Goblin Timespot

The Goblin Timespot, released in 1947, appears to have been the first ever commercial radio alarm clock. Early promotions described it as a “Goblin Controlled Time Domestic Radio, Incorporating Superhet Radio Receiver with Synchronous Electric Clock”. In the same year Ekco released a clock radio – the A33 Radiotime. Their comparatively modern looking cabinet was designed by the architect and designer Wells Coates.

There are several versions of the Timespot. All seem to have featured a three waveband radio, a fairly standard four valve plus rectifier superhet. The valve line-up was 6K7G, 6K8G, 6Q7G, 6V6G, 5Z4G.

Most models are SW/LW/MW. A very similar unit exists with rounded back corners and 2 short wave bands and MW instead. This was probably an export version as LW was not used in many places except the UK. A later version was then produced, still using valves, but smaller and perhaps less stylish, but still called Timespot.

Goblin Timespot Radio 002
Goblin Timespot Radio 002

The original set incorporated a Smiths electric clock with a time adjustment control protruding from the back of the cabinet. The two vertical wheels between the tuning window and clock are used to set the on and off times. The set was quite expensive at £24. Considering the high price the cabinet finish is rather poor, and more often than not these sets show up today with refinished cabinets.

For no obvious reason the back panel is formed of two separate parts, and these are almost always missing in receivers found today. One useful feature from a service point of view is that the chassis could be removed from the cabinet without taking off the control knobs.