Radio Rentals

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23 thoughts on “Radio Rentals

  1. Did you ever come across Roly Brown , he was shop Manager from the Early 60s Croydon, Then Reigate, I last met him in the Ramsgate Kent Branch mid 90s. Really Great Guy.

  2. It’s interesting to note how the brands market their technical know how.

    Radio Rentals make their own.
    Pye make the transmitters
    RBM heavily involved with the BBC in design.

    I am sure other makes did the same.

    All true, they were just highlighting the items that they think will persuade the buyer, nothing wrong with that, I just find it interesting.

    Can’t help with the Croydon Branch but I did know a couple of engineers in the Wigan area, long since lost touch and forgotten their names.

    • 22″ Dual standards are super rare and as far as I knew only 5 manufacturers bothered making them, this was a very short period of production.
      They were as follows :-

      Bush CTV174D
      Decca CTV22C
      Murphy CV2210D
      Philips G22K503
      Stella ST2211

      The Baird 711 mentioned in the rental range above is unknown to me. I’ve never seen one, nor brochure or service data nor anyone else mentioned one for that matter. Was it a variant of the 700 series? Your guess is as good as mine. I guess we’ll never know unless someone in the trade at the time can enlighten us.

  3. Would like to resurrect contact with former colleagues from Multibroadcast and Radio Rentals from Burton upon Trent and Leicester area.
    Rex Smith

  4. I worked for Radio Rentals 1980’s – 90’s. Field Tech and various management roles . To the best of my knowledge RR didn’t make any televisions. They were badged products from other makers. Predominately Ferguson from 70’s up to the closure of Multi Broadcast, Rumbelows and DER showrooms and merged into Radio Rentals. The service and installation was rebranded Thorn Homeserve. They also at this time reduced their dependancy on Ferguson branded product and bought in other brands. Grundig, Amstrad, Sanyo to name but a few.

    • Not strictly true, though certainly was in the latter years as you rightly point out.

      A bit of background, in 1967/68 when the colour service launched, Radio Rentals offered to the market the lowest priced colour television, the 19″ Baird M705, this employing the GEC 2028 chassis, yep the M705 was a badge engineered GEC.

      However, Radio Rentals did then design and manufacture their own chassis, it was the 700 series chassis (see here) as used in the glorious Mxxx series of sets. The chassis was heavily influenced by an American RCA design, I have two in my collection (see link below). The Radio Rental engineers spent some time in the USA with RCA engineers, it’s a wonderful chassis to work on. In 1968 their main stable still centred around the 25″ 700 chassis in the Mxxx-series sets, but now a further 19″ model was added to their stable, the M718. Again using their own chassis, a modified 700 series known as the 710 series. Changes to EHT regulation doing away with the shunt stabiliser, smaller LOPT, decoder variance, detachable convergence and addition of AFC with the first use of an i.c. the RCA CA3034V1. It was used for all the signal processing components with the exception of the phase-detector transformer and contained within a 10 pin TO-5 can.

      25″ M702W here
      19″ M718 here

      The use of their own 7xx series ceased as the following year 1969, Radio Rentals adopted the BRC 2000 chassis for their M720 model, a rare set indeed, of which none are known to have survived. By late 69 early 70, they had now adopted the very popular Thorn 3000 series chassis, I have one of these in my collection an 8724 see here, the rest as they say is history. The use of the 3000 series subsequently replaced with the use of the further Thorn versions like the 8000, 8500 and 9000 series, such as you would have seen in your time in the trade.

      One of the Radio Rental designers who worked on the 700 series had been working on a new chassis. He left Radio Rentals and joined Decca, allegedly taking this newly designed chassis with him. Legend has it this chassis subsequently became known as the Bradford, a “cap doff” to his days at the large Radio Rentals engineering factory which was based in Bradford. Myth or truth, we’ll never know but its become something of an urban legend now.

  5. I lived at Hemel Hempstead, Fareham House in Marlowes and had a black and white Radio Rentals TV set. Large one. I transferred my job to London in 1976 and asked Radio Rentals to transfer the TV to my flat in London. They did this about three weeks after I moved.
    I still remember the old fashioned look the delivery man gave me, turning up at my flat in St Marylebone, Lisson Green Estate, and asking me if I knew anything about a TV set that I had ordered.

    Loses a lot in the translation, but his face was a treat as he walked in with this great big TV and plonked it down!

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