Purley Radio started out as a lamp and chandelier shop run by Stewart Spiers and his mother, she ran the Scotch cake shops in Purley and Redhill. It was soon selling radios and although Stewart was a brilliant man was no engineer, he needed a service engineer.
Stewarts brother Dennis seen here with his mother was a camera operator at Alexandra Palace. Richard still had a motorbike and twice took Stewart to see Dennis at work, they saw him at work and met Silvia Peters who was the first BBC announcer.
My father had an alsatian called Rex, his father would not allow him in the house so he lived in the shop, later in life he lost the use of his back legs so my father made a two wheeled trolley straped to his back so he could get around.
In 1953 Stewarts twin brother was killed in a car accident and decided to sell the business, Richards father put up the money to buy him out and at the same time they purchased for first company van. In 1954 Purley Radio was hiring out public address equipment and the second van was used as a base for mobile use.
Fast forward to the sixties
I have tried so hard to date this photograph using my knowledge of products of the time ie razors, fridges, cine projectors and green shield stamps but it is not easy to narrow down, my best guess is late 60’s. There is one thing missing and the cracked window in the shop entry walkway tells me the train set has gone. Richard and Bob Mann who worked for him in the shop cut a slot in the window with a slide to a control box, children could put in a penny and a toy train would chug around the products in the window, all proceeds for charity of course. When the shoot was removed the glass cracked.