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Concept News

Pirate Files

Compiled by Jim Lowe from Newspaper Articles


Merseyside Free Radio (Gas FM !)


Merseyside Free Radio

Liverpool Echo, Monday October 12th 1987

Cops In Hunt For Radio Pirate

HI-TECH Mersey cops are hunting pirate radio operators whose broadcasts have jammed British Gas emergency frequencies. the station called Merseyside Free Radio brought chaos over the weekend. It was using the FM waveband to play pop music on a DIY transmitter.

Gas engineers had to use public telephones to keep in touch with control as pirates jammed the emergency network. Police were alerted and began tracking the pirates who's transmitter is believed to be around Leasowe in Wirral.

Today, a spokesman for British Gas described the dangers of jamming emergency frequencies. He said: "It means we cannot communicate with our with our engineers out on the road and the result could be very serious."This is the first time we have had problems like this."The FM waveband is so crammed that any pirate broadcasting on it is bound to interfere with someone. A spokesman for Merseyside Police said they were still investigating.

Liverpool Echo, Monday October 12th 1987


The Wirral News 14th October 1987

Ahoy There! Pirates say they're sorry.

A pirate, radio station. broadcasting from the Wirral has apologised through the Wirral News after music interfered with emergency channels used by British Gas services and ambulances. A spokesman for 'Merseyside Free Radio, giving his name only as 'Derek' said it was not the station's intention to cause trouble.: " We have heard through the press and radio that the police are investigating us.

We have apologised to British Gas for the inconvenience caused and have decided to shut down temporarily until we can find an alternative frequency, which will not interfere with anything important. "No one at Merseyside Free Radio makes any money, and we aim to raise money for charity. Unfortunately, our signal was stronger than we anticipated, and was picked up as far afield as Southport and Wigan" The station started broadcasting on 106FM on Sunday, giving a mailing address in Leasowe.

( Wirral News 14th October 1987)


Wirral Globe Thursday 15th October 1987

British Gas Slam Radio Pirates

A pirate radio station based at a Wirral location threw British Gas emergency services into chaos at the weekend. The mystery station is illegal. It piggy- backed the same airwave used by British Gas engineers and an intrusion of chat and pop music made it almost impossible for them to receive orders from central office.

Engineers rely on their radio to enable them to make a quick response to emergency gas leaks and other repairs. Now Crime Squad detectives are investigating the incident and hope to swoop on the pirates , believed to be operating from Leasowe.

A spokesman for British Gas North West told the Wirral Globe: "Our services were interrupted from early Sunday through to midnight on Sunday. It is the first time we have had trouble like this and the matter was referred to the police straight away. All we want to do is to maintain the best possible service for for our customers." But the spokesman declined to comment when asked of British Gas feelings about pirate radio. The airwave intrusion meant engineers had to shout over the radio stations programme. In the end, they had to use "alterative methods" of communication.

Wirral Globe Thursday 15th October 1987


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