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This whole new short wave audience boosted the team's confidence and

they began regular Saturday and Sunday broadcasts on short wave from

10am to 5pm. These broadcasts, you will recall, were all being carried out

without a broadcast licence. The programmes, which proved very popular

with the Continental audience, were not proving so popular with the Radio

Communications Agency, who were at this very moment driving around in

their detector vans tracing the pirate radio signals back to that small flat in

Clanfield.

 

The Raid

 

..and so, one Sunday in 1994 at about midday we were visited by 3 officers

from the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) Radiocommunications

Unit and 5 police officers. The raiding officers explained to us that the shop

next door to our flat had problems on his telephone line and had called an

engineer who had decided it was interference of an illicit nature and

reported it to the DTI.

The officers disconnected all of the transmission and studio equipment and confiscated it along with our entire record collection.During the following couple of weeks we received so many good wishes from our many listeners that we decided to get back on air as soon as possible. Just four weeks later we were back. As the shortwave transmitter had been the cause of the interference that led to our raid we decided to only run an FM transmitter locally in future. So that we could still be heard by our many listeners overseas we recorded special programmes and had them relayed by several shortwave pirates, including Free Radio London, a station in Kent, one on Guernsey and a station in Luton. This meant that on some Sundays listeners could tune to any one of up to 5 Angel Radio broadcasts, each one different from the rest.

Our FM broadcasts took to the air on Friday evenings and went through to Monday morning. We included programmes from many ex-pirate deejays from Jamm FM in Portsmouth.

In 1995 we were invited onto a Portsmouth RSL station called Radio Victory to discuss pirate radio. The following weekend we were raided once again by officers from the DTI Radiocommunications Unit and police.

It was interesting to note that the local beat-bobby actually stood up for us against the DTI and argued that we were providing a community service. Never-the-less our equipment was confiscated again.

During the programme about pirate radio on Radio Victory we were joined by Tracy Mullins from the Radio Authority, who told us about RSLs (Restricted Service Licenses) and offered assistance in applying for one so that we could broadcast legally, albeit only for 28 days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                TO BE CONTINUED

MKirby 80s

A rare photograph of Martin Kirby at the controls of short wave pirate station 'Freesound'. Circa 1980s