No frills or furbelows

The Fenman II is definitely a no messing kind of man’s radio.  It’s big, solid and dependable.  Made by Pye, Cambridge, England in the mid-fifties to rival the continental bad boys.  What it may lack in styling, it more than makes up for in sound.

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This ten valve radio is considered, by some, to be ‘without doubt, the best valved radio made in the UK, with push pull output and 4 speakers’.  

A luxury model when it was introduced in the fifties and, according to Pye Ltd the ‘multiple loudspeaker system maintains a true balance of treble and bass in every part of the room and adds an unusual realism and depth to the reproduction’.

windmill

Very soon it will be on its way to its new home in Ireland where the new owner has been patiently waiting.  The latest of our well-travelled radios.  Not the best looking radio we’ve seen, weighs a ton, missing the original knobs, but quality none the less.

Broken Glass

Our latest challenge came from the beautiful island of Madeira.  We received an email from a man looking for a replacement glass panel for a Diora Calypso 62015 which has great sentimental value for his family but was sadly now broken.

broken-glass

As a rule, we’re loath to break up restorable sets but can’t resist a sob story.  We had an “oh go on” moment and the glass was duly removed, protected by some serious packing, double boxed until it was almost the size of the original radio and shipped off to Madeira with fingers crossed.  The glass on a vintage radio is always the most difficult to replace and the first thing to get broken.

It was a nailbiting wait.  At one point the radio was lost in transit and we thought it had all been for nothing until it was finally tracked down at the airport.

At last we were able to breathe a great sigh of relief when we received the news that it had been located and had finally arrived in one piece.  One happy radio, customer and his Dad and that’s what makes this job so worthwhile. 

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Worth the money, to see my father remembering my grandma and his childhood.

The only problem  … we’re now looking for a replacement glass panel for a Diora Calypso 62015.

When I’m Sixty-four

Our latest restoration is a beautiful 1951 Bang & Olufsen vintage radio.  The partnership of Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen set out to produce early radio sets powered by mains electricity rather than battery in 1925.  They built their radios in the highest quality cabinets and sold them at a price.   Bang & Olufsen, the company, has continued to be respected for form and function.

big radio

P1110123The Grand Prix 506 is a massive table-top mains valve radio with an impressive array of push-buttons.

The wooden cabinet shouts quality, style and sophistication, with its flipping flip-up glass tuning scale, magic eye and even a set of bronze medallions.  P1110158

Pre-tuned factory settings, operated by push buttons were to become a B&O thing.


After this radio has spent the last sixty odd years safely at home in Denmark, we had an anxious wait whilst couriers played pass the parcel across Europe. It finally arrived in one piece … but not working.

After some considerable head scratching, Wayne worked his magic, skillfully sketching out his own schematic and now, not only is it a looker, the sound is impressively bold and loud.  Sadly, very few Bang & Olufsen radios from before the nineteen seventies and eighties can be found here in Britain.  We’re proper pleased to have had the opportunity to work on this one.