Racy Red Roberts



Roberts R600.  Vintage transistor radio manufactured from the late sixties to the early seventies.  This specimen was obviously well loved and looked after but wouldn’t make a sound.  These radios do turn up regularly but rarely in such good condition.  They’re generally minus the silver tops to the caps and with a missing, or at best bent, aerial. Fault-finding was a frustratingly long and tricky process but Wayne got there in the end. Finally fixed, sounds great and ready to be boxed up for its return.


Radio Review

Seems like a good time to look back at the edited highlights of 2015.

Radios from the forties to the seventies sent far and wide across the UK and internationally from Copenhagen to Kuala Lumpur.

We’ve now cleared the bench, rearranged the workshop, dusted off some different dirty radios and we’re ready for action.

Bring on 2016.


Vintage This and That

Busy making space for radios.  Some of our vintage this and that has got to go. After an extended period of extreme dithering, we’ve finally started adding to our Etsy shop.

First up is a set of 4, Kathie Winkle Woodland plates, in the Riviera Shape from 1969.P1130017Kathie Winkle is a very well-respected English designer who produced many designs used in mass-production from the late fifties until the early seventies.

Kathie’s Woodland design has stylized Elm leaves coloured with autumnal orange & greeny-yellow leaves around the plate edge, stamp outlined in black and then coloured by hand before glazing. This is a less common pattern which is a great example of mid-century British design.

Marked on the back of each plate – Broadhurst, England, Ironstone, Riviera Shape. A Kathie Winkle design. Handpainted Underglaze. Colour is detergent and dishwasher proof.


P1130020All four plates are in good vintage condition.


Some minor sign of wear but no chips or cracks.


Some Things You May Like to Know About Vintage Radios

Working or Non-Working?

Radio Health and Safety Warning – Old radios carry high-voltage current that can cause injury or death.  Unless you know what you’re doing, don’t plug in, switch on or poke about with a vintage radio, especially if it’s been languishing in a shed or attic for decades.

P1070903The design and potential state of the wiring puts you at risk of a serious electric shock. Sorry to start with a downer but we do want you to stay safe.  Whilst a restored radio may cost more than a non-working model, factor in the sourcing and replacing of parts and the time and expertise that’s gone into its restoration. All Wayne’s Radios are safety-tested and sound-checked before they leave the workshop. If you go with a prop, it may look pretty good, but trust me, you’re only getting half the enjoyment.  You want it to be safe and sound good. Only buy a non-working radio if you only want to look at it.

Designed by Robin Day

Designed by Robin Day

How Much Will it Be Worth?  To a serious collector, the value of a vintage radio could be high, depending on the scarcity, age, design, and overall condition. Some sets are sought after because they were the first of their kind, the last ones remaining, manufactured in small numbers or can be identified as designed by specific designers.

To the rest of us?

Although not measured in pounds, the value of a vintage radio can be so much more.

tumblr_my3gy0behe1rgdasjo1_1280Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder and if you like the look of it, it sounds good, it’s within budget and it fits in with your style, it’s the radio for you and, to you, will be worth a bomb. People become very emotionally attached to their radios.

P1060006 (479x640)

Seriously, which One Should I Choose?

Early radio cabinets were made of wood and relied on the skill and craftsmanship of the cabinet maker to produce a good looking radio.  If you’re after a classic or traditional look from the thirties to the fifties, there’s plenty to choose from. Table top or floor-standing. If you’ve got the room, go the whole hog and get a radiogram.

What about Bakelite?

To some people, a vintage radio can only mean bakelite. The development of polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride, to give it its technical name, made more sophisticated moulded cabinet designs possible and brought some colour to the world of radio. P1070895Bakelite is strong, of its time and has properties well suited to the job of housing hot valves and wiring. The downside is it’s brittle and less likely to survive a knock. Oh and bakelite tends to come in any colour, as long as it’s brown or cream.


But What if I Need Some Colour in my life?

The brightly-coloured radios in this country tend to be painted. Go for one of our radio rescues. Colourful Catalin or plastic radios exist but suggest an import.

Or If I Want Something A Bit Different?

Radio cabinet designs are distinctly different from country to country. It’s usually easy to spot if a radio isn’t British, particularly if it’s an American or European model. American radios resemble American cars.  Think industrial, chrome and grilles.  Whilst French radios were heavily influenced by art nouveau with colourful curvy lines.




Not Different Enough?

A Wayne’s Radio Art-attacked radio could be just the thing you’re looking for. Finished with ephemera and vintage images sourced from damaged and distressed books to give you a one-of-a-kind radio and piece of art.P1090036

How much would a vintage radio cost?

All depends on your personal specification and budget.  A high-end brand or model will always cost more. As a rule of thumb, if it cost a lot when new it will sell at a premium today as the electronics and cabinet production were the best available at that time and you will be getting the best-looking and best-sounding machine for that era. Prices for a restored working or modified radio range are based largely on size and era.  The older it is, and the bigger it is, the more it’s likely to cost you. Prices range from as little as £80 to over £300.

P1090138If a good looker is most important to you, you can go for a complete restoration with restored cabinet or, if you prefer you can choose one of our upcycled or paint finished radios. Don’t worry, back in the day, radios were produced in their thousands so there are still plenty out their for the purists to get hold of and, if you’re choosing one of of our funked-up radios, you can rest assured it was so tatty, badly damaged or dangerous when we originally found it, it was destined for landfill.  We love radios.  Any radios of real historical interest are left well alone.  Just take a look at our signature radio before its transformation and you can see exactly what we mean.  We rescue radios.


Hot Line to the Pop Scene


At first we thought this was a 1957 vintage valve radio, a Barclay made in Yugoslavia. On closer inspection we noticed M V Caroline on the glass. This radio was made and set up to receive Radio Caroline some time after 1964 using parts originally intended for a 1950s radio.  Radio recycling has long been a thing.

As for Radio Caroline.  Caroline was a British pirate radio station broadcasting from a ship in international waters with the sole intention of defiantly challenging the monopoly of the BBC and Radio Luxembourg.  Until this time the BBC had complete control on what British radio listeners were able to hear.

Ronan O’Rahilly was a would-be record promoter.   Frustrated by his attempts to get his band’s music on the airwaves and spurred on by a complete can do approach to life, O’Rahilly thought if he couldn’t get Radio Luxembourg and the BBC to play his records he would create his own radio station and, dear reader, the rest is history.

5-radiocaroline1965Radio Caroline has had a long and turbulent history in radio broadcasting becoming synonymous with the Swinging Sixties.  To the great delight of it’s listeners the station played music, music and more music and appealing largely to the post-war generation seeking to do things differently in any way they could. Radio Caroline was Your all-day music station, broadcasting from 6am-6pm, seven days a week.

earsThe first record to be broadcast on Easter Sunday in 1964 was the Rolling Stones’ version of Buddy Holly’s Not Fade Away dedicated to O’Rahilly, the Irishman with the wit and will to make Radio Caroline possible.  Radio Caroline broadcast, at its peak, to a regular audience of ten million breaking the stranglehold of the BBC and Radio Luxembourg on British broadcasting.

Radio Roundup

387707234A little look back at Wayne’s Radios 2014.  We’ve had the good fortune to hook up with vintage radio lovers who appreciate the style and sound of a vintage radio as much as we do.  We’ve worked on radios in many different shapes and sizes, met some amazing people and travelled the length and breadth of the country.

We’re now looking forward to 2015 and getting started on one or two of these. Just a sample of our extensive radio collection.


Top Trumps

The BUSH TR82 is the iconic transistor radio designed by David Ogle.  As testimony to its appeal, since the late 1950s to the present day, there have been at least 16 different models and variations of this very same radio charting the development of portable radios and broadcasting from the earliest beginnings at the end of the fifties to the emergence of DAB today.  Enthusiasts have devoted their life’s work to seeking out each and every version and just when they think they have a complete set, another one surfaces.  It must be like playing Top Trumps for transistors.

I could tell you how to spot each and every variation but it would read like a complete nerdfest.  Along with the technology they vary in model number, case colour and trim but here are the edited highlights.5Oy2Gry

The 1957  the MB60 valve radio for long wave and medium wave started it all along with an export version, the EBM60.  It was pale grey with red rexine sides and brass lettering and trim.  Two years later, the 1959 transistor version TR82 come on the market.


Bush  used product placement with great success in the first remake of the classic film The 39 Steps starring Kenneth More as Richard Hannay.  Tension mounted in the railway carriage compartment as the announcer could be heard breaking the news of the search for Richard Hannay.  The camera panned to a close up of the lady in the carriage holding the brand new 1959 Bush TR82B and a shed load of radios were sold.

In 1997 the TR82/97 hit the shelves. An updated reproduction of the VTR103 manufactured in China. Enthusiasts and collectors are very sniffy about this version which is known as the “wonky-u”.  It was thought that the Chinese stripped down an existing TR82 and went from there.  On the original case the BUSH name was made by individual chrome-plated letters with two fixing pins attached to corresponding holes on the front of the main case.  Looking to make savings, the letters were made as part of the moulding of the case and electroplated in chrome or gold. As part of this process, the letter “U” became more horseshoe shape – hence the wonky-u.  This ones ours and, although I accept the manufacture could be considered to be slightly inferior to the earlier British made radios, I still love it because I love the solidness, shape and colour of the original design.



In 2007 the TR82DAB brought the insides of the radio bang up to date but the exterior remains fundamentally the same.   Which just goes to show you really can’t top a good design.  Why change it when it still looks this good nearly sixty years on.