Located in the tiny village of Montacute, England, the Montacute TV Toy Radio Museum immerses visitors in classic radio and television sets and the programs that brought them to life.
Curated by Alan Hicken, the museum sprouted from a collection of vintage radios and television sets owned by his father-in-law, Dennis Greenham. Greenham acquired the radios through an electronics repair shop he owned and operated since his teenage years in the 1930s. As television grew in popularity, he started a TV rental business. The plethora of sets in the shop formed the foundation of what would later become Hicken’s museum.
The museum opened in 1989 to showcase Greenham’s classic sets as well as Hicken’s own growing collection. Hicken also added radio and television program annuals to the mix. An eclectic collection of pop culture memorabilia grew from there.
The museum is now home to annuals from familiar programs such as Bonanza, Cheyenne, Wagon Train, Dr. Kildare, and others. Toys, comics, games, and other objects from classic series such as Thunderbirds, Outerlimits, Avengers, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, M Squad, Planet of the Apes, Sea Devils, The Invisible Man, and more are prominently featured. Of interest to crime history enthusiasts: the much-debated original manuscript of The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper was discovered at the museum.
The Georgian property in which the museum resides also boasts a tea room and bed-and-breakfast accommodations operated by Hicken.