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Old 13th Apr 2009, 9:12 pm   #1
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Default Radio museums in Britain

I'm planning to spend again my holidays in Britain. As a collector of historical radio and TV equipment I would be glad to visit some technical museums. Can anybody give me any hint what's worth to visit? For sure, I've been several times in Kensington Technical Museum but I expect there should be much more.

For the planning of my trip I'm looking for recommendations for
- Radio museums
- TV museums
- gramophone museum
- other technical oriented museums (e. g. power plants, factories, radio transmitters, etc.)
- shops or dealers of historical radio equipment
- shops or dealers for shellac records (78RPM)

Thanks a lot for your help.

Best regards from Germany

Claus Peter Gallenmiller
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Old 13th Apr 2009, 9:35 pm   #2
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

Hi Claus

Welcome to the forums!

Museums and associated things in the UK - a tricky subject!

Radio transmitters - None that I know of sadly - most if not all of our historic transmitter sites have been demolished.

Power plants, again unlikeley, Battersea Power station is the only one that springs to mind, but there is nothing to see other than the building!

Radio museums, well thats a little easier

Or Tropicquaria in Somerset - this has a small museum housed in an old BBC transmitting station.

RAF Henlow Signals Museum (Appointment only)

RAF Chicksands intelligence museum (Appointment only)

Royal Signals Museum Blandford Forum Dorset.

RAF Neatishead (ARDM Neatishead - Cold war command post)

Bletchley Park, Bletchley, near Milton Keynes

There are lots of other museums and similar attractions in the UK - I am sure others will help

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Old 13th Apr 2009, 9:41 pm   #3
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain


Bletchley Park has a section on WWII radio installations and vintage amateur radio equipment. There is also the Enigma and Collosus computer exhibits. Bletchley Park is right next to Bletchley railway station, which is on the rail line from Euston station, London.

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Old 13th Apr 2009, 9:44 pm   #4
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

How about the "Amberley Chalk Pits Museum"? Never been there but I believe there's allsorts of radio, electrical & communication stuff there as well as steam engines, vehicles, etc.. Not sure where it is though. No doubt other fine members of this forum can advise
I've NO connection with this establishment, I've just heard that it's very good.
Hope this helps
Cheers de Pete
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Old 13th Apr 2009, 10:51 pm   #5
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

How about the "Amberley Chalk Pits Museum"?

The link above is for the wireless section, from their home page you can access other exhibit areas. Very good exhibitions, not far from London either. Definitely should be high on a list of possible visits.

Main website

Also in Hendon, London - "The Talking Machine", shop that deals in gramophones and 78's
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Old 13th Apr 2009, 11:10 pm   #6
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain


Don't forget the Science Museum in London,

and their reserve collection at Wroughton,

The Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester, home of the Ferranti collection,

The British Vintage Wireless & TV Museum in Dulwich,

The National Media museum in Bradford,

There is also a display at the Droitwich Heritage Centre about the BBC Droitwich Transmitter, links at the end of this thread

Hope that helps,

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Old 14th Apr 2009, 1:09 pm   #7
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

Many power stations have visitor centres and organised tours, though you often have to book in advance.
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 2:18 pm   #8
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

Also in north Norfolk near Sherringham.

The museum contains domestic (not visible in photo), amateur and military radio items.


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Old 14th Apr 2009, 3:00 pm   #9
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Talking of Westcountry Claus we have some pretty impressive lighthouses which you might find interesting as well as these museums:-

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Old 14th Apr 2009, 3:08 pm   #10
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

If you take a look at the British DX Club Website ( there is a very comprehensive and up-to-date list of current museums in the section marked "Articles".
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 5:06 pm   #11
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

If you fancy a long trek then the Orkney Wireless Museum is worth a visit, also how about Dulwich?
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 6:42 pm   #12
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

Hi Claus

I am involved with the Amberley museum as a volunteer and would be happy to answer any questions. The wireless collection includes military and domestic equipment from WW1 onwards, including some distinctly rare items.

Apart from the wireless stuff there is also the Milne collection on site. This is ex electricity board (EDF) and includes significant power generation and distribution equipment collected mainly from southeastern England. There is also a fine collection of early electricity meters (kWHr meters). In addition there are many old domestic appliances, etc. Part of the British Telecom 'Connected Earth' collection is also housed at Amberley and also a working small country automatic telephone exchange which is still in use to provide internal communications in the museum (real working 2-motion selectors!).

If you aren't driving, the museum is adjacent to the railway station (about 1hr 20m from London - trains hourly). I am there weekly and could possibly show you round, which means that we can get closer to exhibits.

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Old 14th Apr 2009, 7:06 pm   #13
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

One museum not mentioned so far is the excellent museum at HMS Collingwood, near Fareham, Hampshire. This concentrates on naval equipment but there is also some domestic stuff. It is staffed by volunteers and is on a working Royal Navy base. It can only be visited by previous arrangement - see web site. It is, in my opinion, well worth the effort.

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Old 14th Apr 2009, 7:25 pm   #14
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

Hello Claus,
If you run out of ideas and West Sussex [I'm close to the Amberley museum]is on your route you are most welcome to call and spend as long as you like with my collection. Its not massive but includes Television, Radio, Records, Radiograms, Valves and many related items. 1924 to around 1979. Just drop me a P.M. and we can arrange. Regards, John.
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 8:42 pm   #15
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Hi Claus, let us know your likely route and there are probably quite a few collectors who would welcome you if you were in their area. I know of a few collections in North Yorkshire, Durham or Northumberland that you could come and see.
Let us know you main area of interest as well.

It will be quite a drive if you come by car, but I would recommend the Hull/ Rotterdam ferry, especially if you want to add to your colection and take some sets back.
A fellow contributor (Fernseh) who lives near me has made several trips to France to exchange sets and parts; how about we get a tri-partite system operating.

Best regards, Ed
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Old 14th Apr 2009, 8:43 pm   #16
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

Originally Posted by Heatercathodeshort View Post
Its not massive.....
John, you are far too modest.

Claus, if you have a car and are driving down from London towards Amberley I can recommend stopping at John's place. The only problem is that you might spend too long there and not have enough time at Amberley

Not specifically radio or electricity but I can also recommend the Kew Bridge Steam Musuem especially at weekends when the engines are in steam. I would be happy to meet you there and show you round. If your interests extend to mechanical music (player pianos, musical boxes etc the Musical Musuem is just a few hundred yards from the steam musuem.

I would also be happy to meet you at the Vintage Wireless Museum in Dulwich If you are here on the 6/7 June there is the musuem garden party on 6th and a vintage wireless meeting at Harpenden on 7th.

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Old 15th Apr 2009, 8:53 pm   #17
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

Not radio related, but if you are venturing as far as North Wales, try Dinorwic/Dinorwig power station - for tourist purposes known as Electric Mountain.
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Old 16th Apr 2009, 8:04 am   #18
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There's the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum in Cornwall. (See )

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Old 16th Apr 2009, 11:06 pm   #19
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

Hi Claus.

A few years ago I visited Prittlewell Priory; although not a technical museum, they had a room devoted to examples of products manufactured at the nearby Ekco works. There was around fifty radios and televisions dating from the early thirties made at the factory, maybe only worth a visit if you are in the area.
Enjoy your stay.

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Old 17th Apr 2009, 10:41 am   #20
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Default Re: Radio museums in Britain

There is an excellent museum of electrical power generation plant in Pembrokeshire, Wales called Internal Fire, and they also have a small wireless section.

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