Paul spots a Lafayette HE-30 in the film “Robbery”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Steckler, who writes:

Hi Thomas,

A few weeks ago, I watched the movie “Bullitt”, starring Steve
McQueen, and shot on-location in San Francisco. The centerpiece of
that movie was a thrilling car chase through San Francisco; McQueen
did a lot of the driving himself. The director was Peter Yates, who is
English. He went on to direct “Breaking Away”, every cyclist’s
favorite movie.

Yates had directed an earlier movie, “Robbery”, a fictionalized
account of the Great Train Robbery of 1963. I purchased the DVD, and
watched that one tonight. That movie also featured a harrowing car
chase, this time through London. After robbing the train, the crooks
hole up in the basement of an abandoned building on a Royal Air Force
airfield. To keep tabs on the cops, they’re monitoring the airwaves
with what appears to be a Lafayette HE-30.

I’ve attached a screenshot of the scene which shows the radio most
prominently (sorry, it’s a little fuzzy).

Here’s a description of the radio:

What a beautiful radio! Thank you for sharing this, Paul. I’ve never seen Robbery, so I’m adding it to my watch list!

Spread the radio love

4 thoughts on “Paul spots a Lafayette HE-30 in the film “Robbery”

  1. Robin Spalding

    The Lafayette HE-30 was my first real communications receiver… and I lived in a very low noise area when I got it from my dad at age 15. So, tons of hours spent exploring the many stations crowding the bands during the mid-60’s, and onward as the cold war era continued. Still have it (in storage) and plan to revive it at some point.

  2. DanH

    I purchased mine at a yard sale in 1970. It was the best-looking, worst-performing shortwave radio I ever owned. It had a matching outboard speaker not shown in the above photo. My WWII surplus Hammarlund RBG-2 would run circles around the much smaller HE-30 which was also sold in kit form as KT-320. The styling of this steel cabinet radio with its slide rule dial was far better than average for the early 1960’s. The battleship gray wrinkle paint was flawless. But, the Q-multiplier for selectivity was ineffective and the radio wandered off frequency constantly. No amount of warm-up time could cure that. It was a Japanese-designed radio built for Lafayette by Trio, which later renamed itself as Kenwood. HE-30 was so darned-good looking that people hung on to them. They still appear fairly often on eBay. I gave mine to my little brother and kept the Hammarlund.

  3. Kris Partridge

    Think the HE-30 was a technicality attractive prop, but at the time of the Great Train Robbery the UK’s police radio band was 94,5 – 100 MHz (base) ( mobiles between 80 -87,5 MHz, variable duplex distance ).
    So while it was possible to monitor the police on a domestic radio it wouldn’t have been possible on the HE-30.


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