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Other History - London Stereo achieved outrageous coverage broadcasting from a high spot on the North Downs

London Stereo broadcast from Pilgrims Holt on top of Reigate Hill over the snowy Easter of 1975 on 96.4MHz FM (1kW), 1331kHz MW (250W) and 6225kHz SW (100W). Programmes were linked up from studios several miles away in Merstham using a special UHF ultra-wideband FM studio to transmitter link (difficult to track spread spectrum 6MHz wide).

Apart from being on three different wave bands, the station was unusual in several other ways; being probably the first stereo pirate, the first to live link a remote studio, carrying experimental Dolby B transmissions and providing transmission facilities for a variety of groups, including Radio Invicta, North Surrey Radio, Radio Aquarius and Radio London Underground.

London Stereo station card QSL
London Stereo Pilgrims Holt
London Stereo transmission site: Pilgrims Holt
London Stereo Pilgrims Holt front gate
The entrance gateway
Snow covered fields along lane to Pilgrims Holt
Snow covered fields along the lane to Pilgrims Holt
London Stereo twin turnstile FM aerial
At the front, the FM aerial above a tall fir tree
London Stereo FM aerial at the front of Pilgrims Holt
Thick coaxial cable runs across from the tree
Pilgrims Holt roof installing medium wave aerial
Up on a roof with outstanding views
Attaching one end of the medium wave aerial
Attaching one end of the medium wave aerial
Rear of Pilgrims Holt with short wave feeder visible
Short wave feeder rises from the transmitter room
UHS link receive aerial
The UHF link receive aerial
Front of Pilgrims Holt on Reigate Hill
The front of Pilgrims Holt on Reigate Hill
Front door of Pilgrims Holt
Pilgrims Holt front door
UHF ultra wideband FM link receiver
The UHF ultra wideband FM link receiver
Exciter and FM transmitter
Transistor exciter and valve FM transmitter
QQV03-10 driving two 4CX250B VHF transmitter
VHF transmitter: QQV03-10 into two 4CX250Bs
Air blown dummy load, FM transmitter, UHF link receiver, 2kV power supply
Dummy load, FM transmitter, link receiver, power supply
Double turnstile FM antenna
The stacked turnstiles FM antenna
FM transmitter, stereo multiplex UHF link receiver and 2kV power supply
Stereo multiplex link receiver and FM system
Medium wave transmitter
The medium wave transmitter
Medium wave transmitter with oscilloscope beyond
Medium wave transmitter with oscilloscope beyond
Medium wave transmitter with 813 valve
813 valve medium wave transmitter
Medium wave PSU, modulator and transmitter
Medium wave modulator and transmitter
London Stereo short wave transmitter
Short wave transmitter: 2x807s, modulator KT88s
UHF uplink aerial and the London Stereo studio
The studios and uplink aerial
The main London Stereo studio
The main London Stereo studio
Revox and Ferrograph reel to reel tape recordes under the mixer
Ferrograph and Revox tape machines beside the mixer
London Stereo UHF link room
A DJ examines the stereo UHF link
London Stereo FM  aerial with Radio Invicta's Tony Johns and others
"Look at that!" says Invicta's Tony Johns
Equipment removed from London Stereo in the GPO raid
Raided by the GPO and equipment removed
Brian Copsey of the GPO collecting cables
Even cables taken by the GPO's Brian Copsey
Inside the GPO Land Rover
Inside the GPO Land Rover
Good reception lacations in telephone call reports to London Stereo
Good reception reported beyond 60 miles
London Stereo 96.4MHz FM coverage map
London Stereo 96.4 FM coverage map
Pilgrims Holt now Kinswood Hall circa 2015
Pilgrims Holt / Kingswood Hall in 2015


London Stereo: Midday Request Show with Colin Pearse, Good Friday 28th March 1975

12:39-1:30pm. Mono recording, Running order:
* Music: Mandy by Barry Manilow
* ID
* Music: Shoorah! Shoorah! by Betty Wright
* Request from Stoltenberg, Germany
* Music: Nice To Be With You by Gallery
* 12:48pm Requests for John in Reading, Cyril in Harpenden, for Phil and Steve, John in Eastbourne and Dave in Walton on Thames
* Music: I Survived by Adam Faith
* Requests for Nick in Harpenden, Julian in Bromley and Scott in Stevenage,
* Music: When Will I See You Again by the Three Degrees
* Requests for John in Tooting, Carole in Dagenham for all the family and Christine in Chessington
* Music: Star On A TV Show by the Stylistics
* 1:00pm London Stereo Theme (a special version of Mexican Hat Dance) and cuckoo time pips, station announcement
* Music: January by Pilot
* 1:06pm Requests for John in Chelmsford, Pete in High Wycombe receiving us on short wave and Jeff in Bookham
* Music: Rock Your Baby by George McCrae
* Requests from someone in Horley for Brian and Mike, Colin in Liverpool on short wave who says it's very, very good and Bernard in Kingston upon Thames
* Music: I Shot The Sheriff (Full Length Version) by Eric Clapton [tape turn-around]
* 1:13pm Requests for Alan in Walthamstow, Jack in Crawley and Bob in Hastings on short wave
* Music: In The Mood by Bette Midler
* Request from Steve in Harrow for Alan's mum and John and Paul
* Music: Let Me Be The One by The Shadows
* Request for Dave in New Malden
* Music: Never Can Say Goodbye by Gloria Gaynor
* 1:23pm This is London Stereo, the Sound of Alternative Radio
* Music: Sound Your Funky Horn by KC & The Sunshine Band
* 1:27pm Dolby B upcoming
* Music: Pepper Box by The Peppers
* Dolby Time on London Stereo is 1:30pm Radio London Underground continues in stereo in the following entry

Duration: 49m58, First broadcast: 28th March 1975


MP3 file size: 114 MB
Click button to listen




London Stereo: Radio London Underground, 1:30pm Good Friday 28th March 1975

1:30-2.00pm. Running order:
* Radio London Underground programme introduction
* Dolby Tone
* Music: The Cosmic Couriers Meet South Philly Willy by Wallenstein
* Talk of tonight's programme and Dolby B decoding to reduce noise
* Music: The Savers by Perrey & Kingsley
* Music: No One's More Important Than The Earth Worm by Stackridge
* Music: Nature's Disappearing by John Mayall
* Music: Falling Down by Joe Walsh
* Music: Brasilia by Dick Dia & His Mandolin Orchestra (briefly)
* Music: Changes by Loggins & Messina
* This is a trailer for the London Underground programme later today
* Music: Intro/If You See Kay by Hammerhawk
* Music: D-Rider (1966 Remastered Version) by Hawkwind
* Music: Reality is nothing but a fantasy (unidentified)
* Bugs Bunny - That's all folks
* You have been listening to London Stereo on 96.4. Tune in tonight, more cosmic... please
* Submarine, forward hatch closed
* Bugs Bunny - That's all folks
* Now we return you to the studio, goodbye.

* Recording beyond 30 minutes probably not transmitted:
* Music: I'm Glad That I'm Bugs Bunny by Mel Blanc
* Music: I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat by Mel Blanc
* Echo
* Laughing
* Music: Down By The Riverside by Al Hirt (briefly)
* Silly noises
* "It's a raid"
* Street noises
* Music: The Prophet: Coronation March by Virtuoso Symphony Of London (briefly)
* Reveille
* Music: Mr Slater's Parrot by The Bonzo Dog Band
* Music: Noises For The Leg by The Bonzo Dog Band
* Music: Veronica Sorry by Peter Koelewijn En Zijn Rockets

Duration: 49m16, First broadcast: 28th March 1975


MP3 file size: 112 MB
Click button to listen




London Stereo: Mark Stafford Show, Radio Invicta and North Surrey Radio, Good Friday 28th March 1975

c9:10am-5:08pm. A rather hissy and distorted mono recording with music and much content edited out. Running order:
* Music: unidentified
* The Mark Stafford Show
* Music: Play Me Like You Play Your Guitar by Duane Eddy
* This programme is brought to you by the makers of Weller soldering irons...
* Music: Pick Up The Pieces by The Average White Band
* 9:22am Music: One Fine Day by The Chiffons
* Music: Only You Can by Fox
* 10.00am London Stereo Theme (a special version of Mexican Hat Dance) and cuckoo time pips 3
* Radio Invicta with Roger Tate/Bob Tomalski
* Music: I Just Can't Say Goodbye by Philly Devotions
* Music: Love Corporation by Hues Corporation
* Sting: Radio Invicta guarantees to tickle your tranny
* Music: Love Uprising by Otis Leaville
* Requests for Roy King of Battersea, Hugh of Peckham, Peter of Selsdon, Paul of Bournemouth, Clive of Crawley, Mick of South Croydon, Mick of Horsham, Chris of Loxwood, Ray of Luton, Mark of Windsor, Phil of Luton, Pete of High Wycombe and Pat of Mitcham
* Music: Express by B.T. Express
* Sting: Radio Invicta presents a star soul single
* Music: Higher and Higher (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) by Jackie Wilson
* 10.51am Hello to Pat of Mitcham and she loves soul music, mention in Mitcham News and Mercury, Max of Ealing, Jason of Worthing
* Music: This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You) by the Isley Brothers
* Music: Someway Somehow Honey I'm Keeping You by The Tymes
* 11:00am London Stereo Theme (a special version of Mexican Hat Dance) and cuckoo time pips
* Radio Invicta with Tony Johns
* Music: We're On The Right Track by Ultra High Frequency
* Music: Waterbed by LTG Exchange
* 11:00am London Stereo Theme (a special version of Mexican Hat Dance) and cuckoo time pips
* Roger Collins/Colin Pearse
* Music: Jig-Saw Girl by Clifford T. Ward
* Pile of requests... (VHF off the air)
*
* Music: Angie Baby by Helen Reddy
* Music: Play Me Like You Play Your Guitar by Duane Eddy
* Music: Let It Grow by Eric Clapton
* North Surrey Radio, John Christian presenting
* Music: In May Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It's Spring) by Love Unlimited
* 4:00pm London Stereo Theme (a special version of Mexican Hat Dance) and cuckoo time pips, news 33m
* Music: Backfield In Motion by Mel & Tim
* For the past 8 hours you have been tuned to the transmitters of London Stereo 38
* 5:00pm London Stereo Theme (a special version of Mexican Hat Dance) and cuckoo time pips
* John Christian thanks everyone for listening
* Music: African Beat by The Famous Seven Orchestra
* Station announcement, thanks to everybody, technical details, bank holiday upcoming Sun Radio 92.8FM, Radio Concord 225m/1331kHz, Radio Invicta 92.8FM & 270m/1115kHz,
* London Stereo Theme (a special version of Mexican Hat Dance)
* 5:08pm Close Down
* 1kHz tone

Duration: 46m20, First broadcast: 28 March 1975


MP3 file size: 106 MB
Click button to listen




London Stereo: North Surrey Radio with Dave Sinclair, Easter Monday 31st March 1975

12:29-1:58pm. Running order:
* Music: Honey Honey by Abba
* 12:30pm Dave Sinclair. Thanks to Roger Collins
* Music: Don't Turn The Other Cheek by Guys 'N Dolls
* Music: Watch Out by Abba
* 12:27pm ID
* Music: Streets Of London by Ralph McTell
* For John and family in Thornton Heath
* Music: Nights In White Satin by The Moody Blues
* 12:47pm North Surrey Radio
* Music: After The Show by Kevin Ayers
* 12:51pm
* Music: The Big D.J. by Settlers Alive
* North Surrey Radio
* Music: Brandy by Scott English
* For Alan on the phone
* Music: How Does It Feel by Slade
* 1.00pm London Stereo Theme (a special version of Mexican Hat Dance) and cuckoo time pips, station announcement
* News
* 1:06pm
* Music: Roll On Down The Highway by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
* 1:08pm North Surrey Radio
* Music: Play Me Like You Play Your Guitar by Duane Eddy & The Revelletes
* North Surrey Radio
* Music: Dreamer by Supertramp
* Phone number 01 654 4092
* Music: Lady Marmalade by LaBelle
* Link by Colin Pearse - Dave Sinclair has run down the corridor
* Music: Hangin' On (You Keep Me) by Cliff Richard
* Requests for Norman in Hove, Peter in Belmont and would Paul please collect him and John in Reading
* Music: There's A Whole Lot Of Loving by Guys 'N Dolls
* Dave for Pete the vandal, Anne of Kingswood, Mark of Bromley for Mike and Roy of Battersea
* Music: She's A Winner (Win, Place or Show) by The Intruders
* 1:27pm Requests for Tony in Southend listening on MW and Eric in Medway listening in VHF stereo
* Music: Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who

Continued from a separate recording which has music edited out

* 1:48pm
* Music: Pickin' Up The Pieces by Average White Band
* Request for Pete in High Wycombe
* Music: Fox On The Run by Sweet
* 1:53pm London Underground at 2pm
* Music: Let's Put It All Together by the Stylistics
* 1:57pm Requests for Patricia doing all the typing for the news staff, Garry Stevens in NW1 VHF stereo very good, Justin in Orpington, Howard in Kenley VHF & MW very good, Tony in Sunbury Town VHF good, Ed in Hounslow VHF very good, for Alan, him mum and John
* Music: You Wear It Well by Rod Stewart

Duration: 1h03m, First broadcast: 31st March 1975


MP3 file size: 144 MB
Click button to listen




London Stereo: Radio London Underground, Radio Aquarius and the raid, Easter Monday 31st March 1975

3:57-4:10pm. A rather hissy and distorted mono recording with music and much content edited out. Running order:
* Radio London Underground
* Music: Unidentified with voiceover of The Mountain Chant Of The Navajo
* Handing you back to the studio
* 4:00pm London Stereo Theme (a special version of Mexican Hat Dance)
* News
* Radio Aquarius with Michael Knight
* Music: Rose Garden by Ronnie Aldrich
* Music: Sound Of Silence by Kai Warner Orchestra
* Transmission cut, white noise - Pilgrims Holt transmission site raided at 4:10pm

Duration: 12m53, First broadcast: 31 March 1975


MP3 file size: 29.5 MB
Click button to listen




London Stereo: Radio Invicta Extract and Raids Documentary, Easter Monday 31st March 1975

Documentary by West and North Kent Radio, presented by Andy Walker. Running order:
* Radio Invicta on London Stereo
* Music: Do It Baby by The Miracles
* Jingle: Roger Tate/Bob Tomalski super soul DJ
* Music: One Beautiful Day by Ecstacy, Passion & Pain
*
* 17 minutes after the raid on London Stereo, Radio Sheila on 230 metres medium wave reports the action by Mr Eric Gotts and police
* 4:27pm. 230 metres, telephone 01 697 3598
* Music: Star On A TV Show by The Stylistics
* Music: Song by Middle Of The Road
* 4:35pm, confusion, deciding what to do
* Music: Yellow River
* Carry on regardless
* Music: What are you doing Sunday by Tony Orlando & Dawn
* 4:42pm, telephones also 01 654 4092, address 71 Pinnacle Hill, Bexleyheath, Kent
* Music: Can't get no satisfaction by The Rolling Stones
* 4:50pm Radio Sheila raid, transmission cut

Duration: 6m33, First broadcast: 31 March 1975


MP3 file size: 15 MB
Click button to listen




London Stereo: Some Station Identification Demos

These are demos of 15 different London Stereo station IDs, produced by KPM Sound Studios in Denmark Street (Tin Pan Alley), London WC2.

Duration: 16m31, Created: February 1975


MP3 file size: 37.8 MB
Click button to listen




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Sparks Technical and Media News - listen to the some of the very first editions.

Technical information:
From the original cassettes, programmes have been:

  • Processed through a Surrey Electronics Variable Emphasis Limiter 3
  • Digitised using an external 48kHz codec and transferred to PC over a digital optical link.
  • Edited in Audacity on Suse Linux
  • Converted to MP3 using Lame on a dual 2.8GHz Xeon CPU system

Page produced by Andy Burnham and Trevor Brook
First entries published: January 2006

 













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