We can split our business history into 6 phases.
Started in his garage in 1970, Gordon Wilkinson’s repair business quickly grew to need premises of its own and therefore in 1971, Gordon bought the 55 Netherfield Rd shop in Nelson, next to the then Holts Jewellers premises. A salesman was employed to allow them to start selling new equipment too.
In 1977, the house next door became available (no 57), allowing us to create a custom demonstration room and expanded workshop facilities.
With the clearance of the Netherfield ward in 1984, 55&57 Netherfield rd were compulsory purchased along with ~300 other terraced properties in a massive clearance. The current 92 Manchester rd premises were bought and renovated throughout the summer. The new shop opened on 29th August 1984. In addition to Hi-fi, we began selling TV’s , Video’s & Camcorders.
Growth was rapid and when the adjacent shop became available 5 years later in 1989, (the former ‘Castle TV’ shop, the business expanded to cover both shops….where it remains to this day. This also houses our ‘JVC’ museum. This has been built up over the years, a passion of ours, with rare examples of JVC early products going back to the 1960s…when JVC was called ‘Nivico’.
In 2002, wholesale improvement of the ‘St Marys’ conservation area of Nelson meant we were able to build additional rooms and a loading bay to the rear along with a lift inside permitting us to lift those heavy glass TV’s up to the 2nd floor workshops.
Today, the building is still in full use with demonstration rooms, workshops, stores etc. Business is busy enough to need extra staff, so we have expanded and now have 3 highly experienced staff..with a combined 120 years experience.
Our recent acquisition of Hartleys Electricals widens our range of goods into budget white goods. This move is proving popular with both our customers and those who have supported Dave during the 12 years he ran his business.
We have built up a collection of over 300 items of classic JVC equipment…
Although it could do with re-arranging for public viewing, I’m always happy to talk to enthusiasts & show anyone around my museum.
I have the first CD player, video recorders (VHS & U-matic), video cameras, along with a vast selection of models from across the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s.
In 1973 JVC, then called Nivico, started being officially imported to the UK, by an importer in Leeds, called Denholm & Morley. Out of the first batch my dad took delivery of 4 channel receivers and cassette decks, so we can rightly claim to be one of the first JVC dealers in the UK. At the time I was just 7 years old and remember enjoying playing with the knobs and dials on these early hifi units.
Before too long JVC uk was formed in London by Kurt Lowy and his family. The company grew into the worldwide brand everybody knew, until in 2009/10 in the early days of the recession the JVC corporations shares sank and its assets and worldwide plant was bought by the Kenwood corporation & venture capitalists, whereupon the real estate and manufacturing plant has been stripped and sold off. Today the company still exists, but there is no manufacturing going on. They currently licence the JVC brand name to others to put onto equipment and sell under the JVC name, so you will see some lower end TV & Hi-Fi around, though this has nothing to do with the former company we all knew.