WWII buff Peter going Radio Gaga

Peter Sables, of Carcroft with his collection of World War Two spy radios. Picture: Andrew Roe
Peter Sables, of Carcroft with his collection of World War Two spy radios. Picture: Andrew Roe

Forget London calling - Doncaster spy 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 more than 70 years.

Bletchley Park - home of the wartime codebreakers.

Bletchley Park - home of the wartime codebreakers.

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 been into radio 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 go on air for the first time.

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

His collection has come from car boot sales, 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 so they could get their messages to the outside world.

Mr Sables, of 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.

“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 - and the former military man is often called on to give talks about his pastime.

But he has made a few changes. “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.