Music Production tutor Alan Wrench brought in a Civilian Wartime Radio to show his Sound Engineering & Design and Studio & Live Music Production degree students, following their essays on digital and analogue audio, and he was kind enough to give us a first look:"This radio belonged to my Mum and she used to listen to it during the war years. I remember seeing it as a child and always found the dial interesting with its range indicator showing Home and Forces."
- Alan Wrench
As well as having a fascinating history behind it, this radio is also a great piece of valve gear.
"The Utility Radio or Wartime Civilian Receiver was a valve domestic radio receiver, manufactured in Great Britain during World War II starting in July 1944. It was designed by G.D Reynolds of Murphy Radio. Both AC and battery-operated versions were made. When war broke out in 1939 all the British radio manufacturers switched to producing a wide range of military radio equipment for the armed forces. Perhaps the most famous product was the R1155 communications receiver used by the RAF. After a few years there was a shortage of radio repairmen as they had all been called up to maintain vital radio and radar equipment. Similarly there was a shortage of spare parts, particularly valves, as all production was for the services. This meant it was very difficult to get a radio repaired and with very few new sets available there was a desperate need to overcome the problem.The Government solved this by arranging for over 40 radio manufacturers to produce sets to a standard design with as few components as possible consistent with ability to source them. Earlier the Government had introduced the 'Utility' brand to ensure that all clothing, which was rationed, was produced to a reasonable quality standard as prior to its introduction a lot of shoddy goods had appeared on the market. So the 'Utility' brand was adopted for this wartime radio." - Wikipedia
Thank you to Alan for bringing in such a great piece of history!