The Repair Shop viewers praise touching story behind secret WWII radio

The Repair Shop: Man shows secret radio in a book form WWII

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During Wednesday night’s instalment of BBC One’s The Repair Shop, viewers saw one man bring in a radio that had been disguised as a book during the second world war. Telling Jay Blades more about the item, he revealed that his grandfather had managed to conceal the radio from the German troops.

Originally from the Netherlands, Vos van Marken entered the workshop to tell Jay and Mark more about the item that he wanted to be restored.

First revealing a book, he confessed that the object was more than it seemed as he explained its backstory.

Sharing that it was actually a secret radio, Vos explained that his grandfather, Anton, concealed it as the Dutch government was in exile in London and was broadcasting from the city.

He told The Repair Shop hosts that the government were giving the Dutch resistance people information but as the Germans had confiscated the radios, his grandfather hid one.

Vos said: “They told people to hand in their radios, if you were found to have a radio you could be punished, even with the death penalty at the time.”

Along with the camouflaged radio was a headset that Vos said his family member would plug in and listen to the broadcasts from London on the allied troops and how they were advancing.

Saying he doesn’t think his grandfather was part of the resistance he was connected to people that were and passed on information to them.

Calling him incredible brave, Mark stated he couldn’t imagine having to constantly look over his shoulder in fear.

Hearing the story of Anton and the item that Vos had brought it, viewers quickly took to Twitter to share how special they thought the secret radio was.

Elizabeth Heeles said: “What a story about the radio hidden in a book.  The bravery of these people during the war.”

“The ingenuity of the radio in a book is brilliant,” commented Martin Kelly.

Darren added: “Anton’s book / radio is quite outstanding.”

With Lorraine stating: “Wow! this book/radio is a brilliant piece of history.”

Elsewhere in the episode, Vos revealed that his grandfather and his grandmother were hiding a Jewish boy in their attic behind a false wall.

Speaking to Jay and Mark he revealed that unfortunately their house was raided and the young boy was taken while his grandparents were thrown in prison.

Revealing that the radio was never discovered, he shared that he remembers listening to it with his grandfather when he was a teenager and wishes to do so once again.

Setting about trying to restore the radio, both Jay and Mark called in Chris to help with the final repairs.

Looking at the inside of the radio, Mark had concerns as he called the item a “one-off” and emphasised there wasn’t anything else for him to use as a source of reference.

However, when the final repair was uncovered, Vos was speechless as he said the radio looked great.

Listening to it working once again, he said: “It’s absolutely fantastic, thank you!”

After he left the workshop, he said he was amazed as he thought you’d be able to fix the book but not the radio working.

The Repair Shop continues Wednesdays on BBC One at 8pm

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