It must be thirty years old. I know it was my grandmother’s because it’s a Boot’s 14 inch. (Why Boot’s got involved in such a business is a mystery). My grandmother bought everything in Boot’s, my grandfather, who died in 1972, had worked for them and I assume my grandmother got some discount as a Boot’s pensioner.
My grandmother died in January 1987 and I remember bringing back from England in the back of my little red Austin Metro, along with an assortment of other items. It’s been in the attic for the last seven and a half years and has not been used since November 1990 when we bought our first colour set, which is still going strong, wired up to Sky satellite, Sony Playstation and an Xbox.
I remember watching a Sunday cricket match on it once in the late 1970s; Somerset scored 150 runs and were beaten easily.
The Boot’s set was covered in dust, but had to be moved because we are moving house on Tuesday. With a good degree of apprehension, I plugged it in and stood back. Something that had not been attached to the mains for more than fifteen years might object to such a sudden injection of power.
There was fuzziness and I turned the tuning knob and there loud and clear was TG4 the Irish language channel. Miriam turned our ordinary television to TG4 to compare and contrast. No doubt about it, Irish was just as incomprehensible to me in black and white as it is in colour.
I was disappointed in a way; I had rather hoped that it might be filled with programmes like ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ and ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ and all those other terrible Saturday evening programmes from the 1970s. I remember someone who had a vintage wireless complaining on one occasion that they could no longer get Athlone or Hilversum.
A wipe down and it will be moving back into service in the house that will serve as home for the next eighteen months. Like the Green Goddess fire engines that the British Government wheels out ever couple of decades, it is being recalled to active duty.
My grandmother, who saved elastic bands, paper bags, pieces of string, and was frugal to the utmost degree, would approve greatly.