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The Pirate File

 

Compiled By Jim Lowe from newspaper articles

Liverpool Echo, Thursday September 17th 1987


Radio Merseywaves File

 

Liverpool Echo 28th November 1985

Pirate radio men charged

Moreton - based pirate radio station Merseywaves has been raided by government officials who have confiscated 1,300 Pounds worth of equipment and hundreds of records. Nine men from the Department of Trade and Industry pounced on Sunday afternoon. Two men were arrested and will appear in court next month.

Merseywaves say the two events it is holding in New Brighton and Birkenhead will still take place. The under 18's night out at the Golden Guinea, New Brighton will go ahead, as will the over 18's night at Atmosphere on December 10th.

(Liverpool Echo 28/11/85)

Radio pirate caught on the air.

A PIRATE radio station interfered with transmissions by Liverpool's Radio City. And when the independent station made a complaint, an investigation was launched by officers representing the radio investigation team from the Department of Trade.

A total of 10 people were summoned before Wirral magistrates yesterday in connection with the running of Radio Merseywave. In nine cases adjournments were requested and agreed. In the lOth "Dave Collins", admitted using a station for wireless telegraphy without a licence.

Miss Christine Bradley, prosecuting. said there was considerable concern over overlapping of frequencies because of pirate stations and also concern over interference with emergency services Miss Bradley said Merseywave transmitted over a 30 miles radius. She said it was a powerful radio. It was very organised and not run for a hobby. It had been in existence for about 10 years.

When officers went to the address of "Collins", music was being played on 1242 KZ on the medium wave band. It ceased when they knocked on the door. "Collins", who was present claimed he was just a visitor and said he was "only recording" but later he admitted he had been broadcasting. The transmitter was found hidden inside a bed settee suite on which he was sitting. It was seized along with other equipment and 118 single records and seven cassettes. Mr Ken Spectre, defending, said "Collins" and many of the others involved with the station were unemployed. They did not make a penny out of running the station which provided a service to the community and advertised charities.

Mr Spectre said the records seized were a lifetime collection. The magistrates allowed the records and cassettes to be returned but ordered that all the equipment seized be forfeited. "Collins" was unconditionally discharged, for two years but was ordered to pay costs totalling 231 Pounds.

(Liverpool Echo, Thursday September 17th 1987)

 

Wirral Globe Thursday 24th September 1987

Jobless Turned To Pirate Radio To Relieve Boredom

A group of people, mostly unemployed, broadcast on the pirate Birkenhead station Radio Merseywaves to help relieve boredom from living on the estate at Woodchurch, commented Mr. Kenneth Spectre, defending, at Wirral Magistrates' court.

Department of Trade investigators made inquiries after publicity about the station and a complaint from Radio City who said their own transmissions were being interrupted. "Dave Collins", aged 24, of Woodchurch, faced the court. He admitted using a station for wireless telegraphy when not a licence holder. Nine other people were summoned on various matters but their cases were adjourned.

Miss Christine Bradley, prosecuting, claimed the station was well organised and not run as a hobby. It had a thirty miles radius. There was concern at overlapping of frequencies by pirate stations who did not pay a fee and also concern at interference to emergency services. "Collins" had been broadcasting when investigators went to his flat. They confiscated all the equipment found and also I19 records and seven cassettes belonging to "Collins".

Mr Spectre said the station broadcast music and advertised charities. "Collins" did not make a penny out of it. Broadcasts had now ceased and there was no need to pillory the accused. The Magistrates agreed all the equipment be forfeited but they said the records and cassettes which were a lifetime collection by the defendant would be returned. He was granted a conditional discharge for two years but had to pay costs of 231 Pounds

Wirral Globe Thursday 24th September 1987

 

Wirral News 10th May 1989

'Keith The Cheif' Pirate DJ Fined.

A pirate radio disc jockey had his equipment confiscated by Wirral magistrates. "Keith The Cheif" 27, of Moreton used the name "Keith the Chief," was also fined 200Pounds by the magistrates after he admitted using a station, Radio Merseywaves for wireless telegraphy without a licence. He had to pay 150 Pounds costs. Items confiscated included a twin tape deck, a stereo cassette player and recorder and an amplifier.

"Keith" was questioned after members of the Radio Investigation Service raided a flat in Birkenhead after letters of complaint about interference to reception had been received.

Mr. David Moore, defending, said the defendant was a full-time technician with a local company. His spare time and his spare cash were used along with others to run Radio Merseywaves. The station had its uses. It campaigned actively against drugs and for safe sex following the AIDS scare. It had been involved in many worthwhile charity events and had helped bring together the community.

The Government now had plans for Community Radio, but "Keith" and his colleagues "had jumped the gun." In any case they were only enthusiasts and amateurs and would not be able to afford the vast fees likely to be requested.

"Keith" had a previous, similar conviction for running the same illegal station.

Wirral News 10th May 1989


Liverpool Echo, Wednesday May 3rd 1989

Disk Jockey Unsaddled

Pirate disk jockey "Keith the Chief" has landed in a spin.

"The Chief aged 27 of Moreton. pleaded guilty to using a wireless station - Radio Merseywaves; - for wireless telegraphy without a Iicence. He was fined 200 Pounds and also had to pay 150 Pounds costs

The magistrates confiscated equipment seized including a twin tape deck, a stereo cassette player and recorder and an amplifier. "Keith" had a previous similar conviction involving the same station.

Liverpool Echo, Wednesday May 3rd 1989


Liverpool Daily Post, September 17th 1987

Pirate has his records returned

COMPLAINTS by Radio City led to a pirate of the airwaves appearing before Wirral Magistrates. The independent station made a complaint about Radio Merseywave interfering with transmissions. An investigation followed by officers representing the radio investigation team from the Department of Trade A total of 10 people were summoned in connection with the running of Radio Merseywave. In nine cases adjournments were requested and agreed. In the lOth case "Dave Collins" (24); of Woodchurch, admitted using a station for wireless telegraphy without a licence.

When officers went to the Woodchurch address of "Collins", music was being played on the medium wave band. It ceased when they knocked on the door. "Collins" who was present claimed he was just a visitor and said he was only recording, but later he admitted he had been broadcasting. The transmitter was found hidden inside a bed settee suite on .which he was sitting. It was seized along with other equipment and 119 single records and seven cassettes.

The magistrates allowed the records and cassettes to be returned, but ordered that all the equipment seized be forfeited. "Collins" was unconditionally discharged for 2 years but was ordered to pay costs totalling 231 Pounds.

(Liverpool Daily Post, September 17th 1987)

 

Wirral News 23rd September 1987

Radio pirates scuppered after City tip-off call

RADIO Merseywaves, Birkenhead's pirate radio station, ran into trouble because of a complaint by Radio City. Ten people were summonsed at Wirral Magistrates Court following inquiries by the Radio Investigation Service at the Department of Trade . and Industry.

Nine cases were adjourned but, the tenth, "Dave Collins"aged 24, of Woodchurch, admitted using a station for wireless telegraphy without a licence. ' Miss Chrlstine Bradley, prosecuting,said the Radio City complaint followed newspaper publicity given to the pirate set-up. City also maintained that their own transmissions were being interrupted. The department was very concerned at overlapping of frequencies caused by pirate statlons and interference to emergency services.

Miss Bradley said ' Radio Merseywaves transmitted over a 30-mile radius. It was a powerful radio, well organised, and not run for a hobby.

The investigators went to a block of flats at Woodchurch and discovered music being transmitted on 1242 KHz on the Medium Waveband. When they knocked on the door the transmission ceased. "Collins" opened the door. He used the DJ name of Dave Collins. Miss Bradley said there was a studio in the flat and various items of equipment. Humphreys said it did not belong to him. He was a visitor to the flat and was only recording. Later he admitted: '"Okay, I was broadcasting"

The transmitter was discovered inside a bed settee suite on which "Collins" had been sitting. Mr Ken Spectre, defending, said "Collins" and other involved did not make a penny out of their activities. He was unemployed like many others. The organisation broadcast music and advertised charities. It was a worthwhile cause and a way to relieve boredom when when living on the estate. The broadcasts had now ceased and there was no need to pillory the accused.

The magistrates agreed to confiscate all the equipment but returned to "Collins" the records and cassettes which Mr Spectre said were a lifetime collection and important to him. "Collins" was conditionally discharged for two years but had to pay 231 Pounds costs.

Wirral News 23rd September 1987

 

WIRRAL GLOBE THURSDAY l8th December 1986

In defence of `Merseywaves'

I would like to take this opportunity to dispel any malicious rumours which may have been circulating about Radio Merseywaves.

Certain people are under the impression that all pirate or "free" radio stations around the country are a menace to society in that they accused of interfering with the emergency service on Radio wavebands. As I can now point out this is not true in certain cases. Radio Merseywaves broadcast on the frequency of 244 medium wave or.l233 kHz .

May I point out that there are no emergency services which broadcast on medium wave. Due to technical reasons They operate on the VHF waveband, therefore at the moment, Radio Maseywaves are in no way causing a hazard to emergency services.. In fact in my opinion there are other services in the community which interfere with radios more than free radio stations, one of which is taxis.

I would also like to point out that much hard work and many hours go into producing the shows which Radio Merseywaves broadcasts each Friday, Saturday,Sunday and Monday . Nearly all the DJ's on the station are well established Jocks working in venues around the Merseyside area and are not irresponsible as people might think Merseywaves DJ's are willing to promote charity events taking place in the Merseyside area and have also raised money on numerous occasions. Radio Merseywaves is not funded in any way and all expenses are paid for by the disc jockeys out of their own pockets.

If anyone has any opinions or wishes to tell me what they think of Radio Merseywaves and what we can do to improve the service, I will be very pleased to hear from them c/o the mailing address

Dave Benitez (Merseywaves DJ)

Wirral Globe Thursday 18th December 1986


(Liverpool Echo, Wednesday May 30th 1987)

End of the line for Radio Julie

A Ford Estate flat, which which was being used as the base for a pirate radio station, was raided by the Department of Trade and Industry officials, Wirral Magistrates were told. Later the disk jockey using the name Andy Davies, started broadcasting again from a new address, using the name Julie FM.

A second raid followed and further equipment confiscated.

Seized

"Andy Davies, 22. of Woodchurch, admitted two offences of using apparatus for wireless telegraphy without a licence, and one offence of of installing apparatus for wireless telegraphy.

Mr. Stephen McPeake, defending, said that "Davies" broke the law through his enthusiasm. There was no gain whatsoever for him. Mr. McPeake said he could not object to an application for the equipment to be forfeited. This would cost "Davies" about 500 Pounds.

The court imposed fines totalling 150 Pounds plus 50 Pounds costs and said the penalties would have been much higher but for the fact that "Davies" was drawing benefit. The magistrates also made the forfeiture order.

(Liverpool Echo, 20/05/87)


(Wirral News, 29th April 1987)

Raid on pirate Radio Julie

Department of Trade and industry officers investigated after radio transmissions were picked up coming from a flat at Ford Towers, Birkenhead. A search warrant was obtained and radio equipment was found in one room and transmitting material in another room, Mr Sean Sexton told Wirral magistrates. "Andy Davies", who was present, admitted operating under the name of Andy Davies and the equipment was seized.

Six months later, said MR. Sexton, more transmissions were discovered coming from a flat at Woodchurch, with the call sign Julie FM used. Again , equipment was seized. "Davies" admitted operating the equipment, which he said had been installed in December.

"Davies, 22, of Woodchurch, admitted two offences of using apparatus for wireless telegraphy without a licence. and one of installing apparatus for wireless telegraphy without a licence. The magistrates said they were concerned at the continuation of broadcasts by "Davies" after he was first seen and interviewed in August. They asked for a social enquiry report and adjourned sentence until May 19th.

Mr. Sexton asked that the some of the equipment seized be forfeited. He also claimed 200 Pounds costs. Mr Stephen McPeake, defending, said "Davies was a self-taught electronics enthusiast. He broke the law, but not for his own gain. He was unemployed and it was a way of occupying his time. Mr. McPeake said there was no evidence of interference being caused by the station which had benefited local charities by advertising events which were taking place.

(Wirral News, 29th April 1987)


Liverpool Echo Friday April 24 1987

Pirate DJ walks the plank

ELECTRONICS wizard "Andy Davies" took to the airwaves as a pirate disc jockey The self-taught radio expert sent out illegal I broadcasts in Wirral to 'fill in life on the dole. But he was caught by the Department of Trade and Industry"Davies", aged 22 of Woodchurch called his station Radio Julie, and appeared as DJ Andy Davies.

Wirral magistrates heard how officials picked up his signal and raided a flat at Ford Towers Birkenhead. He was interviewed, but continued to broadcast until another raid six months later, in Woodchurch. He admitted using wireless apparatus without a licence. Sentence was delayed for four weeks for a s social report.

(Liverpool Echo Friday April 24th 1987)


The Julie FM File

Wednesday April 22nd 1987

Pirate DJ Walks the plank.

ELECTRONICS wizard "Andy Davies" took to the airwaves as a pirate disc jockey The self-taught radio expert sent out illegal broadcasts in Wirral to fill in life on the dole. But he was caught by the Department of Trade and Industry.

"Davies", 22, of Woodchurch, called his station Radio Julie, and appeared as DJ Andy Davis. Wirral magistrates heard how officials picked up his signal and raided a flat at Ford Towers. Birkenhead.

He was interviewed, but continued to broadcast until another raid, six months later, in Woodchurch. He admitted using wireless apparatus without a licence. Sentence was delayed four weeks for a social report. .

Wednesday April 22nd 1987


KDA FM

Liverpool Echo Friday April 24th 1987

Radio Pirate Sunk By Mozart

PIRATE disc jockey "Keith" was trapped because his neighbours liked classical music. Beethoven and Mozart fans in Birkenhead, picked up interference when they tuned in to Radio Three. They complained. and sleuths from the Department of Trade moved in. The officials raided his house and found him transmitting an illegal station called Concept.

Wirral magistrates were told that he claimed he had only been doing it for a few weeks. "Keith" aged 27, admitted three offences on different dates of using wireless apparatus without a licence. He also admitted operating operating a station without a licence. The court ordered his equipment to be forfeited. George Sale, defending, said it would mean an estimated loss to the defendant of 350 Pounds.

Mr. Sale said "Keith" had now realised how wrong he had been operating the station and was sorry for the disturbance. He did not make any money. It was purely for his own pleasure. Christine Bradley, for the prosecution, said he had told officers it was a hobby.

(Liverpool Echo Friday April 24th 1987)



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


Liverpool Pirate Radio

Liverpool Echo,Thursday October 29th 1987

Bedroom Radio Station Busted

Liverpool Pirate Radio had a captive audience within weeks of hitting the airwaves - many of its listeners were inmates at Walton Jail. But Pirate "Phill Davies" and his mates were scuppered when Government investigators started tuning in as well.

They raided the station which had been set up in a back bedroom of his home in Norris Green. And at Liverpool magistrates court, the 40-year-old jobless father of four pleaded guilty to setting up the illegal station and using it from April this year. But while he admitted he knew it was against the law, "Davies" said he did not think he was doing any harm.

His solicitor Mr Tony Ostrin said: "He made sure he did not interfere with any other broadcasts especially emergency transmissions. "He was keen to run the station professionally and believed he did so with the help of local unemployed lads who enjoyed making the best of their free time."

He said that in the three weeks Live Pirate Radio broadcast on 215 metres, the stations selection of golden oldies and rock music built up a substantial following . And Mr Ostrin submitted a selection of letters from happy listeners to the court. "Many of them came from Walton Jail," he said. People from all sections of the community enjoyed this music-only station."

"Davies" was fined 100 Pounds and ordered to pay 50 pounds costs.

Liverpool Echo,Thursday October 29th 1987



North Coast Radio

Liverpool Echo, Thursday May 2nd 1991

Pirate Richie C is in the dock.

OFFICERS from the Radio Investigation Service raided a Merseyside flat where a radio station was operating illegally. The raid came after they had monitored the illegal transmission, a court was told.

"Richie 'C'", 21, of Birkenhead, admitted using apparatus for wireless telegraphy when not licensed, Christine Bradley, prosecuting, said he told the officers he had set up the station, North Coast Radio, in March last year. He and a few friends ran it and he used the pseudonym Ritchie C. The station was transmitting on the medium wave and the FM band.

The officers who raided the flat in . Birkenhead, confiscated equipment which was being used and the transmissions ceased, Debra Gould defending said the defendant did not gain any profit out of the station which gave enjoyment to listeners and helped raise cash for local organisations.

The magistrates decided that all the equipment seized, which included a transmitter and record and cassette decks, be forfeited. "Richie 'C'" was conditionally discharged for 2 months on payment of 50 Pounds costs.

Liverpool Echo, Thursday May 2nd 1991

Liverpool Daily Post, Thursday May 2nd 1991

Pirate DJ 'takes rap'

OFFICERS from the Radio Investigation Service raided a flat at Birkenhead after monitoring illegal transmissions, Wirral magistrates heard yesterday. ."Richie 'C'", commented:"1'll take all the rap, said Christine Bradley, prosecuting." "Richie", 21 of Birkenhead admitted using apparatus for wireless telegraphy when not licensed. Miss Bradley said. the defendant told the officers he had set up the station North Coast Radio in March last year. He and a few friends ran it and he used the pseudonym "Ritchie 'C'. He said the tenant of the flat had given permission for it to be used.

The station was transmitting on the medium wave and the FM band. The officers confiscated equipment which ' was being used and the transmissions ceased Debra Gould defending, said he did not gain any profit out of the station which gave enjoyment to listeners and helped raise cash for local organisations. The station did not encroach on emergency services or legitimate stations.

"Richie" was a. skilled operator who had an enormous interest in radio. He claimed he did not own the equipment which was being used The magistrates ordered that all the equipment seized. which included a transmitter and record cassette decks, be forfeited.

"Richie C" was conditionally discharged for 12 months and ordered to pay 50 Pounds costs.

Liverpool Daily Post, Thursday May 2nd 1991


Toxteth Community Radio/Choice FM

Liverpool Echo, Monday February 18th 1991

Raids Silence Radio Pirates

TOXTETH'S two pirate community radio stations have been shut down after raids by the Department of Trade and Industry But defiant organisers of the stations declared: "We will be back." DTI officers carried out swoops at two studios in Toxteth-Choice FM and Toxteth Community Radio TCR. They seized studio and transmitting equipment and are interviewing three.

A spokesman for TCR, which claim to attract 250 000 listeners In the Merseyside region and beyond said today: "We are very sad. This was a very popular service for the community. TCR gave the black community a voice There are all forms of black music on radio apart from soul and dance. which people rarely hear on other stations."

Liverpool Echo, Monday February 18th 1991




Liverpool Daily Post Monday 23rd March 1983

Radio Veronica

SHOW GOES ON FOR AIRWAVE PIRATES

By Alan Qualtrough

A Wirral pirate radio station went back on the air yesterday, only hours after a police raid. Home office officials and police confiscated equipment worth more than 1000 Pounds at the weekend when the pirate station Radio Veronica was traced to a flat in a tower block on Birkenhead's Ford Estate.

But yesterday Woodchurch man "Steven Bishop" and friend "Mike Campbell" vowed to keep broadcasting. "I'll continue until I go to jail if necessary. Even that will not stop me",said "Steven" aged 20, a play leader. And with help from friends "Nick Catford" (18) and "Andy Davies", Merseyside Free Radio hit the airwaves with equipment set up in cardboard boxes and transmitted via aerials hidden in trees.

The station switches location each broadcast to avoid detection by the authorities and claims reception reaches Wigan, the Isle Of Mann and North Wales. "Today's broadcast is for the cause of free radio ", said "Andy". "We're campaigning for a licence but it will not be granted. Only the BBC and IBA get one. It's unfair" The group claim the station is non-profit making and has no advertising. "There is so much space on the Medium Wave We do nobody any harm", added "Andy"

(Liverpool Daily Post 23/05/91)


Storeton Community Radio

Birkenhead News 24th February 1984.

Storeton Community Radio

Lawbreakers who 'serve community'

You have to be careful when you mention the word "Pirate" to DJ's at Storeton Community Radio. Any reminders that they are breaking the law brings a sharp reply, writes Tony Bethel. "We would rather not call ourselves pirate radio " said "Martin 'C'", aged 19 who set up the unauthorised station two years ago.

"We are free radio. We provide a service to the public without charging them". It is doubtful whether that explanation would impress the Home Office. Equipment being used for the radio, including record decks, a new microphone and a transmitter was confiscated in a raid. "Martin 'C'", as the person responsible for running the station faces a court hearing on a charge of transmitting without a licence.

The maximum penalty is a œ1000 fine, or six months in prison. SCR was off the air for a couple of weeks following the raid. It is now transmitting from again from a flat in the centre of Birkenhead. The new 'studio' has double locks fitted to all doors and has the windows boarded up. Although it is impossible to say exactly how many listeners the station has, it's organisers reckon the figure runs into several thousands. When the station was going strong last year, they were receiving anything upto 150 letters a week from the public.

"We tell the listeners that their letters are our wages." said "Paul Woods",aged 25. One of its DJ's, 21 year old "Keith The Chief" said a major function of the station as promoting local bands and advertising charity events. Illegally operating on 1026 Khz. 292 Metres Medium Wave, the station says it caters for all all tastes and ages. Music of the 1950's and 1960's is provided by "Brian 'C'", and "John Sniff" focuses on local bands. Pablo Brad features Reggae, and "Uncle Ern"concentrates on chart hits.

Other DJ's include "Mad Mike", "Dave Collins" and "Sandy Babe" and "Little Di". Many of the DJ's are on the dole and they say many of their listeners are unemployed. One of the main problems is finance. "Martin 'C'" reckons he puts most of his weekly wages as an audio engineer into the station and "Keith The Chief" spends about œ30 a week on it.

All in all, the total expenditure each week amounts to about œ100. This mainly goes on buying buying equipment and records. "We have turned down requests to do advertising", said "Martin 'C'". "We feel that if we start to do advertising, we may get caught transmitting more easily. Also, we don't want to become another commercial station".

(Birkenhead News 24/02/84)

"Martin 'C'", the station's owner and engineer was subsequently taken to court and fined œ145 plus costs. (Tim Jackson)


Raids on Central and Storeton Community Radio

Liverpool Echo Tuesday November 13th 1984

Pirates are sunk

Two illegal radio stations closed

By Tim Rogers

Government trading officers have pulled the plug on two Merseyside pirate radio stations. A round of lightening raids has taken Central Radio and Storeton Community Radio off the airwaves - and more "hits could follow soon. Both stations were well established and led a new mini boom in illegal broadcasting, it was claimed last night. Central, based in Bootle had been beaming out rock and pop music, featuring local groups, for almost two years.

Storeton Community, based in Birkenhead, also featured pop broadcasting 24 hours a day. The well-timed raids by officials from the department of Trade and Industry, backed up by the police, caught both stations in the middle of broadcasting.

Illegal home-made transmitters and radio equipment were taken away - but SCR was broadcasting again within 24 hours. One Wirral pirate, who operates Radio Atlantis, claimed the raids were well organised but would not frighten off the new boom in illegal broadcasters. "There are five stations operating in the Birkenhead area alone", he said. "It seems to be most popular , although they are spring up all over the area.

We can't see why they should be so determined. to have a go at us when we are so popular. He added, " For many of us this is an enjoyable hobby, and we can't see harm in it at all. We don't interfere with anybody else." A spokesman for the Department of Trade and Industry confirmed that officers had been operating in the area, following a raid on a large pirate radio station in Manchester.

(Liverpool Echo 13/11/84).


Central Radio International

Daily Post May 29th 1986

(Court case arising from DTI raid on Friday 31st January 1985)

Radio pirates silenced by the court

A pirate radio station, set up to brighten the lives of the local jobless, yesterday had its equipment confiscated by Liverpool magistrates court. Two of its disk jockeys pleaded guilty to using the equipment without a licence from a high rise flat in Everton "Jeff Thompson" (36) at who's home the apparatus was discovered, also pleaded guilty to installing the equipment illegally. He was fined a total of 100 Pounds and ordered to pay 50 Pounds costs. "Jim Brown" (36) of Bootle, was fined 50 Pounds plus 50 Pounds costs.

Central Radio International was discovered broadcasting on the medium wave by Department of Trade and Industry officials, explained Miss Judith Miller, prosecuting. When they went to "Thompson's" home they found the still warm transmitter and other equipment and he admitted using it for the past four months. "Brown" admitted broadcasting an afternoon show under the name of Jim Brown. Mr. Ian Harris defending "Brown" explained that the men, who are both unemployed, had wanted to brighten up the lives of local unemployed people and give them a choice in local radio listening.

(Liverpool Daily Post 29/05/86)



Liverpool Daily Post , January 21st 1986

Court clampdown on radio pirates.

Three young men who were involved in the running of an illegal radio station were fined a total of 250 Pounds by Wirral magistrates yesterday. The court heard that Radio Merseywaves, which had interfered with the medium wave for emergency services, and domestic reception, was still broadcasting at the weekend, as the main transmitter used by the station had not been found.

DJ Mark Newman (18), and another youth aged 17, of Moreton, pleaded guilty to using broadcasting apparatus without a licence, and also using a station for wireless telegraphy without a licence. They were each fined 100 Pounds. Another man aged 21 also of Moreton, admitted using a station without a licence. He was fined 50 Pounds. All had to pay 50 Pounds costs.

The magistrates ordered that a large amount of equipment seized during raids on two premises at Moreton be forfeited, but said that records would be returned.

(Liverpool Daily Post 21/01/86)


Wirral News 23rd January 1986

Pirate radio men fined

Investigations were carried out in the Moreton area after radio interference on the Medium Wave band to emergency services and domestic radio services was reported, and eventually two premises were raided, Wirral magistrates were told by Mr. Laurence Dunn, prosecuting. Three young men involved in the running of a pirate radio station, Radio Merseywaves, "for a hobby", faced the court.

DJ "Mark Newman aged 18 , and another youth aged 17 both of Moreton, admitted using broadcasting apparatus without a licence and also using a station for wireless telegraphy without a licence. Another defendant aged 21, also admitted using a station without a licence. "Newman" and the 17 year old were each fined 100 Pounds and the 21 year old 50 Pounds. They each had to pay 50 Pounds costs.

The court was told a large amount of equipment was stolen after the raids in November and December at two tower blocks in Moreton. The magistrates ordered it to be forfeited with the exception of paperwork, a watch, a phone set and records.

Items confiscated included transmitters, arials, adaptors, receivers and cassette players. Mr Dunn told the court the main transmitter used by the station had still not been located and he alleged the station was still on the air last weekend. MR. Stephen McPeake, defending, said it was not a commercial station and no adverts were accepted. He said the three accused were pop enthusiasts occupying their time. Unfortunately, their enthusiasm went beyond the law. He said they did not think they were doing any harm and chose a wavelength not used by others in the locality. They denied further involvement in broadcasting.

( Wirral News 23/01/86)


Liverpool Echo 21st January 1986.

Raid on radio pirates lowers the flag

Three men involved in the running of a pirate radio station Radio Merseywaves for a hobby appeared before Wirral magistrates yesterday. Mr. Laurence Dunn prosecuting, for the Department of Trade and Industry, said investigations were carried out because of radio interference on the medium wave to emergency services and domestic reception.

Two raids were carried out a two tower blocks in Moreton and equipment including transmitters, receivers aerials, adapters and records were seized. Mr. Dunn however, said the main transmitter had not been found and he alleged the station was still on the air last weekend.

DJ "Mark Newman (18) and another youth aged 17, of Moreton, admitted using broadcasting apparatus without a licence and using a station for wireless telegraphy without a licence. They were each fined 100 Pounds with 50 Pounds costs. Another man , aged 21 also of Moreton, admitted one offence of using a station without a licence. He was fined 50 Pounds with 50 Pounds costs. Mr. Stephen McPeake, defending, said it was not a commercial station.

The three were a band of pop enthusiasts occupying their time . Unfortunately their enthusiasm went beyond the law. They did not think they were doing any harm. They denied further involvement in broadcasting after they had been questioned.

(Liverpool Echo 21/01/86)


Liverpool Echo Tuesday April 15th 1986

Joy for pirate DJ

Play it again, judges rule.

A Merseyside DJ who had his prized record collection confiscated for illegal broadcasting will soon be listening to his favourite music again, thanks to a high court ruling. "Jeff Stone", lost his records and 3,000 Pounds worth of equipment for broadcasting from his home in Anfield without a licence.

High Court judges have ruled this order in respect of the records and tapes was unlawful because courts can only take apparatus installed installed or used for illegal broadcasting, a definition not wide enough to cover records and tapes.

Jeff is overjoyed: "I heard about it from a friend. I was waiting for my solicitor to tell me about the hearing. I have not had any music to listen to, and those were all rare because they are local bands and tapes I've mixed myself." The High Court decision will mean that pirate DJ's will be able to keep their records and tapes in the future. Meanwhile, jobless Jeffrey, who first became involved in pirate radio after hearing Central Radio in hospital is looking for a legal job in broadcasting.

(Liverpool Echo 15/04/86)


Liverpool Echo Wednesday November 27th 1991.

Radio pirates set to scupper charity effort

Pirate broadcasters could keep a charity radio station off the air - and take food from the mouths of starving children in the Third World

Film and television star Margi Clarke is due to launch Prescot's Radio Cracker tomorrow, which aims to raise thousands of pounds from listeners in return for playing their favourite records. But engineers have discovered that a pirate station called Choice FM, possibly based in Toxteth, is jamming its 101FM frequency with back to back music.

Increase.

"It's too late to get another wavelength and there are only two ways of saving the charity station", said Radio Cracker press officer Steven Goddard. "We are asking the authorities to increase the power of our transmitter but, in the meantime, we are hoping the pirates will realise and that they could be taking food from the mouths of starving children and come off the air".

Radio Cracker - which is a national charity effort involving dozens of different stations - aims to be on the air from its studio in Prescot Shopping Centre 24 hours a day until Christmas Eve. The Minister for Overseas Development, Mrs. Lynda Calker, launched the national Radio Cracker campaign yesterday. Mr Goddard added: "The pirates won't realise they are on our frequency but I hope this appeal will persuade them to stop transmitting."

Liverpool Echo Wednesday November27th 1991

CHOICE FM had left the air by 1920 on 27/11/91, but the article was repeated on Granada TV on the Thursday night. They returned to the air on Friday, but had moved to 101.9Mhz. They had left the air again by Sunday Morning, haven't been heard since. (Tim Jackson)


Liverpool Echo Friday November 29th 1991

New pirates sail the charity airwaves.

Pirates have stopped broadcasting on a charity station's wavelength. But they have been replaced by another illegal outfit. Staff at Radio Cracker, due on at noon tomorrow (30/11/91), were celebrating a call from Choice FM, in Toxteth.

The caller promised that the station would keep the airwaves clear to help Radio Cracker raise thousands of pounds for starving children in the Third World. But the charity station's engineers discovered later that their 101FM frequency was being blocked by other pirates playing ethnic music.

"We have no idea where they are broadcasting from ", said Radio Cracker press officer Steve Goddard. Film star Margi Clarke officially launched radio Cracker yesterday.

(Liverpool Echo Friday 29/11/91)


Liverpool Echo Thursday March 5th 1992

HATE MAIL FOR RADIO PIRATE

Court told Toxteth man became a National Front target.

A man broadcasting under the banner of Toxteth Community Radio intended to draw together the various communities in the area, a court heard. But during the period he was broadcasting, a National Front leaflet proclaiming "Keep the airwaves white" was pushed through his letterbox, Liverpool magistrates heard. The leaflet purported to be from "Waterloo National Front". Solicitor Michael Hogan showed the leaflet to magistrates while offering mitigation in the case of the 46 year old pirate radio operator from Toxteth.

The unemployed man admitted two charges of radio piracy and the case was adjourned for social inquiry reports. Julian Taylor, prosecuting on behalf of the DTI, said that following a complaint from the Civil Aviation Authority, DTI officials linked two broadcasts together on January 15th last year. One was made from a house in Toxteth and the other from other premises in the same area. On one occasion they found the defendant operating studio equipment and he told him he did a show on two mornings a week for Toxteth Community Radio.

Mr. Taylor applied for the forfeiture of the broadcasting equipment and prosecution costs of œ648. Mr Hogan said his client had considerable energy which tried to use to bring together the Toxteth community. Mr. Hogan said, "The station was set up with the best of intentions. While his case was going on, he received a particularly obnoxious letter from the National Front." Mr. Hogan added the defendant had not intentionally used aircraft frequencies.

(Liverpool Echo 5/03/92)


Liverpool Daily Post Thursday July 15th 1993

Pirate DJ still defiant as court fines him 200 Pounds

''Radio station will broadcast again"

RADAR Roy, the pirate of the radio waves, last night pledged the illegal station he founded would broadcast once again. The disk jockey was speaking hours after appearing in court following a raid by Department of Trade and Industry investigators. Roy was caught as he transmitted illegal broadcasts for his North Coast Radio station from a high rise flat in Birkenhead.

Inquiries had been launched after complaints of interference to domestic Television and radio in the area, said Richard Chancy, prosecuting at Wirral Magistrates Court. Yesterday, the 28 year old, of Central Birkenhead was conditionally discharged for two years after admitting participating in unauthorised broadcasts, and using apparatus for wireless telegraphy without a licence. Wirral Magistrates also ordered the confiscation of his equipment but returned his collection of thousands of records. He will also have to pay court costs of 200 Pounds.

Last night , Roy, the brains behind the station - one of the most influential pirate outfits in the North West, remained unrepentant. And he vowed that North Coast Radio , which attracted a loyal following of the young and old on the Wirral, would be resurrected.

Roy, who has been raided several times during his 12 years in pirate radio, said: "It is a cat-and-mouse game, but the pirate stations will survive. We are not criminals. We were providing a useful service for our community. In addition to music, we offered help and advice, ran helplines, organised anti-smoking campaigns and raised thousands of pounds for charity. "The disk jockeys never maid a penny out of it. It was a non profit-making organisation paid for out of our own pockets.

It was a real shoestring operation. Whenever we ran competitions we would give out a public telephone number and then stand out in the street waiting to answer it. Our listeners ranged in age from children to ladies in their 60's and 70's who would tune in to the country and western programme.

There is no other radio station for the people of Wirral. We were just giving them what they wanted, We even did surveys which showed how popular the station was. We were caught because one man in a block of flats was complaining of interference to his TV set, but the thing is, now we are gone, he is still complaining of interference,"

(Liverpool Echo July 15th 1993)



Liverpool Echo 14 January 1993

Fans ran illegal Radio Station

Two radio fanatics ran an illegal 24 hour station, Liverpool magistrates heard. "John Dwyer" and "Tony Scott" of the Wirral admitted participating in the broadcasting of Toxteth based Kiss FM.

The Department of Trade and Industry's Radio Investigation Service started to observe KIss FM after complaints from local radio stations and listeners who said they were suffering from interference. They traced the radio signals to a flat in Toxteth.

"They raided the premises and found a radio station was working, but nobody was on the premises.", said Richard Chancy, prosecuting on behalf of the DTI. When the investigators turned off the tape decks and equipment, Kiss FM ceased broadcasting. The homes of the two men were raided and at a later date .

"Dwyer" admitted three breeches of the 1949 Wireless and Telegraphy act between February 1991, and February 1992. These related to participating in in unauthorised broadcasting and arranging a Post Office box and answering machine for the station. "Scott" admitted two charges of under the act. Both were conditionally discharged for two years and ordered to pay 250 Pounds costs.

(Liverpool Echo 14th January 1993)



Liverpool Echo 14th January 1993

Radio ham put stations in a spin

By Echo reporter

An unemployed Liverpool man passed the time by setting up his own radio station. "Dave Ross", aged 24, of Walton played and introduced records on four Sunday afternoons on his station which he called Mersey FM. But the licensed radio stations complained and a Department of Trade and Industry investigation team traced the signal to his home. He admitted three offences in connection with unlicensed broadcasting last February. "Ross", an amateur radio enthusiast, told Liverpool magistrates that he used second hand transmitting equipment worth 100 Pounds.

Brian Woodhams, defending said: "He had no work and time was heavy on his hands. He devised the idea of constructing his own amateur radio station. "But to put it into context, the output of his station was 30 watts. The output of Radio City for example is 8.200 watts.

"Ross" was given a conditional discharge for two years and ordered to pay œ250 prosecution costs. An order was made for the confiscation of the equipment.

(Liverpool Echo 14 January 1993)



Liverpool Daily Post Saturday March 27th 1993

Wirral Today

Two charged with running pirate radio

Two men faced Wirral magistrates yesterday charged in connection with the alleged running of an illegal radio station. "Bert Williams" aged 43 of Wirral admitted establishing an unlicensed radio station. Another man aged 20 of Moreton, Wirral denied both allegations and also a further charge of allowing premises in Seacombe to be used for unlawful broadcasting. Both men where bailed until April 28.

(Liverpool Daily Post Saturday March 27 1993)


Liverpool daily Post Thursday April 29th 1993

Pirate radio broadcasters are put off the air

Investigations into a Wirral pirate radio station resulted in two unemployed men facing Wirral magistrates yesterday. "Bert Williams" 43, of Wirral admitted two charges of establishing and also using a radio station except under and in accordance with a licence. Another man aged 20 of Moreton admitted permitting the use of premises in Seacombe for unlawful broadcasting. He also admitted using CB apparatus for wireless telegraphy.

Both men were conditionally discharged for 18 Months but, all equipment seized at the Seacombe address was confiscated. "Williams" had to pay 100 Pounds costs and the other man 50 Pounds costs.

Richard Clancy, prosecuting, said an investigation was carried out following complaints over a station calling itself 'Merseywaves'. They traced the station to a top flat in Seacombe. "Wiliams" was later traced to his home where 40 items of correspondence addressed to the DJ name 'Bert Williams' which he used were found.

David Moore, for "Williams" said he had an interest and skill in electronics and being unemployed used it to operate the station. He gained nothing and he was not the only person involved. He said Merseywaves had raised money for charities including local hospitals in the past. A solicitors letter read out on behalf of the other defendant said he had asked for the the equipment to be removed from the flat when he became aware it was was being used for illegal broadcasting.

(Thursday April 29th 1993)


Liverpool Echo Thursday April 29th 1993

AIRWAVE PIRATES TRACED TO FLAT

Jobless men's broadcast equipment confiscated

Investigations into a pirate radio station in Wirral led to two unemployed men facing Wirral magistrates. "Bert Williams 43 of Wallasey admitted two charges of establishing and also using a radio station for for wireless telegraphy except under and in accordance with a licence. Another man of Moreton admitted permitting the use of premises in Seacombe for unlawful broadcasting. He also admitted unlawfully using CB apparatus for wireless telegraphy.

Costs

Both men were conditionally discharged for 18 months but all equipment seized at the Seacombe address including a transmitter, records, tapes, a graphic equaliser and microphone were confiscated. "Williams" was ordered to pay œ100 costs and the other defendant 50 Pounds costs.

Richard Clancy, prosecuting for the Department of Trade and Industry, told how an investigation was carried out following complaints over a station calling itself Merseywaves and broadcasting on 99.9 Mhz. They traced the station to the top floor flat in Seacombe. The other man admitted he was the occupier and said the station had been installed four to five weeks previously by a man called 'Bert'. "Williams was later traced to his home where 40 items of correspondence, addressed to the DJ name 'Bert Williams', which he used were found along with a diagram of how to set up a station.

David Moire, for "Williams" said he had an interest and skill in electronics and, being unemployed, used it to operate the station. He gained nothing he was not the only person involved.

He said Merseywaves had raised money for charities, including local hospitals. A solicitors letter read out on behalf of the other defendant said he had asked for the equipment to be removed from the flat when he became aware that it was being used for illegal broadcasting. He played only a minor part . He did not realise he had to be licensed to operate a CB.

Liverpool Echo. Thursday April 29th 1993


Liverpool Daily Post Thursday September 8th 1994

Persistent pirates of the airwaves face the music.

A pirate radio station which claimed to be the biggest on Merseyside was put off the air when equipment was seized in a raid by the Department of Trade and Industry, Wirral magistrates heard yesterday. But a month later Zee 100, broadcasting on 105.1 FM was found to be in full operation again from another address. Another search warrant was obtained and more equipment seized. Richard Clancy, prosecuting.

'Dale Cooper' of Bebington, 'Steve Moorcroft' and two others admitted using a station for wireless telegraphy without a licence. All but 'Cooper' pleaded guilty to using apparatus for an illegal station.

Broadcasting was traced to a flat in Oxton, Birkenhead on the first occasion and another location in the same area on second date. John Weate, defending said, his clients "treated it as fun , running the station", but accepted they were not in a fun situation facing the court. He said no money was made but the property seized was worth œ2,500. He said the purpose of the involvement of the accused was to get experience in the hope of gaining future work in the broadcasting field. Mr. Weate pleaded for the return of around 400 records which were seized, but was unsuccessful. The magistrates confiscated everything and fined each defendant 200 Pounds .

Liverpool Daily Post. Thursday September 8th 1994


Wirral Globe Wednesday 14th September 1994

Persistent pirates in the dock

A Wirral pirate radio was put off the air when equipment was seized during a raid - but a month later Zee 100 began operating again from another address in Birkenhead, Wirral magistrates heard.

Four members from the pirate station, which claimed to be the biggest on Merseyside appeared in court and admitted various offences. They were each fined œ200 and the magistrates ordered that equipment taken, including records, tapes and transmitters and said to be valued at 2,500 Pounds, be forfeited.

"Dale Cooper". "Steve Moorcroft", and two others admitted using a station for wireless telegraphy without a licence in force, and all except "Cooper" admitted using apparatus without a licence. "Cooper" also pleaded guilty to providing the use of a mobile phone for use in the day-to-day running of the illegal station and "Moorcroft" and another admitted allowing premises to be used for unlawful broadcasting and participating in the management and day to day running of an illegal station.

Prosecutor Richard Clancy for the department of Trade and Industry, told how members of the Radio Investigation section traced the station to a flat in Oxton after complaints of interference with radio and television sets had been received.

A search warrant was executed and items seized and the station stopped broadcasting. But further complaints were received and it was found to be broadcasting from another address in the same area. again another search warrant was obtained and items seized. Mr. John Weate, defending, said the four admitted responsibility. He said they treated it as 'fun' running the station but realised it was no fun event to be before the court. He claimed no money was made and they were just getting experience in the hope of obtaining a work in the broadcasting field.

Wirral Globe, Wednesday 14th September 1994