BECG becomes home to Yaxley public address collection

The Broadcast Engineering Museum is now home to the Yaxley Collection of public address equipment. Public address isn’t really part of broadcasting but the two fields share technologies. The Yaxley collection contains many items that are as much a part of broadcasting as of public address.

One notable example is a Marconi Reisz microphone, a type that was used by the BBC in the 1920s and 30s. Our example is in superb condition and has a royal connection. Ken Yaxley used it when King George V visited Norfolk.

Photo of microphone and King George V
From an article by Ken Yaxley in the March 2013 ISCE magazine

The late Ken Yaxley, a pioneering public address contractor, assembled the collection and built a dedicated museum next to his house in Norfolk.

Photo of Ken Yaxley in his museum
Ken Yaxley in his museum

Ken died in 2015 and his family wanted to find a new home for the collection.

Initially the Yaxley collection was transferred to Lucien Nunes Vaz, with the intention of it forming part of his MEET (Museum of Electrical and Electronic Technology) project. Although the collection passed physically to Lucien, legally it remained part of the Yaxley estate as MEET was not yet a charity. Alas, Lucien became seriously ill with cancer and died in June 2023 aged only 51, leaving the Yaxley collection in limbo. Tony Clayden, a long standing friend of Lucien and a friend of the BECG, arranged with the administrators of the Yaxley estate that the collection would come to the BECG.

In July 2023 a small team from the BECG packed and transported the Yaxley Collection from one of Lucien’s stores to the Broadcast Engineering Museum.

Part of the Yaxley collection in storage
Part of the Yaxley Collection in store at the Broadcast Engineering Museum

We intend to exhibit part of the collection at our Heritage Open Days on 9/10 September 2023. We will shortly create a dedicated space in our building to display the collection.

The BECG wishes to thank Tony Clayden for his help in transferring the Yaxley Collection to us and for his assistance in curating the collection.