Presenter Mike Baker at the studio's mixer desk of Beacon Radio 303, ILR for Wolverhampton and the West Midlands. Mike presented the first programme on the new station, the Breakfast Show at 6.00am on April 12, 1976. The launch of Beacon marked the completion of  the first phase of commercial radio in the United Kingdom.
Welcome along to the part of the website that is a repository for all things connected with Independent Local Radio (ILR) stations other than the Metropolitan Broadcasting Company. Metro Radio and Great North Radio.

This page could be described very much as a work in progress, as more copy and multimedia are uploaded. Here you'll find vintage audio, video and details of other ILR stations that were broadcasting in the seventies, eighties and nineties.

A selection of ILR individual station publicity material and stickers from the seventies and early eighties.

The initial tranche of nineteen ILR stations as envisaged by the Home Office Minister, Christopher Chattaway's Sound Broadcasting Act (1972) as completed by April 1976 with Beacon Radio 303, serving Wolverhampton and the West Midlands.

The Callaghan government, although not enthusiastic at all about commercial radio did to their relief allow the fledgling programme contractors to continue after the Labour Party's election victory of 1974. There were however strings attached. The number of the Independent Broadcasting Authority's (IBA) local commerical radio stations was to be held at just nineteen under the then IBA Chairperson, Lady Plowden. A committee was established in parliament in 1976 chaired by Lord Annan to plan both BBC and IBA radio and television services in the next decade. The Annan Report on the Future of Broadcasting

wouldn't report back to Parliament until late 1978, by which time Britain was facing political turmoil in the form of the 'Winter of Discontent'.

May 1979 marked a decisive turning point in what form ILR was going to assume in the years ahead. By 1990 the Thatcher Conservative government had removed much regulation of the commercial radio industry, buy-outs, mergers, syndication and content restrictions were largely removed as the number of ILR stations increased to over sixty and even the IBA itself was replaced by the radio authority.

Here then are some examples of what else was happening in the ILR network over the decades. As I'm not an expert on radio outside the north east of England I am totally prepared to stand and be, or even better to be sent content and multimedia for the Metro Radio 261MW 97VHF Tribute website. I look forward to hearing from you here.,_Original_Station_Opening_Jingles_Package,_July_1974.mp3Beacon Radio 303 - EMISON 'Sunshine Sound' Package, April,1976
This package was re-sung for Metro Radio and re-named The North East Sound, available here

Pennine Radio 235 - EMISON,1975
Pennine 235 was the ILR station serving Bradford, West Yorkshire and in some respects was an experiment conducted by the IBA as to the viability of radio stations with very small service areas (10 miles in diameter). Such coverage was similar on VHF to the coverage areas of some community radio stations today. ILR station Radio 210 in Reading was another such experiment.  

Radio Trent 301 - 1975
Radio Trent was the ILR station serving the city of Nottingham. In 1989 it split frequencies with Trent FM broadcasting on VHF/FM and GEM-AM on Medium Wave.

Radio Hallam 194 - 1974
Radio Hallam, now Hallam FM was the original ILR station serving Sheffield and Rotherham

 Radio Hallam 194 Main Theme - 1974

96.9 The BAY - 1993
The Bay is the ILR station serving Morecambe Bay, Lancaster, Kendal, Barrow-in-Furness and Windermere. The station opened in 1993, and this is the first jingle package by JAM Creative Productions.

It's time for a
Jingle Fest!

PAMS Productions Inc. of Dallas, Solid Rock Jingles Pack, Chicago, 1973.
GEM-AM 'Have A Golden Day Solid Gold GEM-AM', PAMS Dallas Singers, 1988.
These jingles were commissioned by Manager of GEM-AM Len Groat, who commissioned the PAMS jingles for Metro Radio fourteen years earlier.

GEM-AM broadcast on 945/999kHz AM/Medium Wave following the split with Radio Trent 301 (Trent FM) following the end of simulcasting in 1989. GEM-AM is an anacronym for Great East Midland Radio and was similar in output to Great North Radio (GNR).

Radio Orwell 257, PAMS Productions Inc. of Dallas, 1975.
Radio Orwell 257 was the original ILR station for the Ipswich area.


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