Friday, February 22, 2008


Back in 1964, when I was in my last year at primary school, Mods and Rockers ruled!
You had to be either a Mod or a Rocker, if you liked The Beatles you were a Mod, if you liked The Rolling Stones you were a Rocker. (Well, thats the way we saw it back at school)
You would be stopped in the street by kids that asked "Are you a Mod or a Rocker? Sometimes you had to judge whether they looked Mod or Rocker - a bit like Trick or Treat!
My Dad had a scooter - a Lambretta, and when I started secondary school Dad took me to school on my first day on his Lambretta. I can see it parked in the porch outside the coal shed and hear it's wonderful sound in my head. A woolley, smooth sound, like the Mods and their Vespas and Lambrettas!
Why am I writing this?
Last night I watched the film 'Quadrophenia' on television for the first time.
I always thought that Quadrophenia was a musical film like 'Pinball Wizard' because of the album by 'The Who' so tended to avoid it. Wow, not so...this was probably one of the best films I have seen for a while. It was filmed in 1979, but represented 'Mods' back in 1964.
A real classic!

Friday, February 08, 2008

J. Birkett

At every Radio Rally I went to you could always rely on the 'Birkett' stall! This guy sells cheap, reliable and hard to find components and in bulk as well! You could buy 'untested' semiconductors that would normally cost a fortune and they always worked. The Leicester Rally was a dream, but the biggest and best was Birkett. I would spend ages looking through the little wooden display boxes to find things that I wanted or would be useful in the future.

Capacitors, tuning capacitors, RF Transistors, minature relays, leds, name it he had it! Probably the best supplier in the country at rallies and by post. Sometimes he had some of the more unusual stuff. In the loft I have a UHF SWR bridge and Power Meter made from one bought for £2 from Birkett and UHF Relays that I used on my 23cm transverter along with the PA Transistors that cost about £3 at the time.

Above is a picture that I found of his shop in Aladdin's Cave!