A Well known Tintagel man is to retire
from the electrical shop he has built up over 42 years. David Flower was born in South Lambeth
Road, London. After surviving a direct hit from an aircraft in the
second world war, and being bombed out of their home, the family moved to
Tintagel, as it was where David's sisters were sent after being evacuated.
David, who still lives
in the village with his wife Valerie,
tells the 'Post'
about how he came to start his business Flower's TV and Electrical Services Ltd
in Molesworth Street,
and of his electrical and many other interests.
"I have always, even as a small lad, been interested in electrical stuff. Ray
Neilson had an electrical shop here in Tintagel
(Ray Neilson Radio) in the 1940s. I remember he had a little shed in Fosters Lane with loads of electronic
gear, and a green TV tube,
which received pictures from Wales. I worked for my Dad in
the his bakery (W.H.Flower and Sons) but there wasn't enough work,
so I had to find
something else. As I had always been interested in film. I went to work at the
Tower Cinema in Launceston for £1.7s. 6d
(£1.38 in today's money) as a rewind boy, for four to five months. There was an advert in the 'Camelford and Delabole
Post', for a
Chief Projectionist at the
Regal Cinema at Delabole - I was only 16
at the time - and Derek Sleeman became Chief projectionist in Launceston.
stayed at the Regal for six years & I was then unemployed for a few weeks, during
which time, I met a friend called Mr. Sparks
of Tintagel, who was the father in law
of Ray Neilson. He knew
I was interested in electrics and suggested I write to Bush Radio in
Plymouth, for a job. I was successful after a
I did my City & Guilds in Telecommunications in Plymouth
College for which I studied in my spare time. It took me a couple of
years to get into it, but I received an award from the Post Office
for the best electronics student in the West Country, passing all of
At Bush Radio I worked at first in
the soldering bay, going on to be assistant to the chief engineer working in the design development
laboratory. I helped in the design of the first push button
TV set in the world, the Bush TV80, and I still have a laboratory set.
I then had the urge to repair TV sets on my
own in my spare time, and
started repairing sets for people in Tintagel. I started this part time in 1959
and by 1961 I had opened up a shop in Tintagel, D.L.Flower, Radio & TV.
From there I built the
business up on my own until 1970, when I had
breakdown. I decided to employ and took
on Barry Morgan - who became a
director - and the company moved forward rapidly.
I also started to
play cricket around this time for Delabole.
At one point I had seven staff and in 1973, I purchased a Music &
Gift store (Music & Gift Store Ltd) in Camelford and changed the
name of the
Tintagel business to Flower's Television and Electrical Services Ltd. I ran the two shops until the mid 1980s, when I
closed the Camelford business in order to concentrate on the Tintagel shop. I had the urge to do
radio broadcasting, and in 1981 joined
the voluntarily staff at Radio Beacon, Bodmin's
St Lawrence's Hospital. I later became Station Manager & presenters
included Matthew Shepherd
of Radio Cornwall &
Jonathon Morrell, a Sky news presenter. I interviewed guests including Cornish singer
Brenda Wooton, who used to
present Sunday Best on Sunday afternoons for Radio Cornwall, the spot
latterly occupied by Ray Shaddick.
In March 1992, I had a heart attack, and finished my work in the hospital
and went part time in the shop where I remain to this day.
The staff reduced over the years, and I
decided to sell the business as an on going concern, but regrettably, no one purchased it so
I had to
close down. The rental side of the business will continue. At one time there were half a dozen TV
shops around the local area,
but we were the last one.
I intend to do some gardening, and I started to play the piano about 18 months
ago and I'm loving it. I have also started my own web site
www.tintagelweb.co.uk & this
is becoming a business in itself. I published the web site last June, and it now gets over
4,000 hits a week.
The whole site is based on Tintagel. I stopped playing cricket
at the age of 64. I always loved
it and after my heart attack, I was
best batsman in the second eleven of
Tintagel Cricket Club,
1993 & in
1994. I played for Delabole from 1970 to 1980, and was it's secretary
for many years. In 1980
I started up Tintagel Cricket Club with Bill Reeves and I am now the Patron. The club is going from strength
strength with two teams."
When asked of the changes David has seen over the years,
especially within the electrical business and the advances in technology, he replied.
"There's been tremendous
changes. When I started, there was only one BBC channel, and it was in black & white, the maximum
size was 17". I've seen it go through all of the changes, to today's sizes of 50 to 60". In
the early day's, the sets were run on valves,
now they are a lot more reliable, which is the reason that staff have
been reduced over the years.
The most regrettable change is that supermarkets and
the like, are now selling electrical equipment like a tin of beans, and the
small retailer is rapidly disappearing. The
customer will be the ultimate loser, as he won't be able to get advice and services that
he has been used to."
Along with his many achievements, David has also been Chairman of
the Plymouth & Cornwall branch of
RETRA (Radio, Electrical &
Television Retailers Association). He was
also chairman of Tintagel Parish Council in the 1970s and is involved with the Rotary Club
Camelford, for whom
he was President in 2001-2002. David has three children, Jacqueline who runs
a Guesthouse, The
Old Coach House at Boscastle with her husband Geoff, Robin, who is a Chef and lives in Portland, Oregon and Timothy.
has five grandchildren, Matthew, Martin,
Kimberly, Henry and Emily.
"My biggest regret in not being able to sell it as an on going business,
as I feel it will be a big loss in the Tintagel area.
I would also like to thank those who have supported me over
the past 42 years."
Television Shop David Commentating
Left to Right: John Goodyear, Brenda Wooton, ?,
Brenda's Husband, ?, Matthew
At The Microphone: David Flower
Delabole Football Team
Top Row: L to R: Tony Richards, Eric Colvell, Frank Pooley,
Roy Pascoe, Geoff Page, Jack Arnall, Dave Flower
Front Row: Norman Gartrell, Les Avery, Dick Hill, Trevor Wills,
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