"Take A Lively Companion Where Ever You Go Take A Portable Radio" went the jingle aired by the offshore radio stations of the 1960`s. One of the reasons being was that with the arrival of the offshore stations also came the portable transistor radio. Gone was the need for the big 90 volt HT batteries needed to power the valve portables of the fifties.
Gone was the need to have a high capacity 12v car battery nearby to power to valve car radios. The sixties radios were truly portable. Not the portability as today's walkman, but the sixties teenagers loved them. Requiring only a small PP9 or PP3 battery they could be taken anywhere and they were, to work to the beach everybody was listening to Radios Caroline, London etc.
This Bush set certainly came from the offshore era. It is powered by a PP9 battery and the frequency rang around 200 meters has been extended (Called Bandspread),This enables easier tuning of the stations at the end of the band, like Caroline on 199 and Luxembourg on 208. This radio features the Caroline name on the dial at 199
This Murphy set comes from the same era. It does not have the Bandspread facility so is probably a cheaper model. It also runs from a PP9 battery, and I believe these cost about 14 UK Pounds at the time.
Another Murphy, uses 2 number PP9 batteries. This radio also has the band spread facility, and also the VHF band. The VHF band on this radio only goes up to 100 MHz compared to today's which go to 108. The Emergency services used to use to 100-108 MHz section in the sixties. I would imagine that this radio was fairly expensive in her day as FM broadcasting was usually used for the HI FI Boffins.
As you can see from the picture on the right, the band spread tuning section including Caroline's spot on 199
This radio also came from my local supplier, the car boat sales. Again made by Murphy this also takes the standard PP9 battery. It is the only 60`s radio I have with the rotary tuning dial. I have seen them with the Caroline name on the dial, but as yet haven't managed to purchase one.
This one Melvyn got at a car boot sale. It really bought back memories for me as I can remember my father buying be one like this for Christmas 1965. I don't remember whether the make was Caroline, but I certainly listened to the station on it.
Another one of Melvyn's Car Boot Buys. This Cobra actually features the names Radio Caroline & London on the dial. Although the original photograph is fairly sharp , I believe the names on the dial have not made the conversion to the web page.
A Philips with a rotary dial. For some reason the radios with the rotary dial seem harder to get hold of. I went to an sale the other week and two radios in very poor condition were prices at 30 pounds each. I offered him a tenner for the two as the condition was poor and he told me to go away!
Another radio from Philips. This one I got for 50p. I was at a boot sale and the guy ask me for £1.00 I was fiddling in my pocket looking for some change and he said alright then give me 50p. So I did.
From Fidelity comes this model. Its claim to fame is the Bandspead Feature. Stating 208 bandspread it help the poor old Radio Luxemburg listeners find their station. Still I think I would rather listen to a fading 208 than some of the ILR stations. At least we have got a stereo Caroline on Astra now. Great apart from we can only hear her broadcasts at home.
This Grundig Radio was found in a charity shop for 3 pounds. It still sounds good today and was probably a very expensive set in its time. Tuning bands on this radio are FM, Medium and Long. For some strange reason radios of this era seem to pick up Atlantic 252 better during the evening than some of the latest hi tech sets,
This was taken at a local museum. On the top shelf are some of the fifties portables and below them some early sixties models
Here is one of the above radios in use. Melvyn is seen adjusting the loop frame aerial on the beach at Pakefield, Norfolk. We are using the Bush Radio and the loop frame aerial to listen to Radio Caroline's broadcast on 1503mhz from Clacton On Sea. Most days we got a good signal and the band spread certainly helped
If you have any radios that you would like me to include on this page please send a photo by email