Thrifty Finds | Vintage Roberts Rambler Radio

Chiswick Car Boot

Although the historic analogue radio is on it’s way out, there are still a fair few years left to enjoy the marvels of searching for new and amusing channels amongst the crackles of LW and MW. After many a picnic and camping trip over the summer that lacked a little special something, I decided to go on the hunt for an original Roberts Rambler radio – rather than the (too expensive) new Revival DAB version. After trawling through Ebay for a number of months and forgetting to bid, I was pleased to discover this mustard yellow leather version at my fast becoming favourite monthly car boot in Chiswick.

The vendor was quick to admit that he didn’t know if it worked or not, but we both agreed that Roberts build their radios to withstand practically anything so I was confident that it would at least be able to find the shipping forecast on my much loved Radio 4. The beauty of the rambler when they were brought out in 1975 (primarly for prisoners use in fact) is that you can take it anywhere as it is battery powered. The novelty of this freedom hasn’t worn off yet, but it turns out that the availability of the massive P9 batteries has declined ever so slightly. However, I found one lurking in my original Bush Bakerlite radio and connected it with intrepid excitement.

Thankfully Roberts quality design has admirably withstood the test of time (and possibly a number of prisons) to find itself working with only the odd crackle and sitting in pride of place next to its slightly younger but much bigger brother.


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