Halcyon Royal County

Halcyon was a small company that marketed receivers through the 1930's. Halcyon was the brand name for the company Ismay Distributors who were based in Dagenham, London. Over the years they made about a dozen different receivers, and were even involved in pre-war television, having developed their own model in 1937. One must presume the production runs were very low though, as Halcyon receivers rarely turn up today. Unlike some small manufacturers their target market was not the "cheap" end of the market, but rather the middle ground occupied by the bigger names like say Ferranti or Bush. 

Shown here is one of the more common Halcyon receivers, the Royal County. It was a three band superhet, made in about 1937. It used 4 valves plus rectifier which were supplied by Mullard, though there is nothing particularly notable about the circuit. The cabinet is rather attractive, with a fairly complicated fretwork speaker grille. As well as providing model number information on a plate on the back, a rather smart "Royal County" transfer has been applied to the rear of the chassis, obviously a nice touch but something the purchaser would be unlikely to see! Valve line-up is FC4, VP4B, TDD4, PENA4, IW4/350. 

Also shown is an extension speaker supplied by Halcyon. I acquired both the radio and speaker together, and the speaker appears to be a one-off made at the Halcyon works. It is housed in a standard "Royal County" radio cabinet, that even still has the plastic "For AC Mains Only" affixed to the back of the cabinet. The fretwork is a doubled mirror image of that seen in the radio receiver. What the manufacturer had done is taken the front panel and had their machine cut the upper fretwork panel that is identical to the radio, then they have reversed the panel as a mirror image below and cut the fretwork out by hand. (The lower half can clearly be seen to be hand cut). A fairly standard 8" speaker has then been mounted inside the cabinet. The extension speaker must be a one off, presumably done knowing that it would also secure the sale of a receiver to the customer. Therefore it is rare, and probably unique.

Continue for more on  Halcyon.