We’ve been taking a little look back at some of the radios we’ve rescued in 2016. Bring on 2017 there’s work to be done.
Delighted to have been tasked to source and modify a radio for a vintage van lover from Italy. The spec was for a modified mustard coloured Roberts radio to team up with his 1978 Fiat Pulmino 900T Classic Van.
So happy that we were able to track down this little beauty, play swapsy for a few parts to get it working and send it on its way.
What’s made it super special is that the proud new owner has taken the time and trouble to send us photographs showing just how happy he is …
… and we can see the radio looking right at home.
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.
It’s a bit go slow on the radio front here at Wayne’s Radios. The good weather, the Easter Holiday and a bit of Spring Fever have got Wayne in the mood for reorganising radios instead of restoring them.
With nothing new to share, let’s take a closer look at the Roberts RIC 2 Radio from 1971. Now sounding as good as it looks.
Roberts radios are well known for their quality and this little radio doesn’t disappoint. It’s in excellent condition for its age and now fully restored and modified to play iPod or mp3 and work on battery or mains.
Mustard yellow may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s really grown on me and could just be the thing to go with that certain something.
Our latest Roberts Radio restoration. 1970’s Solid State Portable RIC 2 Radio. The sun came out and our attention moved to the great outdoors and what could be nicer than this mustard yellow radio to brighten our day. And what does RIC stand for? It’s an integrated circuit of course, containing no less than eleven transistors. This radio could be connected to the car aerial or headphones. It had all mod cons and originally cost the princely sum of £16.85, when a Mars Bar cost 2p and Rod Stewart began belting out “Maggie May”. Back in the day, Bell bottoms, platform shoes and hot pants became fashion staples and every day was a bad hair day.
The wonderful world of vintage radios has afforded us the privilege of being connected, albeit tenuously, to some fascinating people. The smallest of radios has introduced us to the works of two talented folk. Artist Fiona Charis Carswell was on the hunt for a vintage radio to use in her studio. Our emailing to and fro led us not only to Fiona’s heart-lifting work …
… but also to the work of her equally talented brother Hugh who creates beautiful music in an ancient cottage on the Isle of Jura.
In turn we were able to introduce her to a Roberts R300 originally built in 1964. I can’t think of a better home for a vintage radio than an artist’s studio.
Except perhaps a cottage on the isle of Jura.
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.