Why start a radio station?

I just love radio. Always have done.

My earliest memories are like many other people of my age group; listening to fading distant shows on a crackly old  transistor radio from under the bed covers long after I should have fallen asleep. Technology was such in those days that night was apparently radio’s most potent enemy. Sound waves from even the mighty BBC couldn't always pervade the darkness and somehow, all that could make it through the cloudy nights was obscure music and incoherent voices from the other side of the world. Despite this barrier, I'd’ experiment with a Crystal Radio project, erecting a makeshift antenna, feebly wiring it to my Tandy “65-in-1 Electronic Project Kit”, plugging in the battery and doing my damndest to find those tasty morsels of sound, from wherever they might originate.

I broke the law fairly early on, listening and recording the weekly chart run down on BBC Radio 1, hosted each Sunday evening at 6pm by a honey-voiced actor type called Tom Browne. I remember imploring the family to keep the noise down as I held aloft the pathetic microphone to the tiny radio speakers. It was surely black magic of the deepest darkest variety when, some years later, my dad bought me a new fangled Fidelity 4-40 Music Centre. This device had a turntable, cassette recorder and a built in radio tuner from which I could record absolutely anything that came through the airwaves. Not only that, it had the seemingly improbable ability to make perfect uninterrupted recordings of the radio regardless of whatever noise other imbeciles were making in the living room. Seriously, stream rippers of today have no understanding of how difficult it once was to get a pristine recording of a song without the DJ or indeed your own family, traipsing all over the audio like a drunk in jackboots.

In later years, I cherished an early Sony Walkman with its built in FM radio, listening to the joys of crystal clear stereo sound, where the presenters and singers seemed to hover inside your head, slightly to the left or right. Now I could stay awake long into the night, chuffed to bits that I could listen to anything I wanted without it fading away unexpectedly or the presenter being obscured by a bunch of static interference. Some say electricity, flight and the wheel are amongst the most significant inventions of all time. Me, I stand by the Walkman. Thank you Mr Sony.

With such a hard-wired love for the wireless, I guess it was invetible that I'd one day start my own station. Radio Wandle!


Posted by Tim on Sat 01 Jan at 09:30 and viewed 377 times.

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