Tony Holmes, is a well respected authority on all things Juke box, he was the the original proprietor of the well known UK company “The Juke Joint”, Tony is a legend among UK jukebox collectors, he has been restoring, repairing and writing about classic jukeboxes since the 1970's. and we welcome him to the Ditchburn Project to discuss and share the restoration of his only known surviving Jack Hylton Music Maker MK1 Jukebox.
in 2014 The Condition is still the same as when I bought it 19 years earlier.
Tony had bought the machine from an auction in London 19 years previously and it had sat in storage until 2014, this is where we join Tony for the start of the restoration. All the Photos below are Courtesy of Tony Holmes
Un-restored Front Panel
Un-restored internal mechanism (rear view)
Illuminated right front panel
Badly painted side panels
Rear ventilation panels
Main issue here was the yellow on the side panels, it was fairly obvious that this was not the original colour, plus it had been painted over with what looked like a piece of wet toast The only picture that has ever shown up of an original Jack Hylton is the one from the Hawtins catalogue, and that of course is in black and white.
The panels had to come out and out they came to reveal that they were actually originally red. They were made from aluminium sheet which upon inspection had started to corrode the way aluminium does ,they were blistered and powdering and so I decided to replace the lot with new plastic colour matched sheets. some may frown on this decision but these sheets were backed inside with asbestos padded panels to prevent vibration and they definitely had to go I have retained all the yellow daubed panels for reference.
So the tear down has begun, everything out… plastics, wiring, the lot. Reference has been made in some of the history notes that the main cabinet frames were made from military packing cases, in particular American Oak This is born out by the fact there are no sections in the entire cabinet that are more than 6 inches wide even the bottom of the cabinet floor is planked.
Note here the number 488 on parts of the frame this is hand written on several sections, it is also stamped into the woodwork.
The outer plastics removed.
Some of the joinery work is superb.
The internal coating of traditional Hawtin’s / Ditchburn Green, it seems no machine left the factories without some form of green inside them, usually on the frame and control box, and this was also the reasoning behind the colours used on this website.
The new red side panels and original plastics are re-fitted back into the case.
The re-painted vent panels, the re-finished back doors, are re-fitted to the back of the case. and the front speaker grill is also fixed into place.
Next the Amplifier, controls section and record playing mechanism.
The Front View.
The Rear View.
THE AMPLIFIERThis was manufactured by the Magneta Time Company of Leatherhead Surrey, It is my understanding that these were the first amplifiers used in the Jack Hylton MK1 and that some made there way into the MK2 model when they were converted over by Ditchburn who then went on to use amplifiers made for them by BTH, although its possible that this was the other way around. Magneta Time was still in business in Leatherhead until the late seventies they were a division of GOBLIN and specialised in PA systems for factories among other things.
Inside the “green” side control box.
The side control box, interfaced with the credit unit, the playing mechanism, and switched the valve amplifier out of standby mode when a record was selected.
The above parts were transferred to the MK2 models and then the MK2R as well.
The Wurlitzer 16 selection playing mechanism was restored
The lighting set for the internal illumination. the lighting loom consisting of cloth covered twisted flex and standard bayonet lamp holders.
The Pick up is arm now converted to Astatic 51these arms did not make it to the MK2 models
Title board with new inserts, A new title design software programme was written for me by John Smout to print the titles, these are on four cards with four titles on each.
AND FINALLY…. THE FINISHED MACHINE
A BIG thank you to Tony Holmes for sharing this insight to the restoration of a rare and previously little known about jukebox, and hopefully we can keep the history of these wonderful British machines alive for many generations to come.
Click on YouTube video below to see the MK 1 in action