Norwich company’s links to new X-Men and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy films revealed

Ever wondered where producers find the vintage televisions and radios they need for films and programmes set in the past? A shop tucked away in a quiet Norwich street might have the answer.

The Vintage TV and Wireless Company in Millers Lane, north Norwich, stocks electronic items dating from the 1920s to the 1970s and has recently supplied TVs and radios to some of the top US and UK films and TV programmes,

It hired out TV sets dating back to the 1950s and 1960s to the producers of the recent X-Men film, X-Men:First Class starring James McAvoy.

It also hired out TVs for the forthcoming film Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy starring Gary Oldman.

The recent BBC drama The Hour, set in the 1950s starring Dominic West, also hired out TVs, which are now back in the Norwich shop.

The company also repairs, services and restores all kinds of vintage electronic equipment from wireless sets to old vacuum cleaners.

Owner Rob Howard, 34, who lives in Norwich and does the repairs himself, said: 'The business started 10 years ago and we are now celebrating the anniversary.

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'The business started off as my hobby in the back of a shed at my parents' home and it's just built up over the years. I have picked up equipment at bring and buy sales, at auctions, and we get equipment in for service, so the stock, now numbering in the hundreds, has just accumulated over the years.

'When we first hired equipment to TVs and films, a buyer for a props department was just looking for radios over the internet, and did not realise that we could also supply TVs and other stuff, so it took off from there.

'We've now got about 30 TVs and 100 radios to hire out. We also sell vintage equipment from the shop, which is open daily, although it will soon be closed for a month.'

In the past the company has also provided more than 50 radios to production company Working Title for the film The Boat That Rocked about a band of pirate DJs that captivated Britain in the 1960s.

It also provides equipment for various events including birthday parties and shop fronts.

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Have you got a story about a new shop or business coming to Norwich? Call Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email