Great Service, Great Sets 

1 January 2004

These days, renting a television set or video recorder is very much a dying habit. Changing technology, huge advances in reliability over the years, and falling prices for equipment has severely reduced the rental market – so much so that today, estimates that only 10 per cent of television sets are now rented.

Boxclever logo

Checking out the website of Boxclever, a company formed out of the remains of the once mighty Radio Rentals and Granada in 2000, now struggling with debt problems and recently bought out by foreign banks, reveals that renting a television these days offers no advantage over buying. Should I want to, I can rent an average Hitachi television for £12.99 a month. Assuming the television lasts ten years, this means I will fork out £1599 during the lifetime of the set. On the other hand I could possibly go to my local branch of Comet and buy the same television for £200. Even if I go for a credit deal, I’ll still be saving at least £1200 that I would have given to Box Clever during the lifetime of the TV. And quite possibly, in a few years’ time, the price of the same or a comparable television could have fallen by half. So you can see why, except for the very poor, the rented television – and indeed video recorder – market has joined churchgoing and pipe-smoking as a dying pastime.

Radio Rentals store

In my part of the world, what was Radio Rentals shut up shop just after Christmas following a stock clear-out. This now leaves Whitehaven with no television rental shop, although a company based in nearby Workington, which operates out of an industrial unit with a phone number, does offer nearly-new TVs and videos for rental, with special deals to single parents and the like who now make up the bulk of the rented market. However, with Boxclever closing over 250 branches over the past 3-4 years, the only surviving high street rental chain appears to be heading for oblivion, even though the company’s website does offer a far larger range of products – such as washing machines, Freeview boxes and DVD players – than the old Radio Rentals ever did and is advertising itself aggressively online. The days of rented TVs and VCRs are indeed coming to an end.

How times have changed. In the late seventies, Whitehaven, a town of 30,000 people, had six television rental shops, or electrical shops that ran a lucrative sideline in renting televisions and videos. The arrival of VCRs at the end of the seventies managed to keep the television rental business buoyant in the first half of the eighties, as few people could afford to fork out £ 600 to buy a VCR at the time. Radio Rentals and the like spotted a huge market in rented videos.

One of the biggest concerns in the Whitehaven of the seventies was British Relay. Rather like Rediffusion in other areas, British Relay employed cable television rather than the conventional aerial system. As reception in Whitehaven town centre was often poor due to it being in a valley, and newer public housing estates had no chimneys, British Relay’s cablevision sets were a familiar site in houses in the town.

My parents owned three of these sets, as the two houses we rented were wired up to British Relay and fitting aerials was difficult in houses without chimneys. The first was a 20-inch black and white set that gave excellent service; the other two were reconditioned valve-powered colour sets that were about as reliable as a chocolate fireguard (though this was typical of most valve colour sets, not just those from British Relay). The valve sets were British Relay-branded Pye models, while later transistor sets were made under licence by GEC.

The service offered to British Relay subscribers, apart from better reception, included an extra ITV channel – in our case Granada – which meant that when Border was showing some 0-0 Scottish football match, we would often switch across to Granada to watch a film. I can remember as a nine-year-old at school making a few of my friends very jealous when Granada premiered the Bond film, “Thunderball” the night before Border, and seeing it before the supposedly better off kids on the private estates with their aerials, Bushes and Fergusons. Being from a housing association estate did have its advantages at times.

Another option you had on British Relay TVs was to use them as a radio: the four television presets, at the flick of a switch, became the four national radio networks, quite useful at the time for Radio 1, as the reception on 247m MW was often poor and the cable reception was better.

I actually lived down the road from the British Relay mast for Whitehaven. The mast, which was 50 feet (15m) high, faced the Bigrigg relay, the main transmitter for Whitehaven and Egremont, and obtained its signals from Bigrigg. It relayed the programmes via a sizeable box wired up to the mast, and distributed the signals through cables. The estate I currently live on, built in 1977-78, was completely wired-up for British Relay, and most houses still have the cable boxes and sockets, although no one uses the system now and the mast was demolished in 1990.

One of the reasons why British Relay fell out of favour locally was to do with company politics and poor customer service. British Relay was taken over in 1978 by Visionhire, who decided to let the cable vision system die a slow death in Whitehaven. No new cable vision sets were made for rent after 1978, and customers often complained that when they upgraded from a black and white to a colour set that they were given an ancient valve set instead of the later GEC transistor models.

In addition, the cablevision models cost four pounds a month more to rent than a conventional set, and, even though it was difficult to fit aerials to houses without chimneys, people were to be found rigging up aerials to the sides of their houses or in the loft, and switching to conventional televisions. The story of British Relay locally could be repeated for the whole cable television industry in Britain, which has been one long story of missed opportunities.

The main supplier of conventional rented televisions in Whitehaven, in common with the rest of the country, was Radio Rentals, supplier of my next set after the British Relay model blew up. Formed in 1932 to rent out radio sets, Radio Rentals had moved into televisions and ultimately videos. The company (along with DER, who also had a shop in Whitehaven) was owned by Thorn EMI and produced Ferguson TX sets labelled with the Baird brand name, which was synonymous with Radio Rentals. DER also labelled sets with their own brand, but they, too, were Fergusons in all but name. However, as the latest TX models were too expensive for us to rent, we were given the option of renting a “good as new”, as the advert stated in the shop, older model. This proved to be nearly as much trouble as the British Relay set, as it was a ten year old TV – one of the first transistor models, that had been given a service and a clean up in the shop.

While it might seem laughable to younger readers that anyone would want to rent a ten year old television, you have to understand that people were much poorer 22 years ago and new televisions, even to rent, were expensive, so renting a reconditioned “good as new” set was often the only option available. At least the television did look nice: it was a classic of early seventies design, in a teak cabinet with opening doors and a nice chromed control panel. When new, it would probably have been a good television, but not at ten years old. After three years of persisting with this teak terror, we finally asked Radio Rentals to give it a decent burial – the tube had packed in – and decided to invest in one of the new generation of JVC flat screen televisions from the Co-Op. At last: no more reconditioned junk and fuzzy pictures for us, and the television would be ours after we paid it off.

It is hardly surprising that renting started to go into decline as the eighties progressed. While the falling costs of new sets contributed to the decline of renting, the often-inferior customer service and worn out products offered to poorer customers could not have helped. (Another option offered to poorer viewers – I had a relative in South Shields who had one of these televisions as late as 1993 – was to have a colour set ‘monochromed’, which reduced the rental by half.)

Visionhire logo

Along with British Relay/Visionhire, Radio Rentals and DER, most of the electrical shops in Whitehaven ran a sideline in rented televisions. The Co-Op, who used to have their own branded rental televisions made by GEC until the mid seventies, had a large rental section in their electrical department. NORWEB – the electricity board shop – rented out Fergusons, while Colorvision, as well as selling Decca televisions, also rented new and used sets.

On an industrial estate we also had a depot for Telebank. Telebank specialised in coin-operated sets. Again for the benefit of younger readers, a coin-operated television, rather like the coin-operated electricity meters and gas fires that were still widespread in the seventies, worked from a slot meter. If you wanted to watch an evening’s television, you would put, say, 50 pence in the slot and the television would work for four hours. Once the four hours had expired, the television would go off and you would have to put in another 50 pence. Every week a rep from Telebank would come and collect the money from the meter. Occasionally people would be tempted to break into the meter and every month at the local Magistrate’s Court there were a few cases of Telebank meters being broken into. Coin-operated televisions, which still exist today though on a very small scale, were usually found in the poorest households, who could not afford monthly rental, and to be honest were a ripoff as the meters guzzled money. Personally I’m glad this demeaning type of television rental has virtually disappeared.

It’s easy to see the contribution that falling TV prices has made to the demise of the rental industry. Last year I bought a Samsung colour portable with full remote control for £ 70. Twenty years ago the same kind of television would have cost £ 200, the equivalent of over £ 400 today. Renting makes no sense when it is so much cheaper to buy a television, and the old problems with television reliability, which made renting a viable option in the seventies – where a faulty rental set was repaired or replaced as part of the deal – have almost disappeared. My main television is seven years old now and has never developed a single fault, while the JVC that preceded it lasted 12 years until it gave up, in almost all of that time the television never developed any problems.

There is not a single rental shop left in Whitehaven today. Thorn EMI merged DER and Radio Rentals in the eighties. Granada, famous in the seventies for their “great service, great sets, rent Granada” adverts and their Finnish-made Finlandia televisions, by the end of the eighties became the biggest player in what was a declining industry, buying out Telebank, Co-Op Rentals and Visionhire, the local British Relay shop undergoing three name changes in ten years. Rediffusion, once a big player in cable television and branded sets in the seventies, closed down their television factory in Bishop Auckland in 1986 and wound down their rental business.

By the end of the eighties, Colorvision had closed down their Whitehaven shop and NORWEB had ended their rental business as it proved more profitable to sell new televisions than to rent them out. Rather like other once-thriving British industries like coal mining, changing times have seen the once-mighty television rental industry reduced to a shadow of its former self.

Ironically, the old British Relay/Visionhire/Granada shop in Whitehaven was taken over by Genesis, a white goods and television shop. Wonder if they could do me a deal on a neat 20 inch British Relay black and white set? I still have the cable box and the socket. Possibly the salesman, who is quite young, would think I was insane and throw me out of the shop.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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75 responses to this article

robert rowbotham 27 March 2013 at 6:39 pm

Hello. It`s nearley thirty years since I left Granada Then a few months later the radio rentals merger.Lots of Showrooms shut-down. Was with SPECTRA before Granada,Servicing Lancs,etc.The blocks of flats in Salford,Took Photos from roof,Before M 602 built.I still have recurrant night-mares about some of the service calls!!No wonder my Back Has Crushed Discs !!Bye from The Triangle Timperley Trafford.Rowbotham.

Pete Singleton 22 April 2013 at 11:48 am

Gosh – yes – TV sets we actually RENTED! How weird is that! But it was a way of life in the late 50s and right up to the 80s! OK it is still possible but why on earth anyone would want to rent a set these days is difficult to understand when you can walk into Tesco’s and come out with a 42 inch jobbie for under a couple of hundred quid.

Glen Aylett covers very well the days of rental TV so I won’t repeat his excellent piece but what follows is just a few of my childhood memories.

My Dad started off renting a TV with a firm called “Rentaset” (eventually swallowed up by Radio Rentals) in 1964 (after I persuaded him that I was the only boy in the class whose family did not have a TV set). The TV was a “Sobell” – then we upgraded to a “Baird” (not the original Televisor of old which even I don’t remember!). The Baird was a 19″ dual standard set which could be upgraded with a UHF tuner when BBC-2 started up in the north west of England.

The man came with a spanner and prised out a circular badge covering a hole in the speaker “netting” and fitted the 625 tuner. “The picture will be like a photograph on BBC-2,” he promised, “much better than BBC-1 and ITV.” And to us, it was. It was a miracle! Clear, beautiful black and white in six hundred and twenty five lines! To switch the set to the UHF tuner, you had to “clunk” the channel knob round to UHF and then tune the UHF channel with a separate dial – rather like tuning into a radio station. Of course, when BBC1 and ITV (Granada) changed over to UHF, you had to repeat this tuning process with the UHF dial to “find” ITV or BBC1. Crazy! We even had to have the new UHF aerial fitted in the chimney stack to accompany the VHF dipole – something of a status symbol I guess! Strange to think now, but a friend said to me at the time that, “I don’t think we will be getting BBC2 – I mean, what’s the point? Two channels are surely enough for anybody!”

The reason for all this rambling is that when you rented a TV set, it was so easy to get the latest technology! Maybe you wanted a set “on legs” or just wanted to upgrade from a 19” to a 21” model. You just rang up the TV rental company and a man hot-footed it round with the latest set (although the rental always went up by a couple of bob).

I remember a friend’s family renting an “InstanTV” from DER around 1968. This set did not have to “warm up” like other sets (unbelievable!) so it came on virtually straight away when you switched it on. Even more futuristic, it had a “remote” control – not such as we now have, but a box with a thick cable coming from it which trailed its way across the floor to the set (a health and safety hazard these days!). I think it had just two buttons – one to turn the set off (I think you still had to walk to the set to switch it on) and another button to change channels (of course there were only three channels to choose from). You pressed this button and the tuner literally thumped through all the channel numbers until you got the one you wanted. Oh – there might have been a volume “up and down” control but that was about it.

If nothing else, renting a TV set did at least allow people to experience television in the 1950s and beyond – and especially early colour television in the late 60s – at a time when buying such a set would have been out of the question at a cost of in some cases, around 399 “guineas.” Having said that, even renting would have been difficult – I can’t remember a typical rental for a colour set but it must have been around 30/- (£1.50) a week at a time when my weekly wage as a 16 year-old junior clerk in a Civil Service Department started at £6.0.6d (£6.02½p!).

Many memories stirred by Glenn’s informative article…

KEN QUINNELL 6 May 2013 at 10:53 am

I worked for Visionhire for 21 years.I started as a branch salesman at the time when colour tv was starting to lift off and progressed the role of an area manager.When colour took off the most popular size tv was 22″ and our most popular make was a Philips model 534 renting at 9.75 a month.They cost 450.00 to buy.A good local wage was 30.00 per week.

People rented because they were worried about the cost of tv repairs. Rental companies offered a speedy repair service,loan sets if the customers set had to be taken in for repair and of course no extra outlay for repairs.

Visionhire was a superb company to work for and I have many,many happy memories from my time with the firm.They were also held in very high regard by it’s customer’s.

Keith Wilby 27 September 2013 at 3:04 pm

I worked for Visionhire for 24years. Visionhire was a great firm to work for until we took over British Relay. From then on I hated it. Most of the sets still out in subscribers houses were “Clapped Out” and in very poor state of repair. Whereas Visionhire had pursued a good policy of constantly updating old, unreliable stock. It was like going back in time

For some strange reason many of the British Relay personnel ended up with the best jobs. In one instance a mere van delivery driver became an area manager almost overnight. It was just as though British Relay had taken over Visionhire.

Without a shadow of a doubt in my mind Visionhire were sold a “Pup”In fact on learned person was quoted saying “Visionhire paid £61milion for a company they would have acquired for nothing if they had waited, as it would have collapsed” Happy memories of Visionhire, Bad memories of British Relay.

In 1988 I took redundancy and got out

robert mcdermott 14 October 2013 at 5:18 pm

Hi ken

Many thanks for the brilliant article which brought back many fond memories.

I lived in south Manchester back in the 60s 70s and my mum used to hire all our TV sets from Visionhire in the village.

I remember being excited when the engineer called either with an upgrade (when we could afford it)or to repair and leave a loan set.

The best memories are when we got our first colour set, wow the excitement in our house, then off course the Video came out, kids these days will never know the joy as things change so quickly now.

Thanks again


John Brennan 12 November 2013 at 9:14 am

I worked for Visionhire from 1979 until taking redundancy in 1998. I was originally based in South London and was there when British Relay were acquired. I agree withKeith (above) the stock in Relay customers homes was very poor. I recall being assistant manager in Brixton with a queue of people out the door waiting to sign up for a COM (change of model) to get a brand new 22″ GEC cable vision set. Visionhire did try to revive the cable concept by introducing Showcable, a premium channel showing latest release films for £8.99 a month. Subscribers needed a decoder to plug in to the relay cable socket in their homes. It ran ok for a while but lost momentum due to costs and bad debt/arrears. Visionhire was a great firm to work for but the slippery slope for rental was always there waiting to happen. However, in its day, rental was a fantastic cash cow business.

ray mcgowan 21 November 2013 at 11:33 pm

Started work in September 1971 with House of Clydesdale in Glasgow. They closed in 1994 and got job next day with Granada Alexandria Parade. When they merged with Thorn renaming Endeva I took redundancy to join Comet Left in September 2011 as they shut all the workshops, went bust the next yearI am still unemployed

Graham Ashley 19 December 2013 at 3:57 pm

I never worked for Visionhire but part of my company was sold to them by Philips in 1975 and my workmates who were transferred over to them said that they were ok to work for. When colour tv came out in the late 1960’s, it was the same cost as buying a new mini car. Completely out of the reach of the average working man. I knew guys who had mortgages on their houses for between £750.00 and £1000.00 at the time so that’s why rental was so popular. I also remember the Government of the day, “Conservatives” in the 1970’s introducing a two tier V.A.T. rate on purchases and televisions were classed as buying a luxury product which had 25% V.A.T. slapped on it. Retail sales collapsed over night whereas rental steadily increased

Gordon Daniel 4 March 2014 at 10:19 am

Worked in TV rentals for 20 years..Radio Maintenance( Thorn) Spectra Rentals, Granada, Rumbelows…..what can I say,?

Carrying 22 ” Colour TV’s with wooden cabinets, with doors,

Up 4 flights of stairs ( and more) all on my own…..

Mr Universe had nothing on me…..countless stints of being off sick with ” lumbago” back pain…was all included in the job spec ( NOT)….worked all areas of London, good & bad ,

Customers , nice, polite, and not so,….endless cups of tea, and SOME offers of ” sympathy” never taken up..!

Now here I am, 72 years old, sitting here remembering some awful service calls, up to 18 a day, and have a serious back problem…. Had surgery in 1999. Crushed disks, damaged pelvic area, and permanent neuropathic ( nerve) pain in back, legs and feet…can’t claim industrial injury as the companies don’t exist any more. Would like to hear from anyone else in same condition. Oh well, must go, got a no colour call in Ruislip and a before 12 pm in Pinner. Dead set GEC 2040…thermistor,….????

David Buckley 22 September 2014 at 10:17 am

I worked for Granada TV Rentals for 28 years as an engineer, starting in 1976 & working from the Moss side then to Dukinfield th Worsley, Bury & finally to Trafford Park in the early years it was a good company to work for slowly going down hill from the mid 90’s Trafford park was not a pleasant experience & got worse when engineers were given sprinter vas & expected to do installations as well as repairs. I was made redundant in 2004 when the company Endeva went into receivership & had to leave without a proper redundancy pay-out ( still annoys me to this day) still not got any pension benefits from Boxclever pension scheme I paid into

STEPHEN RANDALL 9 November 2014 at 10:36 pm

Hi, I left school in 1967, took an apprenticeship with a small family company called ‘Wiltshire @ Rimmer’ did 1 year full-time Radio @ Television repair course at ‘Highbury’ tech in Cosham. Qualified with ‘Colour endorsement’ by 1972, where British Relay had taken over the company. worked for British relay (driving Simca estate car) servicing TVs. Relay was taken over, so took redundancy and went to work for RUMBELOWS in Reading….. had 12 great years there until … yes you guest it …. made redundant. took a job with Mastercare (lasted 3 weeks) the biggest cowboy outfit ever. Went back to work for RUMBELOWS in Berinsfield – Oxford, for another 4 years, then left and took on a different line of work …. Intruder Alarm Servicing with a company called ‘MODERN ALARMS’ … (did about 1 year, but being called out at all hours didn’t suit) so …. Quit! next got a job with D.E.R . which then changed to MULTIBROADCAST then RADIO RENTALS.
Quit and went self employed for a couple of years, then went to work for Mastercare (again!) well…. it was a job, as an ‘INSTORE ENGINEER’ in CURRYS superstore. Did 8/9 years then decided, trade had had it so did what any person would have done, …. I bought a PUB! …. did this for 8 years, got out whilst going was good (pub trade has had its days as well)…. now working for a Fire Protection company, servicing Alarms, Emergency lighting and doing Fire Risk Assessments, (wish i had found this job 40 years ago) but hey … now looking forward to retirement …… happy days !

Keith Franklin 3 December 2014 at 10:30 am

I started as an apprentice with Radio Rentals after leaving school in 1968 and was on the same one year course for radio and television servicing as Stephen. ( if you can remember Stephen, my motor bike broke down and I had to abandon it near Whitchurch. You arranged collection and I came down to repair it a week or so later.) I worked in Kettering, Corby areas until Thorn Homeserve started reorganisation when workshops were moved further and further away. I was eventually made redundant in 1995. I then got a job with a construction company! I remember the early days of large colour televisions, when we would have to completely dismantle them to get them upstairs or through very narrow doors!

Rob jones 28 December 2014 at 6:52 pm

Hi my dad worked for British relay then visionhire he was based at Albany road off walworth road in London does anyone remember Bert Jones if so would like to hear from you. Thanks Rob Jones

trevor 20 May 2015 at 7:18 pm

every now and then I wonder how people were able to get away with renting television set and video recorders?
I can only assume it was because TV’s and video recorders were exceptionally expensive and most working class weren’t earning enough to afford them?
the strange thing is nowadays wages are still low for working class people
but TV’s are “affordable” and Video recorders seem to be old fashioned now?
I couldn’t imagine renting a TV and VCR Now.

Joanne Gray 19 October 2015 at 10:43 pm

My grandparents rented their black and white set from Telebank in the 1970s and the mother of one of my old school friends worked for them, emptying coin boxes all over the Hartlepool area. I remember their repairs and upgrade service being pretty good.

My parents rented our tellies and videos from Visionhire in Hartlepool in the 70s and 80s and I remember their repair and upgrade service as being excellent, apart from one time when we sent our front loading video recorder off for repair and being given a top loading, massive and clunky late 1970s model to tide us over until ours was returned.

Then at the end of the 80s, Binns (House of Fraser – the Hartlepool site now a branch of Wilkinson’s) began offering cheap credit deals on electrical goods and we began getting our entertainment from them instead.

Carole Hay 24 October 2015 at 6:42 pm

Great memories I worked for Visionhire in the seventies at a American base in Bedfordshire the manager was a guy called Bill and the engineer was a guy called Ken Scott remember he came from a place called Baldock .
I always remember the Americans coming into rent the tvs they weren’t so keen to pay the rentals though and we dealt in dollars too. Later moved into Hitchin and worked in the shop there too can still see everyone crowding round to watch football results on Saturday changed days but fond memories .

Ryan Walsham 3 November 2015 at 9:29 am

Great days and great memories

I used to work 1st of all in Peterborough depot planning the technicians to arrive at customer houses to fix TV’s and then I moved onto doing the same thing at Northampton Brackmills. The one thing Granada had was the people who worked at these centre’s were all prepared to work hard and get the jobs done unfortunately the same could not be said for the Managers they employed and hence that’s why Granada fell behind instead of many companies moved forward into the digital age. they had not one good idea of how to push the company forward and only cared for thereselves at the time.

other than them it was a great time :)

RICHARD PEMBLETON 17 November 2015 at 7:03 pm

I worked in that very store in Whitehaven. Great days :-)

stephen Wilton 4 January 2016 at 11:35 pm

We had a granada tv from 73 until 83, a colour, then my parents bought a philips replacing the granada which was costing £8 a month , we had the philips for almost 20 years, now we’ve got an lg and two samsung tv’s which are so advanced and cost alot less than the first two!

My nan had a British relay set in Thamesmead, she could get southern aswell as itv london in colour of cause!

GRAHAM EDDIES 5 January 2016 at 8:36 pm

I started work with Visionhire in Shrewsbury , Shropshire after leaving school in 1972 , I did my C&G in Radio Television and Electronics at Shrewsbury Technical college , and Wulfrun College of Further Education in Wolverhampton .
The Showroom had a prominent position in Castle Street Shrewsbury , opposite Woolworths , and was managed by Bob Witterick , The Service Manager was Harold Morris .
Most of the Stock was either Pye , Philips , or Dynatron , ( posh pye / philips ) ,also Ferguson and Decca ( made down the road at Brignorth ).
The majority was still old dual standard 405 / 625 black and white sets , and Colour was in its Infancy .
Most of the Colour Sets were Philips the Solid State G8 Chassis , the Pye Valve / Transistor Hybrids , and the Decca 30 Chassis .
I stayed there till the Early 80’s when I was made redundant , and had a couple of years self employed as a TV Engineer, after which I rejoined Visionhire .
During this period of employment , the merger with Granada took place , and Serviscope was formed , this was probably the time when TV Rental was finally on it’s way out . Serviscope serviced anything and everything for anyone . It wasn’t the same , and I finally left in 1989 . I then worked in the Warden Call Industry for 2 companies , until I had finally had enough of call outst 2 years ago . I now deliver groceries for Tesco part time , and the rest of my time is taken up with looking after my classic VWs and my Lambretta , and hillwalking . I became a radio amateur in 1991 , and although not an active amateur at the moment , I plan to return to the hobby when I get abit of spare time .

Happy Days though , not to be repeated ! I reached the big 60 last April , and I’m thinking of taking my company pension . Originally the ERG pension scheme , then Granada , now the ITV Pension Scheme . So I won’t be rich any time soon !

Mike France 25 January 2016 at 2:31 pm

Worked for Robinson Rentals in Bristol in 1967, became Granada in 1968 (best thing that ever happened). Carried on as a field engineer through various changes until 1987. By then the company had got bigger an less personal, decided to take voluntary redundancy.
A slight change of direction was a wise decision.
Still ended up with with various back pains after years of carrying heavy T V sets up many flights of stairs in the Clifton area of Bristol. Enjoying retirement now though.

Derek Bowgen 25 January 2016 at 7:38 pm

Started with Rentevision in Burton on Trent 2nd Jan. 1967. Name changed to Visionhire shortly after. Remember repairing Cossor 950’s with that wax covered loptx
Also worked at Coalville, Derby, Redditch, Leicester and Nottingham, and for a couple of weeks in north London when one of the relay transmitters was struck by lightning ‘killing’ thousands of sets… Happy days. Now fixing trains for Bombardier but hoping to retire soon.

Colin Gymer 20 February 2016 at 12:53 pm

Hi Rob.
I remember Bert Jones very well.
Get in touch if you wish.

Mel Siddons 25 March 2016 at 5:56 pm

I started at Rentevision as an apprentice on Clumber St in Nottingham in 1965 a while before being taken over by Visionhire. After passing my driving test at 17 years of age I was soon driving an old battered Ford Anglia van, (with starting handle) and a handful of job cards, a bottle of Windolene and several dust cloths. My Senior Engineer in those days was Bill Coulton and Brian Dempster, Happy days.

Ged Abel 28 March 2016 at 12:12 am

My Dad worked for Granada TV rentals for the last 10 years of his working life. He was a French polisher and refurbished the wooden cabinets when they came in for repair. He was based in Worsley at the distribution warehouse, where one corner had been converted into a repair centre.
He had a manager called Chris Morley who flew RC gliders as a hobby. We used to go down to a bungalow near Portmadoc on hols and Chris would often also be staying close by in Sarn and we ‘d go and have a day flying his gliders.
They were the some of the happiest working years he had and loved working there until he retired around 1980. TV’s used to arrive from a company called Finlandia in batches of 300+ I remember they were very “posh” TVs. My dad’s name was Wilf Abel

Chris Long 6 April 2016 at 12:31 pm


I remember your dad Wilf with great affection, and also Chris Morley. Wilf was very friendly to me when I started at The TRC at Worsley as a trainee in 1973. I eventually bcame a senior Technician at Burnley before taking redundancy in 1983.
Happy days, We used to have a good laugh and Granada were very good to us, and kept us working during the ‘three day week’ in 1973/4

Derek Taylor 15 April 2016 at 6:45 pm

Started with Granada when in last days of being Red Arrow, all mono crome sets mostly thorn 800 850 1400 1500 and such like , car was Hillman Husky ,Fist colour sets GEC dual standard , quickly followed by Salora badged as Finlandia which formed the main stay of granadas sets for years ,The training centre in Bedford originally in County Hotel then on Ampthill Road used a Thorn 2000 chassis based teaching set ,had remote switching which allowed trainer to display various faults on screen .Seen many changes including vision hire ,Rediffussion,Telebank and more , Too much for one post , happy time mostly ,

Phil Cheetham 17 April 2016 at 3:08 pm

My dad used to work at Rediffusion Salford for many years he was service supervisor there I can remember the earliest of VCRs and Rediffusion TV sets.I used to like going to the Rediffusion shops and looking at all the different TVs.My dad used to come home with some funny stories.It all came to an end when Rediffusion got bought by Granada TV in the eighties.

Les Wynne 21 August 2016 at 10:27 pm

I began working for Visionhire Nov 69 at Wrexham. Working with Des C, Richard and Derek ex Chester branch. The company had a very good Technical Training Department at Preston Lancs. T.C.S. & Mike K. were the instructors in 1971. I attended the BRC3000 and G8 in 1971 through to VR2020 in late 70s
Transferred to Cold Bath Street, Preston (Very large service dept 20+ Techs) in late 71 at my request. Working for Jim C, Sadly we lost Jim, Terry- Flash and Keith J. a few years ago. Became 2ic at Chorley 1979? Working with Dave -Captain Birds eye, Derek, Doug and Andrew till the service dept closed in 1980? The TV & VCR were becoming more reliable by this time and the rental market shrinking. At this time I took VR.
Visionhire bought Telehire about 69-70 I was taking my final C&G and Colour Principles at this time and was tempted by the company offer of a new ford Escort 1100 estate car (25mpg) and a cash petrol allowance payed with our wages, for all Technicians with final C&G or suitable company exam result. (The large rental companies payed much better wages than a small business could afford)

Yes, Visionhire was one of the very best employers back in the 1970s.

Retired in 2014 after 34 Years working in industrial related Cal Labs. But the 1970s & Visionhire will always be special.

Robert Clark 11 September 2016 at 4:11 pm

What sits on the site of the former Granada TV rentals HQ in Bedford, on Ampthill Road nowadays? Also, I remember all the TV rental shops in my town of Kirkcaldy, and one by one they fell away. Visionhire is now a pawnbrokers, Granada is now Boots opticians, multi broadcast is now a bakers, DER became a jewellers, radio rentals became Box clever, and is now Gamestation.

How times have changed!

Joe earing 18 September 2016 at 9:25 pm

I worked for british relay and then visionhire bought them out so I worked for them until 1986,then left.
Had many a good time in the 70’s where has that time gone.

zeitghost 21 September 2016 at 4:31 pm

Worked for Granada in Swansea for 6 months in 1973, then worked for Telebank for another 6 months or so.

The contrast in the customers was quite remarkable, far more houses you’d wipe your feet after leaving with Telebank.

My father worked for Red Dragon Relays in Neath for 16 years until it was taken over by Radio Rentals & he was made redundant.

I got a job with the 3M (Scotch magnetic tape) factory in Gorseinon and stayed there for 4 years servicing Philips N1500 machines used to test the cassettes.

Also played with professional audio (Ampex and Studer A80VU) & video (VR2000) machines before joining a semiconductor company (Siliconix) for 10 years.

After which I worked variously in design & such like & am now working in eduction at the place I did my HNC in Electrical Engineering 40 years ago, the Hotel California of what used to be Swansea Technical College but now has a much much grander title.

stephen pate 1 October 2016 at 11:15 am

i started with DER then vista rentals in waltham cross essex and Golders green nw11 London and now live in Denmark

Ian Gladwell 10 October 2016 at 10:59 pm

My Dad used to Manage the Radio Rentals store in Pinner. Happy days when he used to bring that big old transit van home in the 70’s and as kids x 4 we all sat on that bench seat or rolling around in the back out fixing tv’s. Always had a big old bag of valves in the back… :-)

mike powdrill 11 October 2016 at 5:10 am

I worked for Rumbelows as a service manager at Concorde House Luton in the 70s.Great memories of the guys who worked there, the guy who was the area manager Ron Perry was base behind the shop in Dunstable Road Luton.
Sadly Ron passed away about a week ago at the ripe old age of 94 and his funeral is being held at Newport Pagnell on the 20th of October 2016.Wish i could remember the girls name who looked after the record counter at the Luton branch!
Dos anybody remember Multi Broadcast another Thorn tv rental company

zeitghost 12 October 2016 at 10:28 am

The other thing that puzzled me was why the service dept in the Granada shop in Orchard Street Swansea had to be upstairs on a staircase with a 90 degree bend half way up.

I still remember the trepidation of getting one of those ?Decca? treewood cabinet 26″ console tvs up and down that.

Not to mention knocking the control knobs off the front of a Finlandia tv with the protective cardboard in the back of the van.

Andrew Hillman 18 January 2017 at 8:58 pm

I worked as a group property surveyor at electronic rentals head office in crawley west sussex, we looked after the properties of visionhire, serviscope,there were four of us there David wright,
David Gunn and David Harrison, we also had a presence I the
Preston office, we looked after about 1300 properties between the four of us for repairs, developing new shop fitting schemes, I also had a hand in setting up distribution centres and new serviscope workshops, It was a very busy time in my life,but I
loved every minute of it working with great people in a great company,both in the office and in the field

Andy Donaghue 29 January 2017 at 12:53 pm

I trained as an Electronic Engineer from 1988 to 1993 as there was a trend of Service Engineers leaving the industry ay that time and the ageing workforce needed addressing at that time. I remember from around 1991 the staple repairable products were TV , VCR , Cassette Recorders , Microwaves and HiFi’s. I became a specialist in JVC & Panasonic OEM products but also was trained and accredited on Toshiba, Sony, Aiwa, Hitachi and Samsung. The repair market got devalued massively in the nineties with the “Throw Away” era really started to kick in. During this period I diversified into PC’s and DVD players repairing to module and Laser block level. I left the industry totally in 2003 moving into the IT industry on commercial projects.

Adam Barrington 3 February 2017 at 8:30 pm

I used to work for coop tv service. I had to deliver tv and vcrs and do some servicing. I too put out my back carting tvs up stairs. I always remember in london having to deliver a grundig package up 6 flights of stairs. I used to cover London hemel Hempstead Watford stevenage bedford and cam ridge and all in between. Best job I’ve ever had. Talking about British relay stevenage at the time had an old redifusion system at the time which required tele vertas to change vhf to uhf. When we got the grundig tvs I found they had dual tuners so I could install them without a covered box. This was all in the early 90s

David Biss 28 March 2017 at 6:36 pm

Worked for Granada in Swiss Cottage and Neasden both in London in early 70’s. Good company then fairly modern approach to training in Bedford.
Does anyone know if they had a compulsory pension scheme back then or is it just a dream!!

John Rockley 29 March 2017 at 7:09 pm

In 1968 I started work age 15 and 3 weeks as an apprentice at a small TV electrical shop £2.50 a week wage. Had day release for tech. college for 6 years inc. colour TV. Joined a slightly bigger outfit in 1968.
Joined Granada TV Rental Southampton 1970. Best thing I ever did. Stayed there until the end in 2004. Enhanced redundancy as a union member and got pension 2 years later from ITV and Boxclever pension from age of 65 (don’t know how long that will last as never funded properly!). Great days of final salary pensions, unions and technology that held you in wonder, oh and customers – but yeah they paid our wages, I was so lucky, and still am. I pity the average workers of today, poor condition and exploited unless you are a judge, banker or dare I say – an MP! I’ve enjoyed the best of times!

Robert Clark 16 April 2017 at 10:49 am

Up here in Scotland, we had Focus TV rentals (not connected to the now, also defunct Focus DIY). Focus TV was bought by the local electricity board, SSEB, who also bought out the Scottish operations of Multi Broadcast. I stand to be corrected on that one however.

I remember in the late 1980s, in the SSEB shop in Cowdenbeath, and my parents bought me a nice new 16 inch Thorn television for my bedroom. It worked well, and indeed after I got a new telly in the 1990s, a friend got the Thorn telly, and it lasted until 2002!

When we got the telly home, and set it up, we looked on the back, and although it was branded Thorn on the front, it read on the back “This is the property of Multi Broadcast Television Rentals, Twickenham, Middlesex”.

Most likely one that was made to be rented, but was in fact made for sale instead. Anyone else able to offer an insight?

John Arrowsmith 14 July 2017 at 11:38 pm

I worked for red arrow in the 60’s at Steeley Lane Chorley Lancashire.
Then joined Telehire again in Chorley.

Richard Davies 7 November 2017 at 1:48 pm

I remember my parents rented a set from Granada until late 1984 when they decided we were better off buying a TV on credit.

Only once I remember someone having to come out from Granada to do a repair, in spite of the set looking like it was from the mid 1970s.

Our local Granada shop was in Stockport’s Merseyway. I remember it became a Box Clever in 2001 before closing not much later.

I remember my uncles bought 1 or 2 ex-rental TVs over the years, my Grandad had one until he died in 1999.

Patrick Beaumont 8 November 2017 at 10:51 pm

I started as an apprentice at Radio Rentals Rochester branch on July 1st 1968 I was 18 and had worked as an apprentice/trainee engineer at two smaller firms since 1966. I worked as a TV engineer at Radio Rentals Strood Branch until I left the company on 2nd March 1979 to work as a technician at GEC Marconi Avionics. I enjoyed my time at Radio Rentals very much and have many happy memories-especially of my old workmates.

Doug carter 22 November 2017 at 9:46 pm

I was a driver for visionhire south lancs area , area manager was KM Austin , area engineer was Chas Bodie

David (Dave) Hall 21 December 2017 at 8:28 am

I worked for Robinson Rentals as a Television Engineer in the 60’s – Then about 1968 David Robinson, the race horse owner who owned the company, sold out to Granada. I continued to work for Granada TV Rentals until 1981 by which time I was a District Operations Manager (DOM) but times were tight and they were looking for managers to take voluntary redundancy, which I did – I worked and managed shops in Reading, Newbury, Bracknell, Slough and Camberley – I still have back problems from lifting heavy TV’s around

Chris Newman 17 January 2018 at 11:34 am

I worked for Rentaset in Harlow as an areial rigger.Radio Rentals took over ,I passed exams and became an engineer, eventually a senior service manger under Mike Edmunds and John Bevan ,oh happy days ! went back to servicing ,liked being out on the road ,.RR started to go down hill for various reasons ,got transfered to Hornchurch,Harlow again,Chelmsford and then Henlow ,miles from where I lived for a year and hated every moment .Evenually made redundant with relief but a lot of sadness for the past .RR was great company and happy times .still meet up with old workmates workmates and see old customers .

Paul Barsford 18 February 2018 at 11:07 pm

I delivered spare parts to many Visionhire workshops throughout the London area in the late 1960s’1970s, the Technicians were great guys to deal with, I made many friends there and would love to find out where the guys from the Ealing Branch and Hanwell workshop are today.

Does any one remember where Douglas the bearded Scottish Union Representative and Jim (Jack) the Field Technician went after Visionhire’s demise?

Robert Walker 21 March 2018 at 12:24 pm

I did my apprenticeship with Visionhire Glasgow from 1975 through to 1980 and was then made redundant as I had never passed my driving test, like others though I was bit annoyed at the way the B Relay deal was handled, their apprentices and engineers were all on a different wage structure and some of them did appear to get all the good jobs. Anyway in hindsight I guess with the career and life I have now managed to have, that I am pretty pleased that I got made redundant when I did. Good memories of Visionhire in Byres Rd Glasgow, Balmore Est and Garrowhill amongst some other local areas.

Jeremy Silwood 22 May 2018 at 3:57 am

Hi all I worked for Visionhire in the late 1980s at Horsham and had a great time very fond of the company as assistant shop manager and had a great manager Mr Ted Leach. Left and went to work with Radio Rentals in Redhill after Granada stuff and found RR a really PRAT LOT so left and started a taxi business for 24 years never been happier.
Very very fond memories of 0830 Vision hire Horsham ,now live in Shetland working part time for Tescos retire in 2 months just me the dogs gardening and my books God bless you all

Trevor Dyer 24 July 2018 at 5:34 pm

I worked for Radio Rentaset in 1968 at Newquay most of the engineers worked for Rentaset since the late 1950s. Sobell,s were the main tv/ radios being rented.
Then Thorn took over Radio Rentals with Rentaset, we then repaired Bairds, then Thorn group manufactures like Fergusons HMV with D.E.R and Multibroadcast thorn chassis etc. Then in 1969 we had colour TVs, mostly Baird .I worked on the 700/710 series then Thorn 3000 then TX9.Our area manager was Reg Baker at Plymouth, area engineer Alf Kings. In 1980 I became senior of
I gave up the post in 1990s as so many branches were joining together. Homeserve became the new name we were selling different electrical items, white goods.
Washing machines kept some techs very busy. I remember then we had Ian Horgan Stuart Ingle as managers Mike Thomas Regional manager. A lot of redundancies happened in the 1990s My back problem and other health issues assisted me to take redundancy in 1995.All the Radio & TV theory named brands, & engineers of those sets are now History. Trevor Dyer.

Robert Clark 22 August 2018 at 6:30 pm

I seem to remember, just before the Granada/Radio Rentals merger, that the latter tried to revive the concept of TV rentals, in Glenrothes. Radio Rentals moved from their old premises in the Kingdom Centre, which is now a butchers, and went up to the old Granada unit! The new shop was called “Radio Rentals Express”.

Whatever it was meant to be, it didn’t last long!

Just after Granada closed their shop in Glenrothes, Radio Rentals ran an advert in the local paper in the town, Glenrothes Gazette, telling you why Radio Rentals was better than Granada, and answering questions you may have had. The advert finished by saying “The only question you’ll be asking is ‘Do you really care if the Granada shop is closed’?”

Roger Yeo 10 November 2018 at 3:32 pm

I worked in Red Dragon Relays, Neath from 1960 until 1971. The firm had started in the back of a pharmacist shop (Red Dragon Pharmacy) in New Street, Neath in the 1930’s when the pharmacist, Melville Thomas started dabbling with radio in the back of his shop. Radio reception was almost impossible in the valley towns in those days and it let to the development of a radio relay system. Cables were run along streets with a feed into customers homes providing four programmes with a rotary selector and a speaker. In the early days it was known locally as “Melvilles Radio” and when Melville died it was taken over by his son, Raymond. The firm went into television relays and rentals (in the 1960’s a 17″ TV set could be rented for 7 shillings and 6 pence per week). There were two shops in Neath, two in Port Talbot and others in Swansea, Llanelli, Burry Port, Bridgend, Aberdare, Mountain Ash, Abercynon, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Oswestry. It took over Traders Television in Port Talbot. Soon after I left the firm was taken over by Maple McCoward, and then, I think, Radio Rentals. The advent of repeater transmitters like Kilvey Hill at Swansea was a factor in the demise of cable television.

Stephen Easton 20 February 2019 at 4:43 am

This all brings back memories. I was apprenticed to Radio Rentals in August 1972 in Maidstone, Kent. Just as with Stephen Randall I was sent to Highbury Technical college in Cosham, Hampshire where I was taught electronics from Sept 72 to June 74. Fond memories of Mr Brown. A City and Guilds was the result. I also worked for Mastercare twice. First when it was called Curry’s Group Service and again as Mastercare, oh boy did they have delusions of grandeur. I also did the rounds and had a brief stint at Redifusion and Southern Rentals later bought out by Redifusion. I hated almost all of it. It was becoming increasingly difficult almost impossible to keep up with for no more money in fact less !! I emigrated to America where I changed to car audio and then I did 10 years at Motorola which was a very different kettle of fish. All of it was awful. SO glad I bought a truck and became a trucker.

Paul Barsford 7 July 2019 at 4:12 am

VISIONHIRE-EALING/HANWELL. Hi any one who worked at these Visionhire branches in West London i would love to hear from you….Happy Days…somtimes!!if any on

steve collins 8 August 2019 at 5:12 am

Hi All

Does anyone remember Loyds Surevision ( Part of Philips )

Barbara Walker 28 August 2019 at 11:58 am

I worked for visionhire for about 8 years after leaving school in the 70s. Best job and best memories of my entire working life. One of my best memories is of the best boss I ever had,probably no longer with us but often in my thoughts. Kind,caring and full of wisdom. To this day his wise quotes still influence my life. Remembering with love, Bernie Outram, Branch Manager, Brentwood, Essex

Michael J Moore 13 November 2019 at 5:55 am

Started working at Trafalgar Radio & TV Greenwich London in 1963 then taken over by British Relay then Visionhire then Granada TV until I left in 1998. If I had my time again I would not have changed a thing, great time, great staff at all levels that I have worked with over the years. Still miss the company car! So many happy times.

Ian Carby 26 November 2019 at 9:39 am

Well I worked at Visionhire Hanwell, then moved to West Ealing and on to Hounslow, back to West Ealing and ended up at Hersham in Surrey.
My first company car was a bright green Simca 1100, followed by Ford Escort Estates (great car), then the ubiquitous Mini Metro (worst choice the company made).
Good times at Visionhire, lots of hard work and taught me a lot. I guessed what was to become of the company after the Granada takeover so moved over to ob’s.

DEREK ALLTREE 4 January 2020 at 12:35 am

I was a Rep for British Relay TV Rentals in Manchester in the 1970s.The main branch was at Woolley Street in the City Centre.My branches were Sale in Cheshire Stockport and later as a manager in the Cheetham Hill branch.
One of my jobs was advertising “No Deposit Colour Tv Rental ” in the Manchester Evening News,installing them and collecting rental monies
from the coin timer box on the back of the TV…If I didnt have a decent colour TV to rent out to a new client..I would look through my Client lists of bad debts for the TV I needed and go and reposses the TV, clean it up and re rent it to a new client.. I cannot imagine ever doing that now…but back then everyone rented a TV…and I made good cash then and drove a brand new British Relay company Simca Van.
My Cheetham Hill Branch was always being broken into and small electrical appliances stolen..Ahhh..! those were the days..all good fun.

Terry Norris 26 February 2020 at 2:42 pm

Wow. Great reading all these memories.
my first job from school was in 75 was in the piano workshop working for Squire Of Ealing. I never had the qualifications to get into my passion back then of electronics but Squires seemed an obvious place to be to get your foot in the door. I spent most of my lunch breaks upstairs in the television workshop asking questions and watching the guys fix telly’s lol. A position came up the trainee tv engineer but got turned down because of lack of qualification box ticking on cv.
I was gutted but determined and wrote to every tv rental service company I could find within reasonable travelling distance.
Finally got a break and joined British Relay TV at their main repair depot in Hanwell, trumpers way. had a great few yrs there until VisionHire took over in 78 where a yr later I was made redundant due to them deciding to close the depot down and make those bench engineers mobile or redundant. I had no choice because I didn’t drive at the time. Great times had there. Anyone know or remember me Terry Norris or know some of these ladies and gents I worked with? In the telephone call centre was a leggy long dark haired girl called Janette. Her best friend Deborah….think her surname was Parnell and she lived in Hayes. Susan ball (lived in Southall) although I heard several yrs ago that she had sadly passed away sigh!
Engineers. Chas Chaudry. Arif Rizby Dave Moran? 2 supervises both Johns and one being Saunders. his Nic name was “ball bag” lol. Sam cox in the stores, big affro hair which was strange being he was a white dude.
lots of others inc manager mr woods ?? looked like Max Bygraves lol. Good fun with the G6 chassis and big pye hybrid with PL802 Luminance valve. 19″ b/w set using a dual standard valve chassis Pye 11u I think? Later, relay started mugging customers off, coning them into thinking they were getting a brand new 20″ 4 push button tuner modern set and of cause charging higher rent for it.
Infact they had a factory building purely 20″ and 24″ cabinets c/w CRT and a 4 button uhf tuner…that was it. They be sent to Hanwell, where we had to take the chassis from an old 11u set that had knackered tube, put it in this new cabinet, solder up the system switch for 625 only and few other mods and pass it off as a brand new set to the customer. total rip off and yes it really was allowed to happen.
Anyway. after redundant. got back to Squires and did the bench and field repairs on all the common stuff we grew up with such as G8,G9,G11,Thorn TX Decca Bradford, KT3,K30. ITT. Salora. Relay BTW rented out a set made by Zanussi….yes they made a telly and one that caught fire. It had a thyristor line output stage I think? And if one went short? the set caught fire. I think VisionHire were sued for a house burned down, being who took over Relay.. Anyway moving on left Squire after the family sold the business to CGS (currys) and was forced to join Mastercare or be made redundant. I worked from their High Wycombe office, long since gone and now a B&Q and Halfords. Hated them. worst company in the world to work for. Then joined the services sound and vision corp (SSVC) where I had 15 wonderful yrs until……yes you guessed it….redundant. Now work at the Oracle Corp in Reading Thames Valley Park. Looking after all their tech issues. Anyone remember me?? give us a shout.

ROBERT AULD 11 March 2020 at 10:02 pm

I worked with Focus tv in Scotland from early 80s to late 80s, I was based in Livingston, then depot moved to Cowdenbeth Fife. I was a installer of Tv and Video’s and Audio Music tower systems ETC. I had a petrol transit van you got with the job, I really enjoyed working their. anyone else from Focus get in touch.

Robert Clark 21 March 2020 at 12:14 pm

Robert Auld, Cowdenbeath isn’t too far from me. When was it that Focus TV rental finally got taken over by SSEB, and subsequently closed down?

David 23 March 2020 at 4:33 am

I’m interested in the technology. The I saw mentioned “low frequency” re: the cabling.

Was this baseband video? What was the maximum cable length without a repeater?

David 23 March 2020 at 4:47 am

I’m interested in the technology. I saw
which mentioned “low frequency” so I wonder if it was baseband
video. What was the distance between repeaters?

Ken Williams. 17 May 2020 at 10:24 pm

I started in 1956 with a small local TV company called Piped TV (Wales) ltd, it was taken over by Rediffusion, & then Granada TV, worked there until 1996, seen many changes in My time there,( not always for the best), The rental market was the best thing since sliced bread in those early days due to the constant break down with the products, then as the TV’’s, Video’s etc were more reliable it was the start of the End of the Rental market, & the Beginning of the End of Granada TV . I took Early Retirement after 40 Yrs service,( with a Good Pension,) I was one of the lucky ones to Finish at the right time, many of My friends weren’t so fortunate as I was, My Early Yrs’ were by far more Enjoyable than the latter Yrs’, ‘Why,’ because Targets were introduced to Us Installers & Technicians,

Richard Collins 3 September 2020 at 10:09 am

Hi, very intrested in IAN CARBY’S experience at Visionhire West Ealing.
Ian do you remeber a Technician named Jim, he worked in West ealing during the early 1970s’? It would be great to hear from you.

Glenn P 16 September 2020 at 10:08 pm

Having worked as a bench tech at Serviscope Visionhire till the company failed in 91 , I knew the rental market had reached the end of the road a decade later when a 7.5 ton lorry unloaded unwanted Boxclever TVs and hifis as a couple of salespeople attempted to sell the bubble wrapped items in the car park of the Safeway supermarket in Harwich Essex !.

Keith Anderson 24 September 2020 at 7:39 am

Aye I mind On Focus TV. Hid a aboot 3 TVs Fae them over the years Like. Keeping each TV for aboot 3 years at a Time until I fancied a Wee Upgrade in Size and Later On I got the matching Philips Video Recorder to Go with the Philip’s TV like.

Steve collins 12 November 2020 at 8:25 pm

Wondered if anyone knows David Morris , Norman crisp,tony hunt,Roy Jackson,Keith Gordon,Peter beech,Karen Holland,Keith Williamson,John Hyde,all worked at Collis of the midlands turned into Loyds surevision

Roger Lill 25 April 2021 at 6:44 pm

Hi, I worked with Norman Crisp and Roy Jackson at Radio Rentals, West Bromwich.

Darren Hayward 15 September 2021 at 11:23 pm

The Baird products from Radio Rentals, DER and Multi Broadcast were re-branded Ferguson TX and JVC products

William B 25 March 2022 at 3:30 am

Worked for British Relay Tv in Tadman St Wakefield. Had the best Manager ever there, Jack Trippleton and learnt so much from all the other engineers. Had just started field service work when Visionhire took over British Relay. It all ended up in tears in Wakefield as there were two shops in town a Relay one and a Visionhire one and from memory the Visionhire one closed. Most of the Visionhire lads did not like having to service Relays diverse range of products and Relay lads did not like having to fit second hand parts. I left to join Mastercare and talk about out of the frying pan into the fire. I was so fed up that I joined IMI Copperworks as an Electronics technician for two years and then left to join Comet Radiovision at Wakefield.

Robert Clark 13 May 2022 at 10:36 pm

I’ve got a model railway layout, set in Lanarkshire in 1990, on Facebook and Youtube. It’s called “Clydebridge Station”, and last year, I built a low relief branch of Radio Rentals for the street scene. There’s a video on Youtube, of me building it!

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