Tuesday 17 January 2012


by Dave Roberts

Hot on the heels of this picture of Harry Jackson, proudly showing off Whiston's smart new TV van in the early 1960s, comes another one from the same source showing Harry outside the Radio and TV shop itself.

Again, we think this is one from the early 1960s, though it may be slightly earlier judging from the radios and the one solitary TV set on show in the right hand window. The style of that set shows us that we're well into the Granada TV era (we refuse to use the boring, generic 'ITV' label) and those windows are a perfect time-capsule of what look, at first glance, like TV and radio trade names of the past. But, strange to say, all three of the names represented here - Bush, Pye and His Masters Voice - are still in business and their trade marks still used, albeit in modified form.

The most evocative, of course is 'His Master's Voice', now masquerading as 'HMV' with a barely recognisable dog and gramophone graphic derived from the original oil painting by Francis Barraud

The dog, as any trivia fan worth his salt will know, was called Nipper. You'll note that, back in  Harry Jackson's day, the Gramophone Company Ltd was still using reproductions of the original painting and the full 'His Master's Voice' title. And so they should.

The painting and trademark was also used by RCA (Radio Corporation of America) which, under the name RCA Victor had a reciprocal arrangement with His Master's Voice to release British records in the USA and vice versa.

And the RCA Victor company in turn had an offshoot in Japan - the Japanese Victor Company, which was the origin of the well-known and still thriving Japanese electronics firm JVC. Such are the convoluted connections and interweavings of the electronics industry.

Any Middlewich resident of a certain age will recognise Whiston's distinctive house style in the shop name and the fine shaded lettering used for the words Radio & TV and Cycles.
Whoever did the sign-writing was a master of the art.
Harry, of course, fits into the scene with his usual style and panache.

Facebook feedback:

Geraldine Williams I see in the later view of Whiston's the sign which you admire so much has gone and been replaced by a more modern (and boring) sign which incorporates the MOT logo. This building was also the Whiston family home and had an entrance door round the side.

Dave Roberts Yes, the whole place ended up festooned with FORD dealership signs and lost its quirky individuality. I hate bland corporate images like that. 'ITV' in case you haven't noticed, is one of my least favourites. An excellent regional TV network wrecked in pursuit of profit.


  1. Have you any idea what the carpet shop on Hightown originally was? I have been told it was a bank but then someone else has said it was a place to collect your dole? Also have you any pics?

  2. I remember there being a branch of the Trustees Savings Bank on Hightown, but I've an idea that was at the shop which is now Jennie Edwards. I'll put your comment on our Facebook group to see if anyone can come up with anything. Thanks for your interest.

  3. I remember Mr. Jackson myself. A grand chap. Looking at the photo of the shop brings back memories. I can almost smell the interior.
    I'm not certain where the carpet shop is, but there was a Labour Exchange (a dole office) in Hightown in the 'Seventies.

  4. Yes Daniel the carpet shop was the labour exchange (think it was in the sixties)


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