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Thameside Radio 90.2

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Special events

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and other
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Special Events - do you remember these?

Following the first birthday hardly a week went by without there being a Thameside Radio special event or outside broadcast which involved the listeners.

Do you remember?

The first Thameside birthday (November 1978)

This was a live broadcast from Hyde Park. It was dark. We all met a Lancaster Gate wondering what would happen, and how many others there would be. In the end there were about 40 of us all huddled round Bob Edwards with our portable radios tuned to 90.2 and turned down low so as not to attract attention. We all also kept an eye out for any passing people from the DTI, which added to the excitement.

(Thameside Radio first broadcast in November, so all the birthday parties started in the dusk!)

Live broadcasts from listeners homes

The first broadcast from a listeners house was from Meon Road in Acton. We heard them eat spaghetti on air (eugh),

Another show came from "Tatty's or Cathy's" house, Bob, Dave and Tony broadcasting live again.

Listeners flashing their lights in time with the music

Bob Edwards' show also had a section where we all flashed our lights to the music. We would look out of our windows to see if there were any other listeners in the street.

Live broadcast from Kew Green

It wasn't a birthday but nevertheless the station ran a live broadcast from Kew Green. Alex had a radio mic and the show would link to us every so often, once Bob had done his show he joined us too.

Thameside Radio 2nd Birthday venueThe second birthday (November 1979)

This time the Thameside Radio team held a party in a hall behind Ealing Police Station. Instead of just having the DJs talk with the records being mixed in at the studio they had twin decks and big speakers - so it was more like a party with music. We didn't need our portables tuned to 90.2 ! There were a lot more of us listeners there than at the first birthday - over 100. Not bad for a surprise venue that was announced just at the start of the show. There was even a birthday cake. Tony Lloyd did a show, probably one of his last, as well as Bob and Dave. You can download a recording here.

Watching the Fireworks

Every Guy Fawke's night Bob would go up on a hill that overlooked London - it was Hampstead Heath (I think) - We would launch fireworks during a break between the records and he would tell us which ones he could see.

The Circle Line picnics

One Saturday each summer we would bring food and drink and have a party on the Circle Line. It was a great chance to meet some of the other Thameside Radio listeners. The highlights were broadcast the next day!

The lonely hearts club

We could write in about ourselves and the station would forward letters. I'm not sure if anyone actually got together, but some of us exchanged photos.

Listener interviews

In addition to the live broadcasts from listeners home Alex also interviewed listeners in their homes for broadcast the following week. One of them actually lived in Trellick Tower - where the station broadcast from - but from the interview it sounded like she didn't realise. Many programmes included chances to meet the crew; these included a visit to Bromley which had a huge listenership, one from Tower Bridge and a broadcast from outside the dolls house shop on the corner of Lisson Grove and Rossmore Road. "Rossmore Road" by Barry Andrews was one of the singles that Thameside championed, along with his "Win a night out (with a well-known paranoiac)".


3rd Birthday (7 December 1980)

Another audacious live broadcast - this time it was at the Thameside Boys Club off Devonshire Road in Chiswick. About 300 listeners turned up and there was a live band: "Tahiti Syndrome" aka "Incognito". Bob and Dave played records from the studio was in a room off the main hall and Alex had a radio mic so we could all read out our dedications. It was the first time that the lovely Sarah (the newsreader) had come to live broadcast, so we all flirted like crazy! The hall was was behind Chiswick police station (something of a theme here). The DTI raided Thameside's hidden fixed transmitter site in Trellick Tower the following week - possibly because the broadcast was so audacious.

Summer in Hyde Park (1981)
Thameside - Summer in the park

A lovely balmy day in Hyde Park with us all clutching our portable radios, chatting and asking for dedications for our friends who couldn't make it. Like the first birthday Bob introduced the records which were then mixed in at the studio. This time the show started in the afternoon and went on into the evening when they handed over to the Birdman in the studio.

The fast food surveys

These were a regular weekly feature for a long time. Each week the station would announce where we would be surveying, we would meet there on the following Wednesday. The first one was at McDonalds in Hammersmith, we each contributed 50p and Alex Wright ordered two of everything on the menu. He then interviewed us about what we liked and disliked. Niall took a bite from one of the foam burger boxes said it was tastier than the burger inside. Every week we would go to another fast food shop - the look on the assistants face when Alex asked for "two of everything please" was a picture. The winner was Quickie's Country Kitchen in Acton Lane. Wendy's in Leicester Square came second. Once the surveys were over there was a party where he served home made burgers.


The Princess Diana Fireworks (28th July 1981)

There was a massive firework display in Hyde Park to celebrate the royal wedding (Charles and Di). This was just after fast food survey in Leicester Square. A huge Thameside listeners contingent came to have a picnic (and a few drinks), "ooh" and "ahh" at the fireworks and get our voices on air the next day.

The Brighton trip (16 August 1981)

52 (a coach full) of us met on a sunny Saturday morning at Turnham Green tube. The coach was late but in the end we all went to Brighton, Dave and Alex came in the coach with us, Bob followed in his orange Triumph Spitfire. Someone brought a rubber head which had been used as a prop in "I Claudius" which we played football with. It was hot and a lot of fun although the pebbles on the "beach" hurt my feet. Dave played highlights on his show the next day.

Shepherds Bush Village HallParty in Shepherds Bush (November 1981)

This time it was live from the Shepherds Bush Village Hall (right) which wasn't next to a police station, but it was just down the road from the BBC. The show went on for a lot longer than the usual three hours. Dave interviewed the sax player from Hawkwind, somehow it ended up with him (the sax player) getting a custard pie in his face!

4th birthday (13 December 1981)

This was almost as exciting as the first birthday because it was so novel and brave. Bob broadcast from the studio and after an hour he handed over to Dave who was on a moving party boat on the Thames (how appropriate for Thameside Radio). We had all bought tickets and were meant to get the boat at Richmond Pier, but it was snowing so heavily that the boat couldn't moor, so we had to go to Kingston and get on there. (lots of public transport and lifts offered). It was cold outside, we couldn't even see the banks. But the boat was packed and broadcasting live to London as we cruised up and down the Thames.
Boat Ticket
Because the electricity on the boat came from a generator the record decks didn't quite run to speed, the faster the boat was going the faster the records ran, but we didn't care!

The TV broadcasts

After the radio station closed down there were two Thameside TV broadcasts - the first, which I guess was a test transmission, was the Beatles' Yellow Submarine film - the picture was fine, but the sound had problems. Fortunately it was also broadcast on 90.2 so you could watch on your TV and listen on the radio.

The second was a Christmas Special. This had Bob and Sarah around a Christmas tree introducing music videos - long before MTV. I think it was a one or two hour show which was repeated on a loop. The Daily Mail had an article about it the next day on page three.

I've tried to put these in chronological order, but my memory's not what it was, I think. Please email me if you have anything to add, or I've got something wrong



Next: Thameside Radio 90.2. Technical Info >


The Thameside Radio Story is an achive of material about Thameside Radio 90.2, a London pirate station. It broadcast between 1977 and 1982. Tony Lloyd, Bob Edwards, The Intrepid Birdman, Alex Wright, Paul James, Ian Stewart, Terry Anderson and The Curly Man all presented shows, as did many others. More important were the listeners. This is a live site so if you would just like a namecheck, want to get in touch, have a Thameside Radio 90.2 related photo, Thameside Radio recording or a memory please email me.

Special thanks for mp3s, writing in or sending pictures to (amongst others) , Carol H, Olaf Star, Jessica D, Pyers E, Warren S, Stephen Sykes, John G, Mike E, itrilby for Radio Eric, Alex Wright, Aidan S, Dave "The Birdman", Alan Dolby, Rachel McIntyre (for Terry Anderson), Al at for the Thameside Radio Revisited podcasts, Terry/Decibel90 and Steve Scribbler.

I know that a lot of Thameside listeners and friends would like to get in touch with each other again. If you are happy to have e-mail forwarded do write in. Even if you don't have any new information it would be great to hear from you.

CC BY SAThe content of this site is avalilable under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Martin Wood