► Beacon Radio launch 

12 April 2017 tbs.pm/12054

Beacon Radio 303 in Wolverhampton launches at 6am on 12 April 1976 with Mike Baker at the controls. This is the first half-hour on air, although we’ve edited the music out.

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6 responses to this article

steve brown 12 April 2017 at 1:51 pm

41 years on,and it’s a shame that the Beacon name had to go in 2012,as a new name of Free Radio

Maark 26 April 2017 at 11:10 am

This remains the slickest and coolest launch of any radio station ever.

If only Beacon had been given a much larger area and population to broadcast to been subject to fewer IBA restrictions, it would’ve caused a revolution in UK radio.

It was practically a pirate station for the first three years !

Mr. P. Howard. 5 May 2017 at 2:34 pm

thanks to Beacon Radio I heard a singer called Melissa Manchester for the first time. I went out and bought the single and caught up with some of her other work. This to me is what radio station s should be doing instead of merely playing oldie after oldie. I get fed up of hearing the same old artists day in day out that I barely listen to the radio these days, Independent or BBC. Beacon Radio showed a new, refreshing approach and I for one, miss it.

Jim Johnson 6 May 2017 at 5:44 pm

I remember listening to a classical music programme on Beacon on Sunday evenings in the late 70’s (yes, classical music on local commercial radio in those days).
During the programme they usually had a competition relating to similar music. After one of the programmes I sent in a postcard giving the correct answer (needless to say I can’t remember what the question was!). The following week I discovered that I had won an LP record of pianist Arthur Rubinstein.
The station staff commented that they were surprised that they had a listener so far away! I was listening on a portable FM radio (no indoor aerial) 7 miles north of Nottingham.

Jim Johnson 6 May 2017 at 5:58 pm

Sorry about my last sentence, my radio only had a built-in aerial. I should have said no ‘outdoor’ aerial!

Maark 24 January 2020 at 12:30 pm

In reply to Jim Johnson: That classical programme was called “Opus” and presented by a Canadian guy called Gerry Laing who’d previously been Head of Presentation. Beacon only introduced classical music in October 1978 just before it extended to 24-hours. Before that Beacon attempted to create a station that appealed to young people and the nearest thing they had to a classical music show was on Sunday nights from 10pm until 1am with Munro Jack, which played “classic” hits from the charts and music from the shows. Billed as “music to round off your weekend” it followed the three-hour “Billboard American Hot 100”. A few months later in April 1979 the management was sacked and in September the station was forced to change its schedules or lose its franchise.

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