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Concept News

Pirate Files

Compiled by Jim Lowefrom 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 whosebroadcasts have jammed British Gas emergency frequencies. thestation called Merseyside Free Radio brought chaos over theweekend. It was using the FM waveband to play pop music on a DIYtransmitter.

Gas engineers had to use public telephones to keep in touchwith control as pirates jammed the emergency network. Police werealerted and began tracking the pirates who's transmitter isbelieved to be around Leasowe in Wirral.

Today, a spokesman for British Gas described the dangers ofjamming emergency frequencies. He said: "It means we cannotcommunicate with our with our engineers out on the road and theresult could be very serious."This is the first time we havehad problems like this."The FM waveband is so crammed thatany pirate broadcasting on it is bound to interfere with someone.A spokesman for Merseyside Police said they were stillinvestigating.

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 hasapologised through the Wirral News after music interfered withemergency channels used by British Gas services and ambulances. Aspokesman for 'Merseyside Free Radio, giving his name only as'Derek' said it was not the station's intention to causetrouble.: " We have heard through the press and radio thatthe police are investigating us.

We have apologised to British Gas for the inconvenience causedand have decided to shut down temporarily until we can find analternative frequency, which will not interfere with anythingimportant. "No one at Merseyside Free Radio makes any money,and we aim to raise money for charity. Unfortunately, our signalwas stronger than we anticipated, and was picked up as far afieldas Southport and Wigan" The station started broadcasting on106FM 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 threwBritish Gas emergency services into chaos at the weekend. Themystery station is illegal. It piggy- backed the same airwaveused by British Gas engineers and an intrusion of chat and popmusic made it almost impossible for them to receive orders fromcentral office.

Engineers rely on their radio to enable them to make a quickresponse to emergency gas leaks and other repairs. Now CrimeSquad detectives are investigating the incident and hope to swoopon 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 tomidnight on Sunday. It is the first time we have had trouble likethis and the matter was referred to the police straight away. Allwe want to do is to maintain the best possible service for forour customers." But the spokesman declined to comment whenasked of British Gas feelings about pirate radio. The airwaveintrusion meant engineers had to shout over the radio stationsprogramme. In the end, they had to use "alterativemethods" of communication.

Wirral Globe Thursday 15th October 1987