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Doncaster World War Two spy buff is going radio gaga

Forget London calling - Doncaster spy radio supremo Peter Sables has tapped into history with his collection of wartime surveillance gear.

The radio buff has lovingly restored a string of listening devices used by the Allies against Nazi Germany during World War Two to create a nostalgic goldmine dating back to an era of spying and strategy.

And now his hobby has sparked the interest of a museum which is to take up some of his wireless sets as part of a new exhibition.

Former Army signals officer Peter said: “I have always been into radio ever since I was a lad and the collection has just grown out of that. It started off as just one radio but now I’ve got loads - so many that I have agreed to give some to a museum.

His clandestine collection stretches back 30 years - when he decided to kick start his hobby and go on air for the first time.

He said: “Stuff was limited back then so I basically go started by making my own kit. Lots of people told me that wartime radios were a good way to get started and so I took it from there.”

His collection has come from car boot sales in and around Doncaster, picking up bits and pieces along the way and restoring the sets to full working order.

Originally, they were used during wartime to plot against Hitler’s Nazi regime, with clandestine groups across Poland, France, Czechoslovakia and England using the sets, which were often parachuted in to danger zones for resistance and freedom fighters to use to get their messages to the outside world.

Mr Sables, of Sandyfields View, Carcroft claims to have more radio sets than historic Bletchley Park, the UK’s centre of code cracking and spying during the war.

And the sets have sparked the interest of Oxford Military Museum which has agreed to take two of the radios for its collection.

“They wanted to take the lot, but I think they should stop in Yorkshire,” he said.

The sets, which can fetch up to £2,000 each, are all capable of transmitting and receiving radio signals - and the former military man is often called on to give talks about his pastime.

But he has made a few changes to their original condition. “They were death traps with the voltage at the time - I have made them safer now because I didn’t fancy electrocuting myself,” he added.

 

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