British Vintage Colour Television

Welcome to the home of British Early Colour Television, here you will find a wealth of information at your fingertips relating to early colour TV’s. If you’re looking to find a set from your past, doing some research or in the process of repairing a set and need help, Radios-TV is the place to start. So let your fingers do the clicking.

1971 Ferguson 3705

What Can you Expect?

I’m going to provide a look back in time at these wonderful sets, looking at the exciting period of change that took place in our living rooms right before our eyes. I hope to also help the younger generations understand our early colour TV heritage. This sites aim is to inform and provide a record of what sets were available so there are no mistaking 80’s TV’s for early first generation colour sets. I will be mainly covering the first decade 1967 – 1977 but it may stray into the early 80’s.

Background and Facts

1967 was the year colour launched in the UK, to read more about that, click here. This site will provide a glimpse of what early CRT Colour TVs were like and what was on offer to the UK market when Colour TV was new and very expensive. Plenty of period articles on individual set features and costs, also information provided to the trade on how to gear up ready for the launch. You will find many period brochures to browse through and fascinating articles. What’s more along with my early colour television collection which are in various states of repair. These include sets such as Baird, Decca, Bush, GEC, HMV & Ferguson to name but a few, you will be able to get up close and personal with them. Rather than just fancy from shots you get to see inside and watch over the shoulder as they undergo repair.


Repairs and Servicing

The TV’s in my collection are in the process of being repaired to working order, I hasten to add I prefer to repair rather than rip out all the old components many of which are still functioning well within tolerance. I replace only where necessary, there are no blanket changes. They are maintained on a fix-on-fail basis and you can follow the ups and downs as they are brought back to life in the workshop.

You will find hints and tips for certain models and plenty of technical articles all designed to assist you with repairs. As you will see I have a fondness for the BRC/Thorn chassis’ especially the 3000/3500 but there are plenty of other early British CTV models to tickle your interest. Along with stock faults for many popular models, fault finding guides and set up techniques.

There are many ex trade service engineer stories of “daring do” in the Trade Tales section of this site. You will also find there are Vintage Radio & Television Forums on offer, here you will find many members discussing and tackling various projects.

All in all a wealth of vintage information at your finger tips, I hope a one stop unique experience. So step on in, leave the modern throw-away world behind, travel back in time to a vintage world of repair and enjoy Radios-TV “The Home Of Early Colour Television”.

13 thoughts on “British Vintage Colour Television

  1. Hi from Frank an Ex multi-broadcast engineer from the 1980’s. Great to see the old pics, I started work for multi from school aged 16 in 1974 as a trainee TV engineer. £16.00 per week, I worked through the ranks, TV3, TV2, TV1 and finally ADV Tech five years on. Great times, great sets I remember the 2K, 3K, 3.5K, 4K, 8K and 9K etc. Plus then the new vhs recorders, lots of memories keep up the good work.

  2. Hi Frank,

    Welcome and thank you for your comments. So glad a lot of Ex TV engineers are making it to the shores of this site and finding all the brochures and repair logs from my workshop, stir fond memories of days in the trade.

    My favourite chassis to work on is the 3K / 3.5K . I note you mention the 4000, not a lot of people mention this chassis, I heard it was a bit of a pain. Hardly any survive now, I only know of one in a private collection. Hopefully one day I will find an example to add to my Thorn stable.

    By the way have a read of all the articles in the Trade Tales section, lots of engineers have provided stories from those days, you might find them amusing if not all too familiar.

  3. Hi from Frank,

    Yes the 4000 was a big pain, one problem was the then new thick film high wattage resistors used. You could get a set working on the bench, give it to a rep to install and 30 min’s later a phone call to say the set installed at Mr xxxx is dead on arrival. Remove the back and find a nice pile of film resistors on the bottom of the cabinet.

    We as engineers always carried a spare TV set with us if going to a 4k knowing we will have to bring it back to the workshop for a long job.

    P.S. Any TV engineers out there radio hams? My call-sign back in the 80’s
    was G8THG. I would talk to fellow TV engineers between repair jobs. Anyhow best 73’s see you all soon now, M0BJN.

    • hi Frank
      I have just descovered this site and found your post. I was licensed back n 1977 as G80HW and later became M0BFO!
      Regards 73 etc

  4. I have just found this site and am nearly reduced to tears looking back at some of the old tellies we loved and some we hated… I started work at the local CO-OP as an apprentice in 1977 and enjoyed every second.

    I miss it so much and engineers now sadly no longer with us… Currently working in the medical sector my fellow engineers think im mad just because I have test card C on my monitor, most don’t know what it is or what it is for. Fav tellies were Bush T20 and Fergi 3 and half thousands!

  5. Hi,

    Thank you for your comments. I’m pleased to know that this website has stirred fond memories of the good old days of early colour television. You are not alone in your interest as there are many kindred folk and ex trade engineers still with us here at Radios-TV.

    As you can see from my collection many of these sets have been repaired and continue to give superb service almost 50 years later. I often wonder what the design engineers would think if they knew the sets they designed, would still be appreciated and used in the 21st Century.

    OK some love their 60″ OLED flat panels and good luck to them, me? Nothing beats sitting by the fire in front of a 25″ CTV at Christmas, watching a Morecambe & Wise special with a few nibbles.

    • Exactly! 60″ OLED still in use in 50 years i dont think any will be in use for a start no one will have any interest in whats in side or have any idea how to fix em…

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