About The Snellings Museum Collection
The Snellings Museum of Sound and Vision is an idiosyncratic mix of all things audio video from the very early days of radio leading right up to the present day. The collection was started by Roy Snelling when he noticed that the history of English radio and television was being lost: old equipment was being thrown away as cheaper imports began to take over the market. Roy wanted to ensure that these items were not lost to future generations and began to collect them, eventually exhibiting them in Blofield Heath in the 1980s. After the museum opened and word of the collection began to spread customers started to make donations of their own. Radios and televisions long stored in garages and lofts made their way over to the museum.
Although the collection initially comprised objects made in England, as technology continued to change the nature of the collection grew with it and incorporated all of the new ways that customers were listening, viewing and recording. It charts a route through the popular (and some of the less popular) media from radio and television through reel to reel tape (both audio and video) all the way to satellite and digital as well as a few examples of early home video games.
Unfortunately, following the sale of the Museum building in 2016 everything was moved into temporary storage while a new home is found. We are currently working on new ways to make the collection available to everyone, allowing visitors to search the collection digitally and learn about the history of the company. We are also introducing exhibition spaces into the Blofield Heath site where we will exhibit a selection of these historic examples alongside their contemporary equivalents. As time goes on we aim to open a dedicated exhibition and learning space where the collection can be seen and experienced in a modern setting.
The collection is now owned by the R C Snelling Charitable Trust and is looked after by a dedicated team of volunteers largely made up of ex Snellings employees. As you can see the collection has items in a range of conditions from fully restored to requiring attention. There are several highly skilled engineers in the team and they are working hard on getting as many examples as possible back up and operating. These everyday objects can best be appreciated when they are seen and heard in working order.
Want to get involved?
We are always looking for help with a range of tasks around the collection from practical electrical help to research and cataloguing. If you are a retired television or radio engineer or have experience of repairing these sorts of objects, why not join the volunteers and put your experience to good use? If you would like to find out more about volunteering please feel free to ask questions through our contact form.
We are still in the process of researching many of the items in the collection. If you have any information that you wish to offer or just share your recollections of any of the objects please feel free to get in touch through our contact page.