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
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