people who repaired things for the love of doing it and helping people. So long as they could get by financially, that was good enough. Getting rich was not the idea. I was similar I suppose. I had a workshop on a cheap industrial estate during the '90's so low overheads. I should have charged a fixed call out but never did- consequently, I spent loads of time running round after customers and earning no money for it. I loved it though and would still be doing it now if it were possible.
£45 call out sounds reasonable to me. What the engineer does when he gets there is immaterial. The overheads of the business and keeping the engineer on the road need to be paid for. The extra VAT should have been mentioned, however.
By way of comparison, I was in PC World recently and they had a notice up with their repair charges. A TV repair (if I remember correctly) was 'from £95 plus parts, plus VAT.' I bet they don't get many timewasters at that price!
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 9:24 pm   #118
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Lovely story, Glyn
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 10:10 pm   #119
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Lovely story. In another age and in different circumstances, many of us could have happily become an Uncle William. It is amazing how the diagnosis and repair of faults in electronic equipment can be so satisfying and enjoyable that so many of us choose to do it as our hobby, for free. Pity that there are so many cheapskates willing to exploit the kindness of people like Uncle William.

Those of you still active in "the trade" can probably exercise a lot of discretion and be selective about what you take on. A good friend of mine is still in the trade, and he tells me he hates much of the equipment brought to him for repair, but he can afford to choose wisely and only tackles jobs that his long experience suggests will be potentially profitable. There's little point in being a busy fool. I guess that in most geographical areas there are so few remaining repairers that there is little competition, and if there are other local businesses capable of tackling this sort of work, they are all going to be of a similar mind.

Thinking somewhat philosophically, we've somehow got to the stage where incredible electronic technology is all around us and used by everyone, yet the general public still seem to look down their noses at anyone with the skill and knowledge to repair it, and resent paying for said expertise. Perhaps the constant reduction in the price we pay for technology, in real terms, has led to repair costs - which are linked to wage rates, not manufacturing costs - being out of proportion to the perceived value of the equipment.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 8:53 am   #120
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Mention of Ramsbottom triggers a memory of an advert in 1970s electronics mags of an advert for aerial pre-amps from a firm in that town. Bridge Street? I bought one, saving up pocket money and buying postal orders. They worked well, and Gran was delighted to be able to watch West regional news instead of Welsh.

I imagine they might have been the kind of TV dealer/repairer we've been discussing here.
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