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History: Vintage Technology snippets in the South Wales area of the UK 1961
Various bits of information about radio, TV, home electrical goods and events and companies in the South Wales area.   If you have any personal memories of these events or establishments - please let me know.

 

Prestcold Move to Swansea (January 1961)
Prestcold announced that as their new 5M refrigerator factory near Swansea is completed, when, it is claimed, it will be one of the largest and most highly mechanized in Europe, the company intends to develop its marketing organization in line with a policy of volume production.
During the next three years Prestcold intend to acquire the businesses of their distributors in England and, in their place, create regional marketing units which will, within limits, be autonomous in their operation.  A number of these businesses had already been purchased and negotiations were being carried out for others.
These marketing units will operate under the control of a regional manager and his staff who will undertake responsibility for the selling of commercial and industrial refrigeration equipment, together with the distribution to the retail trade of domestic refrigerators and other appliances which will be manufactured by Prestcold.  In addition, complete service facilities will be available in each region.

Flying Saucer? Spaceship from Mars? No, the unusual disc-shaped object shown in this picture is neither of these.  It is the ultra-modern showroom at Prestcold's giant new factory at Swansea, South Wales.


Welsh Dealer's Talking Dustbin "Stops 'Em and Actually Sells" (April 1961)
Dealer C.G. Barrett, of Barretts (Wales) Ltd., Penycraig, Rhondda, has though up an unorthodox way of tackling the replacement market.  His recipe for a selling stunt, devised in co-operation with Ferranti, is:-
First acquire a dustbin - preferably one that is clean, wholesome and bright looking.  Place this to one side of the main showroom doorway and twix lid and rim fix a vintage radio - draw one from retirement if necessary - but the speaker should still function, for this must be wired to a tape recorder concealed in the shop. Pre-record and pipe at regular intervals through the battered radio a message using the best male and female voices available.  The message dependant, of course, on one's own special attractions, should run something like this:

Man: Hello.  Hello there.  Yes, it's me talking.  Over here.  I was a teenage radio and feeling my years.  (Effect: heavy interference.) Like that.
Man: Now I've been part exchanged for a brand new Ferranti TV set.  And if you have an old radio at home, you could do the same.
Woman: You'll find Barretts offer most generous terms.  Even 6d in the slot TV.
Man: And Barretts have other things to show.
Man and Woman go on to list some other attractions and round off the commentary -
Man: All on no deposit credit sale terms or easy hire purchase if you wish.  Come into Barretts right away.
Woman: Just a minute.  Is TV reception difficult where you live?  Ask about Barretts piped TV.
Man: Yes, there are so many good things at Barretts.  Come and look around.  We'll be glad to show you.  Step inside now.

It's the unorthodox that sells today - and this dealer / manufacturer tie-up proves that the salesman's brainwave or gimmick can and does succeed where traditional methods would little more than "interest".

The Dustbin Salesman.

The picture shows passers-by intrigued
by a sales commentary relayed through
an old radio...
... ostensibly "dumped"
in a dustbin placed in the showroom
doorway at Barretts (Wales) Ltd.,
Penygraig, Rhondda.

By the end of 1961 Barretts had 20
branches and were later in the year using
the same idea with a cardboard cut out
newspaper boy.


BBC Welsh TV - Early Development Plans Not Accepted by PMG (September 1961)
Plans by the BBC for the early development of television in Wales have not been accepted by the Postmaster-General, the BBC governors announced on Tuesday of this week.
The scheme required the allocation of a Band III channel for a new transmitter to serve South Wales and another for a new transmitter at Llangollen.
The PO refusal rests on the desire not to prejudice and recommendations the Pilkington Committee might make for and long-term solution for a unified Welsh television service.  Reconsideration is promised when Pilkington reports. 

Truvox Local Exhibitions - at 18 Centres This Autumn (September 1961)
All bona-fide radio and electrical retailers are welcomed to a series of local exhibitions which Truvox Ltd., of Neasden Lane, London, NW10 have organized in order to shoe their new products to the trade.  At these exhibitions new Truvox two- or four- track tape recorders, tape decks and Hi-Fi tape decks with tape pre-amplifiers will be exhibited... In addition, the company's industrial floor-cleaning machines will be displayed.  The time-table and venues of these local shows, which will be open from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm, are as follows;
... Swansea, The Billingsley Room, The Dragon Hotel, September 18-19...

Old Sets as Full HP Deposits - Firm Fined (November 1961)
Following an advertisement in a local paper offering to accept old radio and television sets and other appliances as full hire purchase deposits for 1961 model television sets, Gwyn Davies & Sons (Furnishers) Ltd., of Newport, Mon., were fined a total of 80, for eight summonses, with 31 10s costs, by Newport magistrates court, for offences against credit sale regulations.
It was stated by the prosecution that accepting old appliances without inspecting them as deposits broke the Credit Sale Agreements (Control) Order, 1960, and was bad for other traders who complied with the law.  The firm did not bother to assess the value of goods accepted, it was stated, and some were in bad repair.
A submission by the defence that they had no case to answer was dismissed.  The firm pleaded not guilty.  It was asked that the openness of the firm's actions be taken into account.

Social Events: Hoover Staff Christmas Party (December 1961)
Part of Hoover Ltd.'s employee relations policy is to entertain their 15,500 UK employees and their wives and children at Christmas and New Year time, and these parties are being held this year as usual.  There will be socials for the employees at the various factories and Hoover establishments.  Parties for the children of employees were held December 9 and 16 at the Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, factory and a visit to the Circus was planned also for the older children.
Similar parties were held on the same dates at the Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, factory group and here the older children were taken to see Red Riding Hood.  Nearly 1,500 children of employees at the Perivale, Middlesex, factory will be taken to see the Wizard of Oz at the Empire Pool, Wembley, on February 3.  The High Wycombe factory held their children's party on December 2.
Traditional Christmas dinners will be served to employees at the factory groups in England, Scotland and Wales.  One of these will be in the middle of the night when between 2 and 2.30am on December 19 at Perivale, Middlesex, some 350 night shift workers will sit down to their Christmas dinner.