Monday, 4 December 2017

Welcome to the Pirate Memories blog

This blog turns the clock back to the 1980s with recordings of shortwave pirate radio stations from Britain, Ireland and across Europe. There are also some clips from medium wave and FM stations from the London area, plus QSLs from many of the stations featured.

I have given it an update with a new template and embedded audio files in the posts to make it easier to click on and listen to the stations.

There's just over 100 stations featured with oldest recordings from the early 1980s at the beginning of this blog, working through to the late 80s.

Go to the 'Index of Stations' to see which stations are featured and when they were uploaded. The blog archive is near the bottom of the right hand column.

Alternatively, you can use the 'Labels' section. For instance, if you want to hear Irish stations from the 1980s, click on the Ireland label and it will bring up all the Irish stations featured on the blog.

Finally, you can simply scroll through to explore the pirate stations featured.

Happy listening!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

New website for 80s London FM pirate Phoenix Radio

Phoenix Radio, a FM pirate station which ran from 1979-1984 in London has launched a website. The station played indie/alternative music and built up quite a following in London. The website includes a history of the station, some audio recordings, a clip from a 1984 Channel 4 feature.

There's also a link to Phoenix Radio's Facebook page on the site.

The address is:

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The most popular posts

This trip through the 1980s free radio scene has featured a selection of nearly 130 stations. Most came from shortwave but also featured are some medium wave (from London and the Netherlands) and FM (or VHF as it was called then) from the London/North Surrey area.

I hope you have enjoying listening to them. I've had a look back to see which have been the most popular and here is the top 5:
1. Radio Jackie Raided . A bit of history as the then pirate broadcaster was raided before returning years later as a licensed local radio broadcaster.
2. Radio Ridiculous/Radio Tonair. A couple of Dutch stations who are both still around today.
3. Radio Invicta and Horizon Radio. Early pioneers of the soul music stations in London.
4. Skull & Bones Radio System. The 80s was a golden era for Irish radio and some of those stations feature on this blog. This is currently the most popular.
5. Radio Torenvalk, Woodpecker & Waddenzee. Three  medium wave Dutch stations from the 1980s.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Fresh FM, Time Radio, TKO

Here are three stations heard on FM across London in the late 1980s. All three were part of the new wave of soul/funk/hip hop stations targeting listeners, particularly from the black communities, fed-up with the mainstream offerings from Radio 1 or Capital, setting the scene for the London FM pirate scene seen today.

(4.22 mins)

(3.28 mins)

(2.54 mins)

Friday, 14 December 2012

Hits FM, London

Hits FM was a station operating on FM in London in the mid-80s. In 1993 staff from the station merged with Laser, which had been operating on FM in the London area since 1990, to form Laser Hot Hits. In 1994 LHH began broadcasting on shortwave ... and is still going strong today. You can read more about Laser's history at

Here is a clip from Hits FM, made at Christmas 1987. Apologises for the poor sound quality.

(2.44 mins)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

North Dublin Community Radio

Here is a clip of North Dublin Community Radio, giving out address, talking about WLR and Beatle Radio from late 1987.

(2.05 mins)

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Radio Mr Sandman

Here is a clip of a Dutch station called Radio Mr Sandman, made in 1986. He said he was using 500W of power.

(3.35 mins)

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Radio Rainbow Germany

Here is a clip from 1986 of Radio Rainbow Germany, broadcasting via Radio Mirage.

(1.34 mins)

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Radio Mirage

Here is a clip from Radio Mirage from 1986. The station first went on the air in the mid-80s and was around through most of the 90s.


(2.17 mins)