Please see below for details of various events and visits for 2019 relating to the Friends and The National Archives.

Friends’ Talk: Decca – The supreme record company goes to war

Thursday 19 September 2019, 18.00 – 19.30, the Events Space at Kew


This year is the 90th anniversary of the Decca Record Company.

To mark the occasion the book ‘The Story of Decca Records 1929-2019′ has recently been published. Join the Friends’ chairman, Dr Tony Wakeford, who researched the history of the Company during World War II for the book. Drawing on material held at The National Archives, and other archival sources, he discusses Decca’s contribution to the war effort.

Their contribution was significant, providing innovative technical support for a number of operational aspects including the development of navigation which provided a vital, yet little known, contribution to the success of D-Day in 1944. They also assisted the Y Service with the decoding of German radio transmissions and supplied training records for the Anti Aircraft Command. Their research and development work for the Admiralty and Coastal Command enabled the improvement in recorded sound as part of the anti-submarine war effort. This was to lead to full frequency range recordings (ffrr) and the basis for the Company’s post war commercial and technical successes.

The talk will be interspersed with Decca recordings of the era, showcasing the variety of recorded output during the 1940s. There will also be a display of Decca memorabilia from the period.

Entrance for members is FREE, and each guest £5.00 + £1.43 booking fee (£5.00 only (not the booking fee) refundable against the cost of the membership subscription if a guest joins the Friends on the night). Members may bring a maximum of two guests.

To reserve your place (Friends’ members) or obtain tickets (guests), please see Eventbrite for full details.

Friends’ Visits Programme for 2019 – now available

Details of the Friends’ 2019 Visits Programme are now available. Eight visits are scheduled between 26 April and 30 September 2019. Please download the Visits Brochure and Booking Form.

If you any queries regarding the visits programme, please contact our visits coordinator at

Friends’ Events during early 2019

Please see the Updates page for details of current events due in early 2019.

Friends’ Annual General Meeting June 2020

The Friends’ Annual General Meeting for 2020 will take place at the Events Space at The National Archives, Kew. More information about the AGM will be available in Spring 2020.