Tuesday, July 24, 2012

London Weekend Radio - mid-1980s pirate

London Weekend Radio, later known as plain LWR, was a London pirate radio station in the mid-1980s broadcasting from Sydenham, Catford and Peckham (among other places). I came across this article which has the main story:

'London Weekend Radio started life broadcasting from Lawrie Park Road in Sydenham over bank holiday weekends in 1981 and was controlled by Jonny Haywood (Station Manager) and Keith Green (Engineering) prior to going full time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a basement in Brownhill Road, Catford London SE6 where they were joined on the engineering team by Pat Sinclair and the station amended the station id name tag to simply LWR and broadcasting on 92.5MHz. Unlike many of its counterparts LWR decided to play new pop music between 06.00 and 18.00 weekdays with the evenings and weekends centring on specialist shows.

Many famous names got a good grounding at LWR with Radio Luxemborg's Peter Anthony working under the guise of Oscar J Jennings (who was pioneering REM in 1984), Radio 1 presenter's Pete Tong and Tim Westwood in the lineup that included the late Robbie May (BFBS) on breakfast duty, a daily afternoon show from Paul Stafford (Invicta/Coast AM) now in Australia, alongside Martin James, Ton Tom, Steve Edwards, Ricky King, John Dawson, Perry Daniels, Dave Shirt and Jonny Haywood himself with guest hosts including World Snooker Champion Sir Steve Davis OBE, Legendary Jazzman Roy Ayers, Imagination singer Leee Johns and Brit Funk band Total Contrast.

The station closed temporarily in August 1984 when changes were made to the law giving greater powers of seizure/confiscation to the DTI. A new frontman, Zac re-activated the station which ran till the early ninties when it finally closed down'.

Comments at that article state that original studio was in basement of 25 Lawrie Park Road SE26  with transmitters variously located in New Addington, Pepys Estate (Deptford), Balfron Tower in Poplar, Shooters Hill, and Church road in Crystal Palace. In its later days it had a studio in 42 Gautrey Road, Nunhead SE15 upstairs from Mad Professor's studio (mentioned here before). Intrigued that Roy Ayers might have made it from California to Catford!

Here's the young Tim Westwood broadcasting on LWR in 1984

... and some more LWR extracts:

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