I'm sure this has been discussed on here before, but does anyone remember Rothery's music shop on Gerard St in Ashton?. My dad bought a reel-to-reel tape recorder from there in 1960. He often used to record music from the radio of the well-known singers of the time, and also used to use it to record sound from the TV. He still has many of these recordings, some are from Sunday Night at the London Palladium, including an appearance from Pat Boone (who apparently had appeared on the show about 5 times), and Wagon Train actor Robert Horton.
The recorder he had was one of the cheaper models. There was a red light which would flicker to let you know that it wasn't recording correctly, so you had to keep your beady eye on it to make sure it stayed still. At one time the recorder broke and he had to take to be repaired at their workshop in St Helens, which took six weeks to repair (no throwing away and getting a new one back then). These machines were cumbersome and quite heavy to carry around. He no longer has the original recorder as it wouldn't work anymore, later bought a different model from a relation, but thankfully still has the tapes.