Wedgwood Blue Vidor

Let me introduce our Wedgwood Blue Vidor CN351 from the mid-1940s.  

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It was originally designed as a battery-powered portable, but being a big lump of a thing and weighing a ton, (not to mention the missing handle and the now obsolete batteries), we thought it best to ground it.   It now plugs in to the mains and stays firmly in one place.

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If you take a look at the before picture, you will see we’ve taken the liberty of brightening it up a tad.  We think we really can work the odd miracle here at Wayne’s Radios, although the purists might not agree.

The Future Could Well Be Orange

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The clever bit of these iconic designs is the production process which enabled both glazed and matt finishes to be produced on the same pot.  Each of these Hornsea Pottery pieces has had the pattern screen printed onto the surface with specially developed ink designed to withstand high temperatures.   After the pattern was printed the pots were dipped into tubs of glaze. The ink used to create the patterns contained oils and waxes which the glaze ran off. Simple. This technique combined with the limited palette of contrasting colours, created the Hornsea signature relief pattern and look.

Hornsea pottery is a great thing to collect.  It was mass produced, so readily available after being stored in the back of grandma’s cupboard and it’s cheap and hard wearing enough to be used every day.

As the classic Bush TR230 was first produced in 1971, it could be the perfect radio to add to your Seventies set.  If it’s John Clappison’s pottery that brings a smile to your face, the simple shape and styling of this little transistor would fit in perfectly and, what’s more, set against Saffron or Heirloom pottery, this radio is just the right shade of orange.  Are you ready for the Seventies revival?

 

Less Vintage more Retro Roberts Radio

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Last year Roberts Radios celebrated their 80th Birthday.  This British company has been producing radios since 1932 when Harry Roberts and Leslie Bismead set up their business raising the money for a deposit on a small workshop by selling Leslie’s motorbike.  It was a good move.

In addition to their successful business association, Harry and Leslie became brothers in law.   They married sisters Doris and Elsie Haywood and It’s said that the inspiration for the design of the iconic radio was drawn from Elsie’s 1950’s handbag.

Initially they sold only three radios a week but they set themselves high standards to make “a top-quality product and sell it to top-quality customers’’.  Aiming high they carted a sample off to Harrods and came back with an order to make six more.  A measure of their success was Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother owning  a Roberts Radio for her personal use and buying one for her daughter, the then Princess Elizabeth. Roberts was awarded a Royal Warrant in 1955.

Roberts radios in a myriad of colours are an iconic sight today.  Back in 1961 one-off radios were made for a shop display including one in solid gold radio and one in mink.  They were displayed in Whiteleys Department Store shop window in West London.  Sadly they were both stolen and never seen again. Imagine how much the gold one would be worth today.

In the early 1980s the Roberts Radio declined in popularity as people were drawn  to more hi-tech and sleek looking gadgets.  All this changed in 1989 when a chance appearance of a red Roberts Radio in the background of a Martini advert  sparked a nostalgic renewal of interest.  A limited number of radios were made to meet this demand and Roberts Radios hasn’t looked back since.  The red leather radio was put into full production and in the early 1990s the range was expanded and models created in partnership with a range of designers including, Mulberry, Paul Smith and Cath Kidston.

We have modified this wonderful looking Limited Edition pre-Dab Roberts Radio for a customer so that they can listen to the radio or their MP3 player.  

A Gem of a Dansette

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Not your normal Dansette.  A Dansette Gem.

Most people would think of the Dansette Record Player which sold over a million and made Dansette a household in Britain in the 1950s and 60s.  Dansette products were designed by Samuel Margolin and manufactured by J & A Margolin Ltd, originally based in old Street in London.

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They were the ‘must have’ record player for the new teenager generation.  It came in it’s own carry case and could be hauled around to wherever the party was at.

By 1969 they were no longer produced and the company went into liquidation as cheap Hi Fi imports began to flood in from the Far East.  Although an iconic look, the Dansette record player is sadly not a high quality sound.

The Dansette Gem transistor radio was made in 1963.  We won’t know how good the sound is until it’s restored but the colour and shape are impressive.

1963 Kolster Brandes Portable Radio

Our latest find.  1963 Kolster Brandes Rhapsody De Luxe Portable Valve Radio which featured in Alicia Keys music video “Girl On Fire”.

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In 1963 you would definitely have needed a portable radio.  The nation was waiting for news of the Profumo Affair, the Great Train Robbery and the assassination of John F Kennedy and The Beatles released their first album “Please Please Me”, followed by a string of Number One hits with “From Me To You” , “She Loves You” and “I want to Hold Your Hand”.

She Loves You

She Loves You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)