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Lazarus the Radio

This is 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 & renovated.

Original Condition

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.

The Finished Article

We love it and have obviously named him Lazarus. It sounds fab and is another gorgeous Art Deco, pre WWII radio saved from landfill.

More information about this radio can be found on the fab radio museum site https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/general_el_bc4040_bc_4040.html



Can you Bluetooth my Grans Old Radio?

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 only
  • Wired only
  • 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.

Contact us if you are interested https://retro-bazaar.co.uk/contact-us/