Shop to turn vintage stereos gift into charity cash

This Is Wiltshire: Alan Holmes with one of the vintage stereos Buy this photo Alan Holmes with one of the vintage stereos

ECHOES of Swindon’s proud history as a maker of high-class stereos are being heard at Holmes Music.

The shop in Faringdon Road has recently taken delivery of several music centres, the youngest of which seems to date back about 45 years.

Now Alan Holmes from the long-established Faringdon Road business is trying to decide what to do with them.

Options include having them displayed in a museum and selling them to a collector in aid of a charity dear to the family’s heart.

Mr Holmes said: “They came here a few weeks ago from a customer who is moving into a smaller property. He said, ‘Would you like them, Alan?’

“I said I would, though to be honest they would probably have been thrown away if I hadn’t taken them.”

The machines include two large His Master’s Voice (HMV) pieces, one a Stereogram and the other a Stereomaster. Online searches among enthusiasts’ sites suggest they were made in the late 1970s or possibly at the turn of the 1970s.

Each is encased in heavy wood and looks like a sideboard with a row of dials at the front. Heavy lids are lifted to reveal turntables made by Garrard, the Swindon firm which was a byword for hi-fi excellence until cheap imports flooded the market and wiped out many British manufacturers.

The other machines include an older Murphy record player. Some of the machines are in working order and all feature glass tubes rather than transistors.

Mr Holmes is open to approaches from collectors. Any money raised would go to the Goldenhar Family Support Group, for which the shop has raised more than £50,000.

The group offers information and support for people with Goldenhar Syndrome, a bone condition which affects the face and sometimes the vertebrae.

There are 75 sufferers in the UK, one of whom is Mr Holmes’ grandson, Pride of Swindon Award winner Morgan Sharpe.

Holmes Music can be contacted on 01793 534095.

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