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WELCOME to the Brenell tape-recorder website, by Barry M Jones.

This web-site is in several parts and also promotes the author's Panther motorcycle related books - The Panther Story, The Rugged Road and Granville Bradshaw - previously published by Panther Publishing Ltd.


All these subjects are 'on-going' research so it is hoped that those who worked for Brenell, Soundcraft Magnetics, (Smiths, KW.... ) will continue to contribute to these evolving records before it is all lost. It is also hoped this will inspire others to more fully record the intimate histories of other companies, especially European, before it is too late.

 

Author's self-published books available from this site:


Individual copies may be bought by using the 'Add to Cart' button. This is a PayPal service but if you are not on PayPal you have the option to pay by Credit/Debit card at the Check-out.


Postage and Packing:


Please note: Postage and packing is quoted for UK only. (£3 UK may well be £13 EU, or £19 Australia). Please contact me for International Signed-for Air Mail surcharge.


Postage price is per book: Unfortunately, the PayPal 'cart' only recognises postage for 1 book, so if ordering 2 or more copies you will be surcharged extra. Please contact me first! 


Surcharge will be rounded to the nearest £ - please pay Surcharge when advised by using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Thank you!


Please also note that the book cover images may be of an earlier edition - these are being upated from Sept 2016.




 

BOOKS by Barry M Jones

Brenell - True to life performance
2nd edition

This book fully records the history of Brenell and Soundcraft Magnetics and their influence on the development of the British domestic-user tape-recorder, home studio and studio industries. Written with the help of former Brenell directors, engineers and archive material, it presents more than just a glimpse of the company and the people. All known models and many prototypes, are discussed in detail.

"Anyone involved in the industry will be delighted with this book" - Alex Nicholas: former MD, Brenell
"Brilliant! The detail uncovered is awesome. I learnt more about Brenell in a few pages than ever I did when I worked there!" - M.A

"It is a truly remarkable piece of research... I would recommend this to any reel-to-reel enthusiast or 'child' of the 60s" - R (Mk.5 owner)

200+ black and white illustrations. 140+ pages A4 soft-back.
2nd edition: £17.00 plus £2.50 p&p UK (Air Mail, please ask).


A Truvox product
NEW  4th edition


Truvox was a major competitor to Brenell and Ferrograph in the domestic-user market. This well researched book reveals the fascinating history of how Daniel Dan Prenn developed his Truvox Engineering business, buying Celestion loudspeakers and then BCC, Airmec, Vectron and Thermionic Products, later merging with Racal Electronics. Each was a specialist in their own field: Truvox with loudspeakers, tape decks and language laboratories; Thermionic Products with the British-made Recordon and Soundmirror, and their pioneering airport recorders; Racal for their military electronics. Racal-Thermionic were world leaders in analogue and digital recording including voice logging and instrumentation recording with such machines as the Store 4, Storehorse and V-Store. Racal also bought the Zonal magnetic-tape company, whose history is also recorded.

Truvox had long made floor cleaners (they also made the 'Wembley' camera) and those sides of the family-run business are also recorded. But this book is more than an industrial history, it also records the engineering talents of many European engineers who escaped Nazi and Soviet tyranny. It also covers the history of the Brush Development Company of the USA who pioneered the use of quartz crystals, and records the history of Thermionic Products' Ship Yard site, Hythe with its association with British Power Boat Company, Lawrence of Arabia and Imperial Airways.

"(the) book is amazing - a great thrill to read" (DE former Truvox Director)
"a superb job - most impressive" (PW ex Racal-Thermionic)
"The greatest story never told" (AB ex Racal-Thermionic)

200+ black and white illustrations. 160+ pages A4 soft-back.
4th edition: £17.00 plus £2.50 p&p UK (Air Mail, please ask).

      

A guide to British tape recorders

NEW 5th edition


This is a major on-going work, presenting a comprehensive history of magnetic recording from the pioneering work by Valdemar Poulsen, through pre-war wire recorders and the development of plastic tape by BASF in the 1930s. It then concentrates on the British tape-recorder industry, the development of the many British models and the potted histories of 120+ domestic, studio and scientific tape-deck manufacturers, head and tape makers - many of which few will have heard of! As with the Brenell and Truvox histories, this is based on interviews with those who formed, worked in and intimately knew the industry, and from contemporary records and company archives. 

This NEW 5th Edition is still in two parts.

 

Part 1: The development of the industry, heads, tapes, major components (with related histories of Branch & Appleby, Marriotts, Phi-Magnetronics, llford-Zonal)
Part 2: company histories from A-Z, plus Index:

Foreword to first edition by Terry Martini (BVWS):
"a useful and practical guide that no serious collector of British audio tape-recorders or historian can really do without. The history of the British tape-recorder in all its glory".
"I congratulate you on a terrific job". Peter Lindsley, Director Bias/Leevers-Rich
"I have been a tape-recorder enthusiast for 50 years, but I was amazed at what I learnt from these books. Still impressed with the amount of research you have done; these must be the best of their kind anywhere". George West (Ferrograph expert)

300+ black and white illustrations. 400+ pages A4 soft-back. 5th edtion is in two parts, but bound as one book.

£35.00 plus £4.00 p&p UK (Air mail please ask)

 

 

 

S Smith & Sons Ltd - The Golden Years

1st edition

 

Smiths began as jewellers in South London in the mid 19th century selling clocks and watches but with the arrival of the motorcar, they produced one of the first speedometers and with that came a host of motorcar accessories. The Great War saw expansion into aeroplane instruments. So important now were these that Smiths sold the jewellry side... but soon after bought ailing British clock-makers and launched a series of synchronous electric clocks. Having pioneered aeroplane auto-pilots in the 1930s Smiths proved crucial to the war effort, becoming a leading light, postwar, with their Kelvin & Hughes subsidiary in avionics. They also expanded into wrist-watches for the RAF at war's end later launching their famous 'Astral' range, as well as medical and 'interconnects' products. Smiths' history is truly fascinating and this major work looks at all their many businesses in the various timepiece, motor, aviation, marine, medical and industrial spheres.

 

"... the attention to detail is particularly remarkable..." CJ 

 

200+ b&w illustrations, 200+ pages A4 softback

REDUCED TO £10 plus £3.00 p&p UK (Air Mail, please ask) LAST FEW COPIES!

   

 

From KW to Pentacon - the Praktica story

1st edition


Praktica was a world-famous East German camera maker based in Dresden, the heart of the German camera industry. They began as KW, who produced the famous Patent Etui folding pocket camera before expanding into single- and twin-lens reflex cameras. Their most famous was the 35mm Praktiflex of 1938 which survived the war to become the Praktica. Under the Soviet regime, the several Dresden camera makers merged with KW to become Pentacon. Among their innovative models were the Praktina, Pentacon Super, Werra, Belta, Altix, Belmira... too many to name, but most are included and have been used by the author. This is the first comprehesive history of Praktica in the English language - it is not a translation of the German language histories!


"An outstanding history.. an open window on the German photo industry... "  TL


200  b&w illustrations, 120+ pages, A4 softback

REDUCED TO £10.00 plus £2.00 p&p UK (Air Mail, please ask)  LAST FEW COPIES!

 

 

The Village Bus Remembered - John Dengate & Son Ltd  

5th edition


This book recalls the hay-day of village life and reliance on the local village bus services to market towns. John Dengate began as a baker, expanding into a taxi service and local bus-cum-carrier in 1919 and then alongside a village garage business before concentrating on bus services to Rye and Hastings facing stiff competiton from the M&D until 1974 when they finally lost the battle. A fascinating trip down memory lane. Contains a brief history of Beckley, photographs of every bus, most timetables, tickets... fleet list - indeed this book has long been regarded as one of the most comprehensive bus histories written... so far!


"Marvellous job. I'm amazed at the amount of detail gathered"   TO


200 plus b&w illustrations, 150+ pages, A4 softback

£17.00 plus £2.50 p&p UK (Air  Mail, please ask).



Beckley - a Sussex village - 3rd edition-  (The history of Beckley and its environs)

 

This 450 page book covers the history of Beckley, East Sussex from its pre-historic iron-workings  through the Romans and Saxons to today's still rural village. It describes the many historic industries, its social structure from the Church to the workhouse, no less! Part two conducts a walk down Memory Lane from one end of the village (Four Oaks) to the other (Clayhill and Beckley Furnace) describing its ancient houses, occupants and businesses.


First released to the Beckley History Society in a limited edition, £6 from each book goes to the Beckley Village Fund towards the maintenance of the Beckley War Memorial.


"A magnificent effort and a very useful record for posterity" BB

 

450 pages, hundreds of b&w illustrations, A4 softback, in two parts bound as one

£34.00 plus £3.00 p&p UK (Air Mail please ask) Limited number of  copies 





ERRATA+ UPDATES


It is enevitable in such works that errors come to light as new information is received. A free errata and update slip is available for all the author's self-published, self-printed books - an A5 SAE is required.


(c) Colour photographs and text copyright of Barry M Jones - May 2003
This fully revised website September 2016


Please note that profits from these and my other self-published/self-printed books maintain this site. Thank you. 


The author's other books:

 

 

"THE STORY OF PANTHER MOTORCYCLES" - (PSL, 1983 Out of print)

"Books written from sheet enthusiasm are mostly good ones; this certainly is" - Brooklands Society

Published by Panther Publishing Ltd:

"THE PANTHER STORY" (1988, 2nd edition 2009)

2nd edition

 

This is the most complete and authoritative history of Phelon & Moore and their famous Panther motorcycles. What more can one add? OK, Phelon & Moore were early pioneers of British motorcycles introducing in 1900 their famous sloping engine which replaced the front downtube. Their motorcycle was adopted by the Royal Flying Corps in the Great War. Their side-valve engine was later superceded by a ohv version developed by Granville Bradshaw and  re launched as the P&M 'Panther'. Bradshaw also developed a pioneering V-twin Panthette but P&M faced grave financial difficulties in the recession, saved only by their conventional 'Red Panther' 250cc. Post-war, the Panther range comprised upgraded Red Panthers, the legendary Panther 100 (the first choice for side-car riders) the Stroud trials 'bike and even the Princess scooter, but P&M's (and most other British motorcycle makers') days soon came to end when faced with Japanese competition.


"One of the best (motorcycle marque) histories I've ever seen" - (Classic Bike Guide).


200+ b&w illustr, 300 pages A4 paperback 

£30.00 + £3.00 p&p UK (Air mail please ask)



Biographer to the late Theresa Wallach's "THE RUGGED ROAD" (2001, 2nd edition 2010)
The amazing autobiographical account of the first crossing of the Sahara desert, en route to Cape Town from London, in 1935 by two ladies (Theresa Wallach and Florence Blenkiron) on a Panther motorcycle and sidecar. The author knew Theresa through his research on Panthers and encouraged her to publisher own her account of the crossing. In the event, the author had her draft manuscript published posthumously, editing and adding the biographies.


"A treasure - pretty damn close to being perfect" (CGB)


20+ b&w illustr, 170+ pages, softback (6"x9")

£14.95 + £2.00 p&p UK (Air mail please ask)


"GRANVILLE BRADSHAW- a flawed genius?" (2008, 2nd edition 2012)
Bradshaw was an pioneering aviator, motorcyclist and one of Britain's most inventive (and at times controversial - hence the subtitle) aeronautical and motor-engineers. He co-founded the ABC aero-engine company, which built the Dragonfly radial aero-engine and later designed the famous ABC flat twin motorcycle built by Sopwith. He later did much work for Panther motorcycles. After the war he pioneered a revolutionary compact toroidal rotary engine and developed a 3-D television system. A remarkable story drawn largely from his personal archives and family accounts. The enlarged second edition contains much new research on Walter Lawson Adams and the founding years of ABC.


"Full of insight and careful research. Highly recommended" (Real Classics)


150+ b&w illustr, 300 pages, softback (7-1/2"x10")

£25.00 + £2.50 p&p UK (Air mail please ask)


 

and one from Thorn-EMI, not by me!


Modern Instrumentation tape-recording

3rd edition (1986)

Written by a Thorn-EMI senior engineer, John Howard, this engineering handbook covers non-audio instrumentation and data recorders with a bias to EMI-SE Labs models. Highly recommended.


New old stock. 130pp, A5 soft-back 

£3.50 + £1.50 p&p (Air Mail please ask)  





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Brenell - True to life performance

Brenell - True to life performance

£17.00 (plus £2.50 shipping)

The history of Brenell and Soundcraft Magnetics

A Truvox product

A Truvox product

£17.00 (plus £2.50 shipping)

History of Truvox, Thermionic Products, Brush, Racal-Recorders, BCC...

A Guide to British tape recorders

A Guide to British tape recorders

£35.00 (plus £4.00 shipping)

The comprehensive history and development of magnetic recording, the British tape recorder industry and potted histories of 120+ companies and their products. New 5th edition

S Smith & Sons Ltd

S Smith & Sons Ltd

£10.00 (plus £3.00 shipping)

History of Smiths Industries Reduced price August 2017

From KW to Pentacon

From KW to Pentacon

£10.00 (plus £2.00 shipping)

The KW, Pentacon, Praktica and other Dresden camera makers' histories Reduced price August 2017

The Village Bus Remembered

The Village Bus Remembered

£17.00 (plus £2.50 shipping)

The story of John Dengate & Son Ltd of Beckley, East Sussex. Contains a short history of Beckley.

Beckley - a Sussex village

Beckley - a Sussex village

£34.00 (plus £3.00 shipping)

Beckley - a Sussex village

Image description
The Panther Story

The Panther Story

£30.00 (plus £3.00 shipping)

The story of Phelon & Moore and Panther motorcycles

The Rugged Road

The Rugged Road

£14.95 (plus £2.00 shipping)

The Rugged Road by Theresa Wallach (biographies by Barry M Jones). The trans-Saharan crossing by motorcycle and sidecar to Cape Town.

Granville Bradshaw

Granville Bradshaw

£25.00 (plus £2.50 shipping)

Granville Bradshaw - was he a flawed genius? A pioneer of aviation, motoring and much more!

Instrumentation recorders

Instrumentation recorders

£3.50 (plus £1.50 shipping)

Thorn-EMI handbook