Viking Radio 1977

The 1970s

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In 1977 Hospital Radio DJs Dave Gilbert, Peter Green and Phil Watkins were sitting in a hospital canteen on a break from their duties from Hospital Radio Ipswich pondering how the service could be improved, whilst the majority of the existing staff were happy with the service provided.
It was Dave Gilbert who said about providing another service but not only for the hospital but for the area, yes he was talking about free radio (pirate radio).
The seed was sown as the other two present agreed with the ideal, and started to consider the options.
As the months wore on equipment was purchased and built, a transit van was also obtained to ensure mobility against the authorities, whilst the DJs were getting in as much practise "on air" as possible, in Peters case that was attending a training course in Reading to ensure he was tuned in to all facets of a radio station. Leaflets were put out in record shops and around clubs all about the station opening, as well as by word of mouth at shows that Dave undertook and bars visited by the three founder members.
On a hot August day when the sun was shining at 3pm based in a transit van outside Martlesham Tracking Station these words were uttered by Phil Watkins.
"Hi and welcome to the first ever broadcast of Viking Radio Ipswich, my names DJ Phil, and we will be joined by DJ Dave and DJ Pete for an afternoon of the best music and news"
Viking Radio was born.
The station switched to a regular Sunday afternoon and for the rest of the year, and into 1978 broadcast from the transit in Martlesham.
The Viking Radio Roadshow was launched with Dave and Phil regularly undertaking shows around Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk, whilst promoting the Sunday "on air" shows.
That year and the following year saw an increase in the roadshows, and during the summer of 1979 a more fixed broadcasting venue at Nacton in Ipswich was opened, whilst the three founder members continued to provide and improve the service to the ever increasing fan base.
In three years Viking Radio had come from an idea to be an established part of the local radio scene with regular time slots, a monthly fanzine and undertaking some 20 roadshows a month locally and further afield.
The three founders were looking to the 1980s to increase the service but none of them would have ever considered the way that the next ten years were going to see Viking Radio enter "the legend" status of free radio.

Typical Programme schedule 1979
7pm - 9pm     Clubbing Tonite ? with DJ Phil
9pm - 11pm   Nice n Easy with DJ Pete
10am - 1pm   The Morning Sessions  with DJ Pete
1pm - 6pm      Sport n Music  with DJ Phil & DJ Pete
                         including reports, updates, interviews
6pm - 9pm      Dave spins with DJ Dave
9pm - MN        Live and serious  a local live club show
Noon -  4pm     Sunday Soundz  with DJ Phil
4pm - 8pm        In session with DJ Pete
8pm - MN         Daves Discs with DJ Dave

Viking Radio 1977 and still with us rockin'