My Trusted Friend

That is another week gone.  Finally got all the paperwork sorted following the split from my partner so now I hopefully can pick myself up, and move on, all be it £50K lighter.  Still, I have got my house so that is one thing.  The have been lots of silly things in the news this week.  Lots of serious stuff too.   Raising the price of each unit of alcohol and the continuing woes of the banking industry.  Sort of all a bit beyond me.


If there has been one thing that has happened over the past six months it is that I have once again started listening to the radio more. Nothing too heavy, the odd play on Radio 4, and plenty of tunes from Magic 1170 on Teesside. It just reminds me that radio today is so different from that which I enjoyed so much as a teenager at school in Liverpool. My trusty little Woolworth’s Vesta V70 my constant companion during breaks from school lessons during the day, and my bedtime friend overnight.  In those days I suppose I was a little bit on the serious side being a regular listener to programmes like Today, The World At One and PM along with The World Tonight.  Of course, there was no where near as much choice back then, as there is now.  You had the four national networks, and if you lived in an area that had one, you had a BBC local, until 1973, on VHF only.  At least where I was, the were the National variations on Radio 4, for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland which sometimes produced some good radio listening.  Radio Eireann  also had some great shows, like their top twenty show on a Saturday morning and of course their coverage of the Gaelic sports.  But at night, the medium wave came alive with other more interesting gems. Yes, Radio Luxembourg came booming, and fading in.  The only real source of pop music after Radio 1 joined Radio 2 at about 7 pm. However, there were other delights, Radio Northsea International was one.  They had a100 Kilowatt transmitter, on a boat somewhere off the Dutch coast. Reception was not brilliant on 220 metres but it was an alternative to Luxy.  It was later in 1973 joined by a weak Radio Caroline and in 1974 Radio Atlantis, which was even weaker. But there were also a number of International broadcasters that both entertained and informed listeners. Deutsche Wella, Radio Sweden and Radio Moscow to name but a few.  I always found Radio Tirana an interesting listen, if only for the politically polarised way that they reported news stories.  The IRA were freedom fighters, the British Coal Miners were oppressed workers of the British State. You know what I mean.  But, it was listening to radio that gave me the background to the news that I saw on television and talked about in our English and Geography lessons. It was also all that listening that made me really want to get into radio and be on the other side of the microphone. Oh I could go on.


That is it for this week though. Suppose I better cut the lawn. If you have a comment or you have radio memories, email me,


About briwinter

Born in South London. Went to school in Liverpool and college in Shrewsbury. Lived in Coventry while I was married. Now live in Catterick. I like walking and reading as well as listening to music and trying to get my head round computer stuff.
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