Viking Radio 1977

The 1980s

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For the first three years of the 1980s Viking Radio continued to provide the same service as the 1970s, however Dave Gilbert one of the founder members left to live in New Zealand  having been offered a radio job in that country.
In 1984 Phil Watkins another founder member moved 21 miles down the A12 to live in Colchester, and soon got involved in the university radio "URE", whilst still supporting Pete with the weekend shows in Ipswich. Phil was also undertaking freelance work at stations in Norwich, London, and Leeds, and Pete was in demand from local stations.
Phil was also hitting Ibiza at the start of the brits invasion and covered many shows at this time on the wonderful isle.
It was this years summer that Viking Radio had its big success, as July saw most of the university students leave for home destinations, and their places being taken by Italian students. A meeting with Phil, Pete, and new roadshow DJs Bruce and Steve saw a move to provide an eight week service running 24 hours, seven days a week to which all parties agreed. Within a week Chung a french student, Sandra another DJ, and Mark-Anthony joined to ensure a full programme could be planned,
Mid July saw the launch of URE / Viking Radio, whilst engineer Steve bumped up the broadcasting output to cover much of Europe.
"Hi and welcome to URE / Viking Radio we bring you eight weeks of non stop music , articles, news, and views" and the station was launched at 5pm on a Friday evening.
In the background Viking Radio had been informed that Colchester was about to be granted a community broadcasting licence, and work by the founders to make a bid was initiated. Meanwhile URE / Viking Radio was gaining huge audiences a fact that phone call requests were coming in from all over the country as well as Ireland,  Holland, Belgium, and France. The shows were also being noticed by the authorities who had no intention of closing the station down, as it was put it to the URE / Viking Radio founders,
"we have heard the best in broadcasting at your stations hands so we ain't going to stop you"  fax,
Viking Radio the roadshow continued unabated and even captured individual towns summer festivals such as Clacton and Colchester for differing charities.
In Clacton a simultanous roadshow with the BBC Radio 1 saw more locals at the Viking Radio stand then at the BBC stand, and Viking Radio was truely running.

Programme Schedule
Monday - Friday
6am - 10am    Good Morning with Mark-Anthony
10am - 2pm    Lunch Time and all that with DJ Pete
2pm - 6pm      Stevies Special  with DJ Steve
6pm - 10pm    Sandras Sensations  with DJ Sandra
10pm - 2am    Ow it Hurts  with DJ Phil
2am to 6am    The Night Shift  with DJ Brucy
6am - 10am    Good Morning with Mark-Anthiony
10am - noon    Petes Pulse  with DJ Pete
noon - 6pm      Sports n Music  with Phil, Pete and Andrea
6pm - 10pm    Getting in the mood "Clubbing"  with DJ Brucy
10pm - MN      Saturday madness with DJ Phil
MN to 3am      Steves sounz  with DJ Steve includes a live club session
3am - 6am      Comedy or Story Line  (pre recorded)
6am - 10am    Good Morning with Mark-Anthony
10am -2pm     Petes patter with DJ Pete
2pm - 6pm      Its that mad frenchman with DJ Chung
6pm - 10pm   Ow it Hurts with DJ Phil and DJ Annette
10pm - 2am   Strains of Sunday  with DJ Steve
2am - 6am      Early morning with Sandra
News every hour
sports show included live phone in scores and reports covering Ipswich Town, Colchester Utd, and Norwich C. with Neil, Denny and Ken.
Regular phone in requests.

The mid 1980s also saw the demise of Laser Radio, and on one of its closedowns an attempt by Viking Radio to seize its facilities to launch an offshore Viking Radio took place, a valiant attempt, but after a few days the staff had to admit failure and leave the vessel unable to survive on a battered ship with few supplies and only short distance broadcasting through most of the equipment being wrecked beyond repair.
But on dry land the story was very different.
The schedule continued uninterupted until one September of 1984 on URE.
As the station was on air and Phil doing his show, security tried to close it down.
At 8pm the staff noticed some security persons walking toward the station, Phil asked for the downstairs door to be locked then the inner doors to be likewise locked, but security had gained entry to the station lower floor, so just the upper doors were locked. An attempt was made to unlock the doors by security however heavy units were placed in front of the door to restrict entry. Meanwhile Phil who continued live on air asked for the Italian students to gather in the courtyard to show their support for the station, within minutes from the studio window Phil and the rest of the staff could see hundreds of students and heard their chanting in support for URE / Viking Radio. After some 30 minutes security decided that they were not going to inflame the crowd, phoned the station to say they were pulling out and URE / Viking Radio could continue with their programmes - The day was won -the seige of Viking Radio was over ended as quickly as it had started- Phil put on "Everybody Rules The World" - Tears For Fears which to this day remains the Viking Radio standard.
The rest of the 1980s saw a share situation continue with URE for two years and an attempt to obtain the Colchester Community broadcasting licence which was lost.
In 1988 changes were afoot as Phil Watkins had moved into Kent whilst Pete Green remained in Ipswich.
Ipswich saw Pete continue the broadcasting traddition on an irregular basis, whilst Viking Radio began another major part of its existance.
Phil was joined by DJ Alex who was running a series of "Bandit Nurse" discos around Kent and Sussex, whilst Phil was launching Dem Illegal Records, this was the 1990s coming up in a big way.

Viking Radio 1977 and still with us rockin'