AS we carried out our weekly shop on the high street, we’d smell the aroma of freshly baked bread from the bakery. Soon we’d pass the butchers displaying the finest cuts. Which other establishments would we see whilst doing the weekly shop? Newsagents for sure. Fruit and veg shops, furniture shops, the hardware shop, electrical shops and maybe a record shop.
There’s a strong likelihood that we’d also come across a shop stacked with bulky TV sets. Step inside, shimmy your way around the rectangular boxes and make it to the counter. There’s no one in sight so you call out a friendly Hello? “Just a sec!” is the reply. A minute later, the flustered looking proprietor greets you. Welcome to the TV Repair shop!
Why would we bring our TV’s here? Why not just buy a new one? Well we were still in the let’s get it fixed stage and had not entered the recycle and buy a new one era.
Issue #1: A solid, dark, horizontal line continuously running down the screen whilst watching our favourite show. In frustration we’d give the disobedient television set a couple of hard slaps around the top and sides. The last resort was the TV repair shop.
Issue #2: We’d ask family members to move around the room with the indoor aerial and shout “Stop!” when the picture looked half decent. Sadly the poor family members could not transform themselves into statues and hold their position for the entire evening. No other option… a trip to the repair shop.
Issue #3: Watching a programme and suddenly a normal sized human becomes elongated. They have taken on ghost-like features and the innocent programme has turned into a freak show. Repair shop here we come!
It was quite a challenge getting the disobedient TV set out the front door for the journey to the repair shop. Those TV sets were hefty and tricky to manoeuvre down a hallway. You’d have to watch your fingers whilst going round sharp bends! A second pair of hands was required to open doors and ensure the route out was free from obstructions (electrical cords and vacuum cleaner attachments). Tripping and dropping a faulty TV could well result in broken body parts!
The TV repair shops were busy and a good business to be involved in if you had the know-how. They were not the most attractive of places – many appeared dark due to the sheer amount of TV sets in the window blocking out the light. We needed them – many of us could not afford to splash out on a new television. The valuable service they provided meant our TV sets would be back home in a week or so, hopefully free from horizontal lines, fuzziness and freak images!
The Milk Tray Man, mouthfuls of Angel Delight, smashing Smash Hits magazine, splashing it all over with Brut aftershave, World of Sport or Grandstand? A fat wallet or your flexible friend the Access Card? Could you survive a term at Grange Hill? Nostalgia with enough clout to send you flying back to the 80s and 70s in the hardback book Section N Underpass. Click image below to get the rundown: