Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery
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Music Centre (PLYMG: 2012.218.2)
Bush Radio began manufacturing in Plymouth in 1949. They had been taken over by the Rank Organisation four years before. In 1962 the company also acquired Murphy Radio to form the Rank Bush Murphy Group. In 1973 a second factory at Somerset Place in Stoke was opened. It originally produced black and white television sets, but in 1975 was converted to produce stereo systems. Bush, Murphy and Arena audio products were made here until 1980.
The Bush brand was typically used for sale to chain outlets such as Comet and Co-op, while the Murphy brand would be sold to independent dealers in the UK and Arena for export to Europe and Asia.
This Bush brand music centre is of the last type to be produced at the Stoke factory in 1980. The instruction leaflet includes a special section on recording from the radio (a popular Sunday afternoon habit during the 1980s). Top pop hits of 1980 included Blondie – Call Me, Michael Jackson – Rock with You, and Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love.