Oxford Radio reunion

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fig
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Oxford Radio reunion

Post by fig » Mon May 08, 2017 8:59 pm

So this weekend an old guy arrived at Vaalplasie looking for pizza and nearly fell over backwards when he saw Oxford Radio, my 1961 signwritten panelvan. Once he got over his shock he introduced himself as Tommy Kotze, aged 76, and said he used to work for Oxford Radio as a valve radio technician from about 1965-67. He drove the bus around Joburg's northern suburbs doing home service calls.

It may sound weird, but I had been waiting for him. I have wondered for years if anyone would ever show up who had experience with this bus back in the day. :hangloose: 8)

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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by jolas » Mon May 08, 2017 9:20 pm

this story is so cool

ja, life and it's suprises ......... who would ever have thought .......

I'm really glad that you have a closed another chapter or two on the life of this special bus Christian
by fig » Mar 26, 2018
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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by Chardivw » Mon May 08, 2017 10:08 pm

Wow Fig. That is so awesome!

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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by freddiebooysen » Tue May 09, 2017 5:41 am

Fig congrats happy for you bud.


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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by Tony Z » Tue May 09, 2017 6:04 am

what are the chances... nice one. I am sure you made his week too!

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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by AlanH » Tue May 09, 2017 6:37 am

Great story, one often wonders about the stories behind some vehicles.

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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by fig » Tue May 09, 2017 6:47 am

I think this little reunion made both of our weekends!

I can only imagine what it must feel like to have a ghost from your past walk into your life 50 years later! :o :shock:
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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by brucet » Tue May 09, 2017 7:03 am

wow that is amazing!! must be an absolutely awesome experience for the gent (and you)

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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by acpaterson » Tue May 09, 2017 7:14 am

Very cool story.. nice one Fig.

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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by Donovan D » Tue May 09, 2017 7:49 am

That is really cool, what a great surprise that must have been for him.
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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by retrovan » Tue May 09, 2017 10:27 am

Great, Hope you got his contact number,

Wonder if he has any forgotten photo's or adds with the bus in the background, that would be a find of the century.

Congratulations with your new contact.

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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by fig » Tue May 09, 2017 11:05 am

I have his number and we have promised to keep in contact. I asked if he had any photos and he said no. I guess your average 23-year-old doesn't think anything of his boss's company van ... until it steps back into his life 50 years later!

He did give me the name of the owner of the Oxford radio business, so I have a lead to follow. Has anyone here ever heard of Solly Lawrence or know his family?

Although Tommy didn't have much info, it was a lot more than I had. My only knowledge about this bus is the story that the signwriting tells. I now know who owned the business and that the bus was used for home service, which I didn't know before. As the signwriting tells, Oxford Radio started out in Tyrwhitt Avenue Rosebank. Apparently Solly Lawrence lived in nearby Melrose. He used the bus to travel to and from work. It spent the nights locked up in his garage and the days being driven around by his technicians.

Based on the last licence discs in the windscreen, this bus was in service until 1982. Not many businesses these days would keep a delivery van in service for 21 years. Part of what appeals to me about this story is how this small business sustained Solly Lawrence's family as well as the families of his employees. Not like today where most of us are just drones employed by huge corporations that own everything.
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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by retrovan » Tue May 09, 2017 11:23 am

fig wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 11:05 am
... what appeals to me about this story is how this small business sustained Solly Lawrence's family as well as the families of his employees.....
Yes I have the same feeling, that this humble little van, through its efforts , sustained a few family's, educated them to maybe become the owners of the large corporate firms you now talk about.

That maybe with out its efforts, the present would look very different then it is now........

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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by Eugene » Tue May 09, 2017 11:25 am

Cool story Fig
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Re: Oxford Radio reunion

Post by sean » Tue May 09, 2017 9:35 pm

Amazing. This makes me think back when the original owners son of my 59 rat bus spotted me outside Tulbach, 700km away from his farm where I collected it. He gave me that bus for free and simply refused to believe that such a wreck would ever run again, then, this guys face when he actually saw this very kombi on the road again still looking in its state as i found it but in a fully driving condition. These are fantastic moments.

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