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20 Years of On The Air!

On The Air was first established in 1990 with a unit in Melody's antique centre in City Road, Chester. It was a stepping stone to the start of the Broadcasting Museum, which was my ambition to create after leaving ITV.

We operated from there until taking on the lease of the Museum in 1994, so this year marks 20 years of full time buying, restoring, selling and research into vintage technology. (Of course, this was after many years of collecting, and a lifelong interest in old technology.)

At first it seemed that nobody actually wanted to buy the radios and just came in for nostalgia and to try and sell their own bits and pieces. However, I pretty soon learned what to buy and what to leave alone, and that the best way to stay in business was to be straight with people and to describe things as accurately as possible. I must have been right because we are still here, but a lot bigger and better twenty years later!

When the Museum closed after six years we formed the present Limited Company structure and are at the momentbusier than ever, despite the recession. The website was started around the same time but for a few years it was little used as we were busy enough with sales coming from Airwaves to do without it.

However, now we have revived it and hope it will provide a useful resource for collectors, enthusiasts and anyone who needs to source vintage technological equipment. If we don't have it, we probably know someone who does.

There are changes in the new site layout- we have combined some sections, and added some new ones, notably a complete sub-section on Television, which will contain information, news and items for sale and wanted. This section is about TV production and equipment, rather than receivers, which remain in their own section of the For Sale pages. We hope to continually expand this to cover our projects, notably the construction/restoration of our television OB vehicles. Eventually, (I use this word a lot, it means 'not any time yet, but it could happen one day') we may even get video clips from our own productions on the site for your amusement.

There are new sections of historical information, one being a history of television, the other being a virtual museum, based on the former Broadcasting Museum which closed in 2000. The original site has been redesigned and incorporates pictures of other related artefacts relevant to the periods.

We still want to give subscribers to Airwaves the first crack at new stock where possible, so hopefully the plan is to update the site after each issue goes out. We can also include items received too late for inclusion or when space did not permit.

I hope you enjoy using the new site and find something of interest.

Steve Harris


1938 Cossor 54 Television - sold recently

one of our 'vintage' TV cameras in use providing authentic tube camera pictures for a high-profile TV commercial in a london film studio

Marconi Scientific unit receiver sold recently