As we come to the end of the year we have finished all our shows and events for the decade! how time flies. Retro Bazaar celebrates its 10th birthday in January and overall its been a fab ride. Some ups and downs with 2019 being a particularly difficult year.
The shows will start back up in January and as usual we will be touring round the country and looking forward to visiting our usual haunts. First off is the Vintage Furniture Flea returning to Cecil Sharp House, Camden. We usually do two shows a month, with the rest of the time spent buying and listing our stock on ebay & Vinterior.
Please check back early in January for a list of the events we will be attending in the New Year.
Rare WWII glass mantle/alarm clock by Gilbert Clocks, Connecticut, USA
Great example of this rare clock in fabulous condition – no chips or nicks to the glass. It comes with its box, original instructions and information about its production and can be dated between 1942 – 45.
Unlike other clockmakers who stopped production and were drafted into the war effort Gilbert carried on making clocks as alarm clocks were deemed essential to wake up the workers. To avoid the use of restricted materials such as metal and wood, they made their clocks out of papier maché and moulded glass. Buying one of these clocks was also seen as helping the war effort.
The clock has a mechanical wind up movement with separate winder for the alarm. Both the clock and the alarm are in full working order.
So a couple of weeks ago we got a phone call out of the blue from BBC Radio Northampton. They needed an ‘expert’ to talk about the new Bluetooth Cassette Tape players which have just been launched after crowdfunding.
Research done and notes made I was ready for my big interview…….then with an hour to go before the broadcast I was pulled for another guest, but they did reschedule for the next day. Cue an evening and morning of nerves and impromptu dieting as I couldn’t eat anything.
Eventually the researcher phoned back and said we were a go. Had a lovely chat with the DJ about these new cassette players and he was great at giving the business a plug – more than I was! Fortunately he were also interested in what we are doing; rescuing all these beautiful old radios, speakers & telephones from landfill and converting them for use today.
So it all went swimmingly and luckily they didn’t ask too many difficult questions. If you would like to have listen to the interview follow the link below:
Lazarus our latest transformation from wrecked radio to Bluetooth Speaker. Found in a house clearance at the back of a garage
where it had probably lived for many years this old radio has been rescued, repaired
When we bought it we thought
it might be beyond economical repair but the knobs were worth rescuing!
We did some investigation and we identified it as a GEC BC4040 valve radio made by General Electric Co, London in 1939. It is a big beastie measuring 18.5 inches long (45cm) and very heavy
Once we got it back to the workshop we realised that the Bakelite was in OK condition, a few wounds and scars but no breaks or bits missing. The speaker had had it and the dial was illegible – both had suffered over the years and were covered with mould. The base & back were the same and the internals were all rusty, but on the plus side it did have all its knobs!
As we had a bit of a break in our busy schedule we decided to bite the bullet and tackle the renovation. The radio was taken apart, the innards were scrubbed down, Bakelite was washed, dried and polished. The material was replaced and we upgraded it to stereo adding a speaker each side – it would have been mono originally. We sprayed the original glass to hide the gap from the missing dial and installed bulbs behind so it still lights up. The Bluetooth technology was added with new wiring and the result is the pretty beastie below.
We love it and have obviously named him Lazarus. It sounds fab and is another gorgeous Art Deco, pre WWII radio saved from landfill.
Modern Shows return for their two day northern pop-up event at The Hepworth art museum Wakefield. The fair is held in ‘The Calder’ a converted mill on the museums site.
Their London shows attract interiors fans from around Europe looking to find the best in collectible vintage furniture and design for the home. Come and buy some awesome 20th Century design from the dealers, while getting free entry into the incredible Hepworth Gallery and the wonderful Barbara Hepworth collection.
We will be bringing a selection of our vintage technology including our Bluetooth speakers, record players, vintage telephones and lights plus some cool Midcentury pieces of furniture, glass and ceramics.
Make a weekend of it by visiting neighbouring Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Henry Moore Institute.
A lot of people ask us at our shows about converting a vintage radio which belonged to their parents or grandparents. We are happy to do this and have done many in the past.
If you want a conversion carried out we can convert your radio in one of 3 ways:
Bluetooth with Aux in
If you are interested in having a conversion carried out you can bring your radio to one of the shows we are attending where we can assess its viability. Alternatively send us detailed pictures and we can let you know if conversion is possible.
A standard conversion starts at £80 but the final cost will depend on the following:
the size of your radio – if it is very small it maybe too difficult to get the extra tech inside
whether the speaker still works or is unusable – we can replace the speaker with a suitable alternative if it is torn but most of the time the original speaker is usable
whether you want the exterior cleaned/ restored.
Once converted the radio will be able to connect to any portable music player including iPad, tablet, smartphone or any other Bluetooth device including Amazon Echo. It will no longer work as a conventional radio, though you will be able to stream digital radio through your phone or tablet using an app such as iplayer or BBC sounds.
Our Easter sale is now on in our shop. Over 200 items discounted by 15% including Kitchenalia, Decorative Ceramics, Art, Furniture & Lighting. Grab a bargain before it ends. Finishes Friday 26th April – https://retro-bazaar.co.uk/shop/
We set up a camera and did a time lapse capture of setting up a show and all that’s involved.
From turning up at 8am to set up for a 10.30am start to show close at 4.30pm to leaving the building about two hours later – this film should give you a little insight into the effort involved in getting a stall set up from a blank space, to the show in full swing and back to empty again.
When we are selling our wares at events round the country many customers and traders compliment us on the music we use to demo our Bluetooth speakers. We take time putting together an appropriate list of music to play and this is now available on Spotify. Add it as one of your playlists by following the link. Enjoy!