Wartime Civilian Receiver (1944?)
The Wartime Civilian Receiver is a low-cost radio developed
for the British government during the second world war.
It has been produced by many British radio manufacturers.
My specimen does not work yet.
A look inside
In September 2005 I found this radio on an auction site.
At first, I was surprised to hear about a radio sponsored by the British
government during the war.
From Internet and from the "Trader" service sheet I learned more.
The British Wartime Civilian Receiver was a government initiative to overcome
the problem that radios had become scarce during the war as a result of
Though a lot of compromises were made to make it cheaper,
such as the pine wood case, the restriction to a single wave band (MW)
and the metal rectifier used as the detector, it still is a decent radio, a
complete superhet with adequate performance.
The valve line-up of the Wartime Civilian Receiver is:
|BVA 274, 275 or 276||triode/hexode frequency changer||Octal base|
|BVA 243, 246 or 247||pentode IF amplifier||Octal base|
|Westinghouse WX6||metal rectifier |
|BVA 264, 265, 266 or 267||output pentode||Octal base|
|BVA 211, 214, 215 or 216||rectifier||B4 base|
The valves were made by several British valve manufacturers.
For the Wartime Civilian
Receiver they supplied valves with common standard type numbers,
BVA meaning "British Valve Association".
This was something new in Britain, where the valve manufacturers
all had their own range of type numbers, while on the European mainland
valve manufacturers had established the Pro Electron standard
type numbering system for valves.
View from the back
When I collected this radio, it was smaller than I had thought from
the photograph in the advertisement.
It was missing one leg and it was quite dirty with nicotine stains and
a greasy layer of dirt.
There was also a brownish layer of dirt on the tuning dial,
which is difficult to remove.
I don't want to use strong detergents for fear of damaging the lettering.
As I learned from the documentation, the wave band switch on my specimen
must have been added afterward.
The "Trader" service sheets also have directions for
Opening the back panel, I saw the inside still looked fine.
The valves inside are still the original "BVA" valves.
Unfortunately, the conductive paint on two valves has detached.
It is still in place, but I fear the original paint will fall off and
break in small chips when I'll touch it.
This is why I haven't tried to fix the radio yet, although I'd like to hear
it play again.