Sunrise Special on Westside Radio

Sunrise Special on Westside Radio

This is another recording of Westside Radio, a station broadcasting from Sligo from 1986 to 1988. On air is Ed Stevens with the breakfast show called Sunrise Special although as he notes, the morning is wet and overcast. He claims that Westside is the only station broadcasting in either Sligo or Leitrim at that time. The style isn’t particularly slick, audio levels are uneven and the station phone is out of order, but there are plenty of ads for local businesses so clearly Westside had an audience around Sligo.

The recording was made from 0800-0932 on 30th August 1988 from 97.6 FM, announced as 97.5. We thank John Breslin for the donation. It seems that Westside Radio closed in the autumn of that year.

Part 2 of recording from 0845-0932.

Westside Radio from Sligo

Westside Radio from Sligo
Westside Radio ad from Anoraks UK Weekly Report, February 1987

Westside Radio began broadcasting from Sligo on 97.5 MHz FM on 15th November 1986, playing mostly country and western music. The Weekly Report of Anoraks UK on 7th December reported that the audio was quite loud and sometimes distorted. An advert in Weekly Report in February 1987 (pictured) claimed that Westside was Sligo’s ‘first ever country music, folk and traditional and easy listening radio station’. Subsequent reports by Anoraks UK referred to plenty of requests and adverts, so the format appeared to be working locally. By April 1987, the station had changed its name to Westside Community Radio.

In February 1987, a West Coast Radio from Sligo was reported to be testing on 1143 kHz AM and 103.5 FM. This was a shortlived station but there must have been confusion between the similar names when both were on air.

This recording of Westside Radio was made from 97.6 FM from 2028-2202 (part 2 below) on 29th August 1988 and features a chart music show with Des McAleer who adds ‘Power 97.5 FM’ to the station ID. Clearly Westside had moved beyond its original easy listening format by this late stage in its existence, at least in its evening shows. The station was listed in an Anoraks UK log on 5th July 1988 and Power 97 is mentioned in a report from Sligo on 24th September, suggesting that it may have changed its name by that time. We thank John Breslin for this donation.

Part 2 of the recording (2115-2202).

More shortwave DXing on Galway’s KFM

More shortwave DXing on Galway's KFM
KFM rate card from 1988 (courtesy of Ian Biggar).

This is another selection of undated excerpts from the DXers’ programme on Galway pirate KFM in the final months of 1988. Presenter Shane Keating chats to contributor John Breslin from north Co. Clare about shortwave DXing. John lists DX clubs and shortwave stations he has heard recently including Radio Budapest, Transworld Radio, Voice of Ethiopia and Radio Finland. Shane provides addresses of European stations so that listeners can request QSLs.

Shane Keating also presented a Saturday morning children’s programme on KFM and there are excerpts of this including phone calls from young listeners. The recording ends with Shane signing off for the last time on 31st December 1988, the day that KFM closed and the Irish airwaves fell largely silent.

We thank John Breslin for his donation of this recording, which was made from 95.99 FM in north Clare. Reception is variable as it outside the core KFM coverage area.

DXers’ programme on Galway’s KFM

DXers' programme on Galway's KFM
KFM flyer (courtesy of Ian Biggar).

Programmes for radio anoraks or DXers were a feature of some Irish pirates during their 1980s heyday. One such station was KFM, which broadcast from 1986-1988 from a village near Galway before moving into the city itself. In the last few months of its existence from October to December 1988, KFM broadcast a weekly programme for DXers with a focus on the shortwave band.

This is a selection of airchecked undated excerpts from the DXers’ programme from that period, presented by Shane Keating. The programme is aimed at listeners new to the band and there are explanations of shortwave propagation, QSL cards and SINPO codes. A regular contributor to the programme was John Breslin, who is heard describing his experience of shortwave DXing during a phone-in to the show. There is also a recording supplied by John of Radio Berlin International from East Germany.

We thank John for donating this recording, which he made in north Co. Clare from 95.99 FM. Reception is fair because of the distance from the transmitter.

Independent Radio Mayo as heard in Scotland

Independent Radio Mayo as heard in Scotland
IRM flyer from 1987 (courtesy of Ian Biggar).

This is a recording of Independent Radio Mayo (IRM) as received in Scotland from 1525-1720 on Friday 25th July 1988 on 738 kHz AM. IRM was in fact heard by accident when Dublin station Q102, broadcasting on the same frequency, went off the air for approximately two hours. The recording begins with adverts on Q102 and a relatively strong signal due to the geography, followed by the weaker signal of IRM when the Dublin station goes off. However IRM’s 1kW professional transmitter, used originally by Radio Leinster in Dublin, was very effective and as can be heard, the signal travelled well as far as Scotland.

There follows almost two hours of IRM, including the afternoon show of one of the founders Gerry Delaney with plenty of community announcements, requests, the Golden Hour and a sports round-up. Joe Finnegan takes over at 5pm with his teatime programme and news is read on the hour by Chris Clesham. Of note are the long ad breaks featuring businesses from across Mayo and occasionally Sligo. At the end Q102 returns to the frequency, blocking out IRM.

This recording was made by Ken Baird and we thank Ian Biggar for sharing it with us. Reception is fair to poor but perfectly listenable for DXers.