History of Roberts Radios

Roberts Radios is the quintessential English digital radio brand. With a Royal Warrant from the Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales. Roberts Radios maintains a reputation for design, quality and innovation which means they are coveted by collectors and radio afficionados all over the world.

Just over 80 years ago, the innovative founders of Roberts Radio began making portable radios from a small shop in London.  They had a simple philosophy:  never compromise on quality and keep pushing the boundaries.  The company has stuck to this ever since and is still the UK leader in portable radios.  Roberts Radios are loved around the world and are built to stand the test of time. 

In 1932 Harry Roberts founded the Roberts Radio Company in partnership with Leslie Bidmead, who sold his motorbike to pay for their small factory.  Initially production was just three a week but their expertise and a loyal and skilled workforce, quickly established them a reputation for high quality products.

The letter Harry Roberts received in 1940, telling him The Queen had purchased a Roberts radio from Harrods turned out to be the second of many owned by the Royal household.  Stan Vandenberghe, who has worked at Roberts since 1942, still remembers the day that Harry Roberts came up the stairs at the factory, by this time in Hampton Court, with a tray of Champagne and the exciting announcement that Roberts Radio had been appointed as radio manufacturer to Queen Elizabeth II.  At the time the company only had a few employees, so it didn’t take long to serve everyone!  The granting of the Royal Warrant is reviewed every five years, during which Roberts Radio must demonstrate continued supply of products to The Royal Households and meet the very highest standards in product excellence, quality, service and innovation both at home and in manufacture overseas.  Today Roberts Radio is immensely proud to hold two Royal Warrants as manufacturers and suppliers of radios to Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales, an accolade its rivals can only dream about.

In 1956 the original ‘Revival’ R66 was created by Harry Roberts and was inspired by the design of a handbag owned by his wife.  Later this product evolved into the R200 and nobody at the company could have predicted that a British design icon had been born.  In the late 1980s, as Roberts was competing with international electronics giants, it was a chance appearance of the R200 in a Martini advert on television which led to a surge in demand.  The R200 was re-introduced in bright red and given the name 'Revival'.  Over the years the range of colours and patterns has changed to reflect fashion and home interior trends and today sixteen different versions are commercially available in the DAB Revival range.

Like all successful brands with a proud heritage, Roberts recognises the need to adapt in a world where everything changes.  The way people listen to music and the radio has been no exception to this.  The complete range of radios offered today embodies both innovation and classic design true to the vision of the company's founders.

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