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)

Saturday 22 September 2012

Radio Marabu

Radio Marabu first began broadcasting in 1984, and is still going in 2012, although these days it is via licensed relays. Here is a short clip of Marabu from 1986. You can find out more about the station on their website at:

(0.58 min)

Saturday 25 August 2012

Radio Orion, UK

When Radio Orion launched in 1986 it became the first 7-day free radio shortwave station. Among those involved was the late Paul Johnson of UK Radio. Here is a clip of him on Orion in July 1986.

(3.35 mins)

There is much more about Orion and more audio recordings on the Pirate Archive's UK Radio page.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Radio Universum

Here is a recording of Radio Universum from Germany signing off, the recording was made in early 1986.

(1.41 mins)

Saturday 11 August 2012

Radio Private

Radio Private was a German free radio station broadcasting in the mid-80s. This clip is of the station relayed via Radio Rainbow in Ireland in early 1986.

(2.52 mins)

Saturday 4 August 2012

Falcon Radio

Now for a short recording from the UK station called Falcon Radio, made in early 1986.

(0.58 mins)

Friday 27 July 2012

Radio East Coast Commercial

Another popular UK land-based station from the 1980s was Radio East Coast Commercial, run by Norman Nelson. Here is a clip of the station signing off in March 1986.

(3.54 mins)

Sunday 22 July 2012

Sound of Sweden

The Sound of Sweden was on the air for 10 years from Sweden and via relays. Here is a clip from their 10th anniversary show in 1985, relayed by Radio Delmare. The Free Home Scandinavia website says SOS was not heard after 1985 so this could well have been their last broadcast.

(2.51 mins)

Saturday 14 July 2012

Radio Liberty Sound

This is a recording of French pirate Radio Liberty Sound, with a New Year's Eve broadcast in 1985. The QSL is from Fritz-Walter's huge collection, with thanks. You can see more of his QSLs at

(3.04 mins)

Sunday 8 July 2012

Pirate Freaks Broadcasting Service

This is a clip from the Pirate Freaks Broadcasting Service (PFBS), signing off then calling CQ to Weekend Music Radio, recorded in late-1985.

(1.02 mins)

Saturday 7 July 2012

Anoraks UK Weekly Reports

The operator of the excellent DX Archive web site has been busy downloading copies of the Anoraks UK weekly reports onto his website. This carried free radio logs and news, in days long before the internet. You can now read copies from 1983 to 1989 at this link:

Saturday 23 June 2012

Radio Scorpio, Germany

Here is a recording of German free radio station, Radio Scorpio, made in late 1985.

(1.47 mins)

Saturday 16 June 2012

Radio Pamela

Radio Pamela was a UK station broadcasting around the mid-80s. Here is a recording made in November 1985. The QSL said they were using 1.5kW.

(1.14 mins)

Saturday 9 June 2012

Riverside Radio

Here is a clip from Riverside Radio from Ireland, making its first transmission in 1985, using only 5W. QSL from the DX Archive website.

(2.21 mins)

Saturday 2 June 2012

Kiwi Radio, New Zealand

This is a recording of Radio Kiwi from New Zealand, relayed on medium wave (1094 kHz) by Radio Torenvalk, made in September 1985. The operator is heard talking about problems the station has been having in New Zealand. The station was previously known as Radio Freedom.

(6.15 mins)

Saturday 26 May 2012

Radio Skywave International

Here a couple of recordings from another Irish station called Radio Skywave Int, heard in mid-1985.

(1.03 & 0.45 mins)

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Radio Tutenchamun

Radio Tutenchamun was a German station, heard via Radio Delmare in 1985.

(2.11 mins)

Saturday 5 May 2012

Solar Radio, London

Solar Radio was another of the dance-orientated stations that sprung up on the FM band in the 1980s, having been formed after some of the DJs left Horizon to set up their own station. Here is a clip from 1985.

(2.14 mins)

Saturday 28 April 2012

Radio Big Lizard

There have not been many free radio stations coming out of France. The most well-known is probably Radio Waves Int which is still going today. But here is one from 1985 called Radio Big Lizard which only broadcast a few times a year.

(4.30 mins)

Saturday 21 April 2012

Torenvalk, Woodpecker and Waddenzee

Here are clips from three Dutch pirates from 1985. Torenvalk was recorded in 1094 kHz medium wave while Woodpecker and Waddenzee were heard on shortwave.

(1:36 mins)

(1:18 mins)

(1:18 mins)

Thursday 5 April 2012

Radio Shamrock

Here is a short recording of another Irish station, Radio Shamrock, made in mid-1985.

(1.06 mins)

Saturday 17 March 2012

Rebel Radio Network

Here are couple of recording from the Rebel Radio Network signing on and off, which gave an address in Venus, Texas. A fast moving and slick production from 1985.

(2.15 & 1.27 mins)

Saturday 3 March 2012

Skull and Bones Radio System

Here is another pirate from Ireland. Skull and Bones Radio System was active in the late 1970s but went off the air before returning in 1985. Here is a recording from their first broadcast after returning in 1985.

(2.59 mins)

There is a bit more about them on DX Archive

Saturday 25 February 2012

Starlight Radio

Here's a recording of Starlight Radio in Germany, made in 1985, using 41 metres. No QSL with this one.

(2.28 mins)

Saturday 18 February 2012

Radio Rainbow Int, Ireland

Radio Rainbow Int was set up by Boyneside Radio presenter and engineer Heady Eddie in 1985 and was on air for about three years. Here is a clip from 1985. There is more information on DX Archive

(2.45 mins)

QSL from DX Archive

Sunday 5 February 2012

Channel Radio

Here is a recording from a UK station called Channel Radio which used the Hunstanton maildrop. The recording was made in 1985.

(2.38 mins)

Saturday 28 January 2012

Radio Ridiculous & Radio Tonair

Here are a couple of recordings from Dutch stations that are still around today, although both are not on the air very often. This is how they sounded in 1985.

(2.03 mins)

(1.11 mins)

Saturday 21 January 2012

Radio Rastafari

Here is a clip from early 1985 of a reggae station called Radio Rastafari, heard on 6205 kHz which used a mailing address in the Netherlands.

(1.31 mins)

(Thanks to Eckhard in Germany for supplying the QSL)

Saturday 14 January 2012

Radio Jackie raided (1985)

Radio Jackie first went on the air on medium wave in 1969 with the aim of providing a local radio service for the people of south west London. Its popularity grew and in 1984 a petition was signed by 55,000 people calling for the station to be given a licence. But in February 1985 the station was raided by the DTI and closed down. When a license was advertised in 1996 for SW London, Jackie applied but it was given to a rival bidder, Thames FM. But in 2003 Thames FM was in financial trouble and the Jackie team bought the station and Jackie was back on the air as a legal station, and can still be heard on 107.8FM in south west London.

There is more about the station history and photographs on the Radio Jackie website:

There is also a lot more information and recordings from the 1970s and 80s on the Radio Eric website:

The Pirate Archive also has more information and audio:

Here is a short clip I made of Jackie's final moments on medium wave in 1985, although the final closedown was only heard on FM.

(0.50 mins)

The Radio Jackie theme tune played by the Bob Keene Orchestra

Saturday 7 January 2012

Radio Ireland Int

There were many stations on the air from Ireland during the 1980s. Another was Radio Ireland International. Here is a recording from late 1984.

(1.40 mins)

Sunday 1 January 2012

Radio 47

Here is a clip from a UK station called Radio 47, made at Christmas 1984. Good signal and audio but no QSL from this station.

(4.13 mins)