Lets talk ‘Vintage Gramophones’

As the fourth series of Downton Abbey is being filmed in Oxfordshire we thought it would be rather fitting to highlight and cover the World of vintage gramophones – and who other than the lovely Gramophone DJ’s from Darlington would be as fitting!!! Here’s a little insight into this nostalgic World of the gramophone.


A beautiful gramophone – wouldn’t this look perfect at a special occasion!

Gramophones come in all shapes and sizes with the early models having external horns for amplification. ‘Gramophone DJs’ favourite machine is their 80 year old Blue HMV 102 gramophone.  This model is compact [the size of a vanity suitcase], portable, the sound box is built into the enclosed case, and its sound quality surpasses other models.  Commonly seen in a black outer-casing, they were also available in blue (like theirs), green and red.  In general, coloured models command higher prices at auction and are less frequently found for sale.   A good quality wind-up gramophone is now incredibly hard to find, especially in working order. (So if you find one, grab it whilst you can – we promise that you’ll love it!) However, with new needles needed when each side is played, owning a gramophone can get quite pricey – and sourcing needles in this day and age is not an easy task so we’re told!


An English Christmas advert for the gramophone! 


An American advert for the gramophone! 

The brand ‘HMV’ is highly acclaimed within the gramophone World and the price tag associated with this producer was certainly not to be sniffed at! As an outcome HMV  gramophones were usually only seen in the homes of the upper class. As times have moved on the HMV brand evolved and can still be seen in some highstreets today – regardless of it going into administration in 2012! The world famous HMV terrier dog, ‘Nipper’, was originally painted by a man named Francis James Barraud (who was an English artist from Liverpool).  The painting which proved initially difficult to sell, can now be recognised as the internationally famous commercial logo ‘His Masters Voice’. (Looks like Mr Barraud scored big!) For more information why not check out the ‘Nipper Saga


His Masters Voice (HMV) logo!

Now, here in the 21st century, when afternoon teas, vintage themed parties and vintage events are proving very popular, Gramophone DJ’s gramophones can regaulary be seen spinning some early decade classics countrywide!  Unsurpassed, they bring authenticity to any café environment, hotel restaurant, vintage event and wedding, bringing nostalgia to any celebration! So if the idea of listening to the golden era of song and music, performed with the same glamour and sophistication as during the roaring 20s, swinging 30s and emotional war time 40s (through a gorgeous gramophone of course) why not let Gramophone DJs take you back to a humbling past and hire them for your special occasion.


Image courtesy of Gramophone DJs – so classy!


A mighty big gramophone – we’d love to see this on the high-street still!

The fab business have built up a collection over the years with approximately 2,500 78rpm records and seven gramophones.  Joe from Gramophone DJ’s said ‘My hobby has allowed me to travel countrywide to many exciting venues and I feel privileged to have an opportunity to play beautiful music to the public and to witness enjoyment and appreciation of these wonderful gramophones’ – here here Joe, we can’t wait to have you at one of our events!

leyburn station The Gramophone DJs themselves!

To add a little piece of nostalgia to any wedding, a snippet of class to an anniversary or birthday celebration, Gramophone DJ’s are available to hire for any event. Simply contact them on: 07818 666 666 or email vintagegramophonedjs@fsmail.net. For more information why not also visit their website: www.gramophonedjs.co.uk

We’ll be back soon with more pre-loved inspiration and humbling stories! Alex and Sam x

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