Hi, I'm Ray. I've been repairing and restoring valve radios for well over 40 years. It's funny to think that the radios I now work on weren't classed as vintage when I repaired them back in the early 1960s. Things were different in those days. There were no life-time guarantees or other daft sales gimmicks to drum up business. There was no need for such things because the trade enjoyed a friendly and trustworthy relationship with their customers. The majority of new customers came from word of mouth recommendations, not ambiguous sales techniques. Back in those days, customers were loyal because they were looked after by their local service engineer. If there was a problem with a radio I'd repaired, it went without saying that I'd put it right - free of charge. That's the way it was back in the good old days.
I'm from the old school and, as far as I'm concerned, nothing has changed. If I repair your radio and, several years later it develops a problem due to my workmanship, bring it back to me and I'll put it right. I won't quibble about the date on the guarantee. And I never forget my golden rule... Without you, the customer, I would be out of business. Whatever happened to the days when service engineers valued their customers? Where are those engineers now? I can't speak for them, but I'm still here.
The golden age of radio isn't dead - it's just covered in cobwebs. There are still many people who appreciate listening to the wireless, and I'm one of them. One aspect of old valve radios that intrigues me is the notion that the BBC Home Service would have emanated from the loud speakers during the war years. Churchill would have spoken to the nation during the war, and a host of interesting programmes entertained families during the forties and fifties.
Imagine a beautiful radio with a highly polished wood or bakelite cabinet taking pride of place in the lounge. I can picture the man of the house sitting in his armachair, smoking his pipe and listening to the Suez crisis during the fifties while the children played with tin toys on the floor.
Housewives' Choice, Mrs Dale's Diary, The Billy Cotton Band Show, Music While You Work, The Goon Show, The Clitheroe Kid, Round The Horn, ITMA with Jack Train, Ken Dodd, Sing Something Simple... All these programes and more would have been listened to on valve radios. As I child, I had a valve radio on my bedside table. The dial lamp glowing in the dark, I'd listen to a play and lose myself in the plot. Great stuff.
DO YOU WANT YOUR VINTAGE RADIO REPAIRED?
Many of you reading this will recall listening to your own or your parents' valve radio in the lounge and enjoying Listen With Mother or an evening drama or short play. A vintage radio is something which should be used and enjoyed, and you can enjoy yours once again. If you have an old radio in the attic, drag it out and wipe the dust from the cabinet. Do you remember that radio standing on the sideboard? Having spent forty years in the attic, it probably won't work - and I advise you against plugging it in. However, it needn't cost you a small fortune to have it repaired. If you have a vintage valve radio which you've found in the attic and you'd like to hear it working again, click HERE.
There were a lot of short wave listeners in the old days, and I was one of them. Many early radios covered the short wave bands and it was great fun tuning around during the evenings listening to broadcasts from far away lands. If your old wireless covers short wave, you might try putting an aerial up, click HERE for details. Some of the better, expensive, radios had an extra valve, called an RF amplifier, for improving short wave reception. But even the standard sets will pull in stations from all over the world with a wire simple aerial.
CALL THE ONE-STOP WORKSHOP
Whatever your vintage radio needs, whether a quick get-it-working repair or a full restoration job, I can help you. Do you just want a new mains lead and plug fitted? Do you just want that crackly volume control cleaned? Perhaps you'd like me to give your radio a safety check. Maybe your radio needs a full service. Whatever your needs or budget, I can help you. One stop... All your needs catered for in the one-stop Radio Workshop. Call me now and we'll talk about your vintage radio.
BRITISH VALVE RADIOS FROM THE 40s and early 50s
Although I specialize in the Bush DAC90, DAC90a and DAC10 radios, I also repair and restore most British makes and models from the 1940s and early 50s. Marconi, HMV, RGD, Bush, Pilot, Pye, Ultra, Murphy, KB, GEC, Cossor, Ekco... If you have a British vintage valve radio you'd like to hear working again, click HERE.
Have you ever thought about repairing vintage valve radios as a hobby? I've created a members' area within the web site where you can watch informative videos and access a host of information relating to radio repairs. For details, please click HERE.
ONLY BUY A RESTORED RADIO FROM A COMPETENT RADIO ENGINEER
ONLY HAVE YOUR RADIO REPAIRED BY A COMPETENT RADIO ENGINEER
Many early mains radios have a live chassis. That means that the metal work inside the radio may be LIVE (connected to the mains) and it can KILL YOU if you come into contact with it. Exposed screws or any other metal work on the outside of the cabinet or fascia of the radio must be checked for safety by a competent engineer.
DO NOT CONNECT EXTERNAL WIRING TO SOCKETS ON YOUR RADIO UNLESS THE RADIO HAS BEEN CHECKED AND CERTIFIED AS SAFE BY A QUALIFIED ENGINEER