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Seventies hi-fi is music to my ears
2:00pm Saturday 16th February 2013 in News
A RECENT Remember When about old Adver hi-fi adverts brought back a flood of memories for Fergie Hewer.
We had to delve into our 1971 archive to remind ourselves what state-of-the-art stereos looked like back then, but retired businessman Mr Hewer only had to stroll into his living room.
More than four decades ago, the 66-year-old, who lives near the town centre, went to Duck Son and Pinker in Bridge Street, handed over about £300 and became the proud owner of a Dynatron SRX 25.
In those days the average weekly wage was about £30, so it was a big investment.
Dynatron is no more, and the same goes for Duck Son and Pinker, but the SRX 25 is still going strong.
Our article reminded Mr Hewer of a favourite shop, a favourite shopkeeper and an era when a faulty product earned the customer lunch with company directors.
“I got my first Dynatron from Mr Simmonds at Duck Son and Pinker for about £60,” he said.
“That was a deck in a cabinet. I had it for about two years.
“I saved up and bought this one, and sold the other one to my brother. He gave me what I paid for it.
“I went back to Mr Simmonds and saw this one – I’ve got the brochures and leaflets from 1971.
“The stylus went wrong and I took it to Mr Simmonds.
“He phoned Dynatron in Maidenhead and they said I should bring it to them. I got to the station and phoned them, they picked me up and the directors took me for lunch.”
Naturally, they also replaced the stylus.
Mr Simmonds of Duck Son and Pinker was Ken Simmonds, a respected and highly cultured local character.
He was in charge of records and audio equipment. He was a fanatical opera buff and had many hundreds of opera records, including original recordings by Caruso.
Mr Hewer remembers hearing a piece of music on an old televisuion drama called Dr Finlay’s Casebook, and describing it to the music expert the next day.
“Mr Simmonds pulled out a record but it wasn’t the right one. Then he pulled out another – Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Rachmaninoff – and it was. I bought it from him.”
Mr Simmonds was no TV fan, though. Mr Hewer recalled: “He said, ‘My boy, I would not spend my time watching such a machine’.”
Duck Son and Pinker was founded in Bath by William Duck in 1848, and the Swindon branch is thought to have opened in 1925.
It closed in 2007, having previously contracted from two floors to one. All that remains now is a sign painted on the wall of the former premises. The Bath shop lasted until 2011.
Dynatron barely survived the 1970s as an active brand, with the company being sold a number of times, but its machines are cherished by devotees. The most prominent fansite is www.dynatronmuseum.org.uk