The Pye History Project is an industrial history program to research, document and record the history of the Pye Group of Companies between 1896 and the present day. The long-term objective of the project is to establish or participate in a public museum which will adequately interpret and display the full extent of the scientific and technological discoveries and innovations which originated in Cambridge and the surrounding area. The Pye Group was always headquartered in Cambridge, England.
- To research and accurately document the history and product range of The Pye Group of Companies (including its overseas operations), to ensure that accurate, factual information is available to historians and collectors.
- To record and document the personal accounts of former Pye Group staff and management
- To conserve, restore and display the products and documents from the Pye History Trust and the Pye Telecom Historic Collection.
- To acquire examples of Pye equipment and documentation which are missing from the combined collections.
- To contribute to the establishment of a public museum display of Pye Group products and documents at a suitable technology museum location in/near Cambridge, England.
In February 2015 a charitable trust, The Pye History Trust, was established as a long term ownership vehicle for the various collections of equipment, documents, ephemera and personal accounts owned by or donated to the project. The trust has been formed as a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) Registered Charity No. 1162310, with objectives which include the advancement of culture, heritage and science in the fields of scientific and analytical instruments, radio communications, radio navigation, radar and broadcasting, radio, television, audio and domestic equipment, electronic components, manufacturing processes and supporting services.
The Pye Telecom Historic Collection is Pye Telecom’s own museum collection of equipment, documents and photographs, collected over a 25 year period by the managers and staff of Pye Telecom/Philips RCS/Simoco International Ltd as a permanent record of the Company history. In the past, selected items were displayed at the Company Headquarters in St. Andrews Road in Cambridge.
The Pye Telecom History project was a private venture by ex-Pye employees to save the company museum collection, when the Simoco Group companies were placed into Legal Administration in March 2002, and keep it safely in storage until sufficient interest developed in the history of Pye Telecom and the wider Pye Group of companies. From 2002 to 2015 the Collection was stored in privately funded rented accommodation. The products in the collection have been sorted, catalogued, cleaned, conserved and photographed in detail. From 2015 the Pye Telecom History Project has become part of the wider Pye History Project operated by The Pye History Trust.
To date well over 300 examples of Pye, Philips and Simoco military and commercial radio communications equipment artefacts have been logged dating from 1942 to about 1997, plus the technical manuals for over 500 types of equipment. The equipment are mainly examples of the ‘standard products category’, as opposed to customer specific variants or special versions. Also held in the collection is a wide range of Company promotional material in the form of product catalogues, brochures and leaflets etc. from 1949 to 2005, together with photographs and other internal documents.
The collection is not 100% complete and some of the oldest items "went missing" after an internal display in 1979, and again in 2000 items "went missing" while the equipment was in temporary storage for a two-week period in the production area at St. Andrews Road. Some of these items are now in the hands of private collectors. Consequently donations of equipment, documents and information are welcomed.
Photocopying of Technical Manuals
We would politely advise that under the terms of the transfer of the collection from Simoco Ltd and in order to avoid any commercial or copyright conflict with any Pye, Philips or Simoco companies (and/or their former Distributors and Agents) that may still be trading in the business of radio communications equipment, sales, service & maintenance, it is our policy not to supply photocopies of technical manuals for commercial purposes.
We will try to assist historians, private collectors and equipment restorers with accurate information where ever practicable, however we would respectfully ask you to remember that there is a practical limit to the time which can be devoted to very labour intensive requests, such as copying complete service manuals.
This statement is made with respect to the EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, December 2003.