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Old 19th May 2020, 9:39 am   #21
Station X
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuvistor View Post
Just had a look at The Short Wave mag for June 1990 and Lowe advertise shops in:-
Glasgow, Darlington, Cambridge, Barry, London, Bournemouth and Matlock.
By 1994, they were in

London (Heathrow)
Newcastle (near Airport)
Cumbernauld (near Glasgow)
Bristol
Cambridge
Bournemouth
Leeds
Maidstone
Plymouth

And of course still in Matlock.
The shop I remember in London was located in the basement of a tailor's shop in the Kings Cross area I think. It was a long time ago.

They appear to have moved round a bit, also located in Eastcote.
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Old 19th May 2020, 9:48 am   #22
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

I think around 2000 they went in the commercial PMR/marine radio and dropped the amateur stuff. Probably when John Wilson retired. I remember Ray Withers G4KZH (owner of Raycom) telling me in the 80's what a pain it was to deal with amateurs and he wished that all ham sets were supplied with welded lids so they couldn't get in there and adjust stuff and then claim it was faulty. Chris G0EYO
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Old 19th May 2020, 11:44 am   #23
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

My memory is probably a bit rusty but as far as I can remember Lowe was well established with expending numbers of retail stores around the country with a manufacturing base in Matlock. Our loocal store in Bristol was on Gloucester Road Patchway.
The design for their receivers was done by John Thorpe the, HF125, HF225 and the HF150 finally the HF250 which doesn't appear so widely distributed. John then went on to do the AOR7030 which bears a family resemblance to the earlier Lowe models. Manufacturing seem to scale back on the run up to 2000 and some products were transferred to SMC (South Midlands Communication) who carried on making the HF150 and a few other accessories. Meanwhile Lowe were closing retail operations and concentrating on Professional communication products like Tetra. They sold off their stock of HF spares late 2000 and the rest of the retail sales moved to Walter and Stanton. Also AOR also seemed to close their base in Matlock and their sales operation is now also with Walter and Stanton. I expect the decline was in part due to the changing market for SW listening and the loss of the Plessey chip sets which were the key to these Lowe receivers.
I'm sure others can add more.
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Old 19th May 2020, 1:02 pm   #24
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

You know I think I've got one of those Dave. I recognise the cover and can even visualise the pile it's in up "North"

Sorry about the stars [not in my eyes but post 18*] folks. I'm still being ambushed by runaway txt and have to shut down. I was going to say more but what

We do seem to have got up to date though. It's all the sad story of a time "that will not come again" really.

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Old 19th May 2020, 3:12 pm   #25
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

Thanks to all who replied : I have a clear answer to my original question.Some supplementaries if I maythe February 1986 SWM article refers to Bill Lowe 'returning' to the UK. I had always thought he was Canadian. The same article relates how Bill is semi retired but temporarily looking after the Bournemouth shop. I am surprised that they seem to have faded away over a period with the identity disappearing in late 2000. It would be useful to trawl back over the magazines post 1986 but they are only available as soft copies ranging from GBP14.99 for a years' worth of Radcom to a courageous GBP79.99 for a certain practical publication. Interesting subject but not [I]that[I]interesting!

Best Wishes

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Old 19th May 2020, 5:08 pm   #26
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

Did I see an announcement that Radcom was to be available on-line to RSGB members.... I seem to think the wording suggested that meant the back copy archive. Well, there have to be some tangible benefits to being a member!

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Old 19th May 2020, 5:51 pm   #27
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

I may well have helpful Radcom's but in the North A lot of these things are worth nothing until you try to buy one, Radio Times for example

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Old 20th May 2020, 1:05 am   #28
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KW2000A View Post
It would be useful to trawl back over the magazines post 1986 but they are only available as soft copies ranging from GBP14.99 for a years' worth of Radcom to a courageous GBP79.99 for a certain practical publication. Interesting subject but not [I]that[I]interesting!

Best Wishes

Phil
SWM for most of the 1990's and some 2000's in electronic format are available here https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Short_Wave_UK.htm and won't cost anything.

Also several other mags that may be interesting available at the same site.
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Old 20th May 2020, 7:45 am   #29
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

Thanks Terry - yes, I am addicted to the american radio history website. Unfortunately at least one UK amateur radio publication has been removed from the site to comply, I believe, with the demands of the publisher. Not so helpful for the researcher who may only need summary information rather than purchasing a high quality soft copy.

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Old 20th May 2020, 11:39 am   #30
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

Radcom February 2001 - W&S announces they have a new showroom in Matlock ie they have taken over/merged with Lowe.
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Old 20th May 2020, 1:53 pm   #31
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

I often called in to the old shop (a wooden hut basically?) up Matlock Bank but only recall meeting Bandit Bill once. My wife and I knew his two sons quite well - one involved in the business and the other working elsewhere but also a singer in a rock band (Saracen?)
The new shop on Chesterfield Road was a much more professional operation - designed by one of the employees who was an architect, or an architect who became one of the employees. It was always so friendly - one could lurk around all day.
I had no idea that they had shops in other areas.
I met my girlfriend through an employee there.
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Old 20th May 2020, 3:12 pm   #32
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

I remember Lowe's ads in the 1980s pouring scorn on the then-popular "Kenwood" grey-imports, and pointing out that only Lowe's were the UK agents for Trio radios. One ad I recall said that every Trio bought from Lowe's came with a 'Passport to service' which guaranteed repairs, and that this was - of course - not available to those evil bootleg-import Kenwood radios.

These days someone would have probably taken him to court for 'unfair constraints to trade' or similar.

Only thing I remember buying from Lowe's was a 40-channel CB27/81 radio, just about the time B was legalized. It was one of the better-engineered ones compared with some of the clearly-rushed-to-market offerings proffered by other makers.
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Old 21st May 2020, 7:45 pm   #33
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

As Chris said, the next Thorpe product was the AOR AR7030 which was announced in 1995. I thought this was developed and manufactured in Matlock as a local branch of the Japane company.I see it cost 799.
See mwcircle.org review for a picture and review
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:58 pm   #34
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

Lowes sponsored Australian entrepreneur and aviator Dick Smith on his 1983 solo round the world helicopter flight. I think they supplied him with some comms gear - probably HF radios. He made a brief stop in Matlock on his route, possibly landing on the adjacent Highfields school field, but strangely it is not mentioned in his large format 'Solo Round the World' book of the adventure. It is not shown as a waypoint on the maps. I recall that at least one of the staff at Lowes was given a large padded jacket that Dick no longer needed as the rest of his journey from that point was in warmer climes. Apparently Dick found a bullet hole in the tail boom of the JetRanger!
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Old 22nd May 2020, 2:00 pm   #35
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

A page from the book "The Earth Beneath Me" about Dicks solo journey showing the radio station at Lowes in Matlock.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Lowe.pdf (269.1 KB, 51 views)
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Old 22nd May 2020, 2:10 pm   #36
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

IIRC, in their early days, they were Yeasu dealers. Then all of sudden Trio was the greatest thing.

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Old 23rd May 2020, 11:08 am   #37
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

Thanks for that, Terry. I was not aware of that book so will look out for it.
I recognise all the faces, and I think the 'David' pointing at the map is possibly the chap who designed the building.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 2:05 pm   #38
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

http://dicksmithadventure.com.au/

Go to the Articles and Books tab and you can download it (genuine non pirated free download).
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Old 24th May 2020, 10:58 pm   #39
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

Nice pic there - Last month I wanted to listen to Manchester control tower talking in aircraft so I found my BC-220 which I hadn't used in years. "Will it work?" Indeed it did, very nicely, intuitive to use
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Old 25th May 2020, 1:27 pm   #40
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Default Re: Lowe Electronics, Matlock, UK.

Thanks again Terry - I have always been impressed by the man, but in the words of an old Cockney work colleague, "He's had a right go at it" - meaning life.
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