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A Beginners’ Guide to The Bradshaws

Almost everything you need to know about Buzz Hawkins’ radio comedy series from a fan’s view

The 1950s was a pivotal decade in British 20th Century history. We began the fifties in austerity with rationing still in place till 1954, and ended that decade with a consumer boom. New Towns emerged with publicly funded housing fit for our daily needs. Away from the backdrop, many of us lived in tenement blocks or terraced houses. Instead of gardens, it was backyards and ginnels.

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Tecsun PL-310ET radio receiver (with Revolution 96.2FM).

Greatest Hits Radio Ditches MW Frequencies

Iconic 999kHz and 1152kHz wavelengths to go in North West

“In the North West, you know what’s best…”

“We thank you for sharing your days with us/For The Best Hit Music with a smile/Whatever the time of day or night, your music and your friend…”

If you are older than 30 years old, there’s every chance you’ll remember listening to the latest chart sounds on Medium Wave. Forty years ago, a lot of our radio listening came from medium wave (or AM) radio stations. BBC Radio One used to be on 275m and 285m (now occupied by Talk Radio). BBC Radio Manchester used to be on 206m, a little close for comfort on the dial beside Radio Luxembourg.

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The First 39 Tunes on Piccadilly Radio: A Past of the M60 Rebellious Mixtape Special

Ever wondered what the first ten tunes on Piccadilly Radio were? Your questions have been answered

On this day in history, Piccadilly Radio began broadcasting 44 years ago. The first voice on Piccadilly Radio was Roger Day. As for the first record, that was The Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations. What company may you ask had the first advert on Piccadilly Radio? It was the North Western Regional Gas Board. With the tagline “The North Loves Gas Best”.

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A History of Piccadilly Radio Jingles (Part Two): The Nineties

Another nostalgic look at the former radio station’s jingles

The 1990s was a seminal decade for Piccadilly’s two radio stations. It opened with an upsurge in Key 103’s fortunes and the transformation of its AM service as a golden oldies station. By the end of the decade, Key 103 was top dog among Greater Manchester’s radio listeners. Piccadilly Gold became Piccadilly Magic 1152 – later Magic 1152 and Key 2 in the 21st Century.

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Sleepless Near Settle: Sleeplessness And My Childhood

Or: Why the creator of this blog is very much a night person

SV and a Chaser: Sleepless Near Settle caption.

You will be wondering “why on Earth is The Chase’s Ann Hegerty in an East of the M60 article?” Well, the story behind this picture takes us to December 2014. After meeting her with (Tremendous Knowledge) David Rainford at The Water House in Manchester (in early 2013 after a Poetica event in City Library), I had finally got around to joining a local quiz team. Since the close of 2014, I have been involved in the quiz teams for The Wheatsheaf and The Lodge Hotel. Regular readers of this blog would know for sure the two pubs are in Dukinfield. Continue reading “Sleepless Near Settle: Sleeplessness And My Childhood”

Ringing the Frequency Changes: AM to FM and DAB to DAB+

Personal musings on broadcast radio frequency changes


Vintage radio image by Jeff Holt, 2012. (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved)


Before I went to bed, I learned about the possibility of more tasty radio stations coming my way. “Whoop whoop I thought,” thinking my erstwhile DAB receiver would benefit from a few new stations, using the DAB+ system. Then I realised the only one I would have been likely to listen to was Steve Penk’s Wind-Up channel. Chris Country was definitely out, so my opinions on the Manchester digital multiplex’s selection was met with a “meh”.
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A History of Piccadilly Radio Jingles (Part One): 1974 – 1990

A nostalgic look at the former radio station’s jingles

After a six year hiatus I have, in a professional capacity, returned to my spiritual home. Central Manchester. Back on the bus to Piccadilly Gardens though the train and tram could be suitable alternatives. To pass the time (and conserve battery life on my smartphone), I have rediscovered the joys of radio. In spite of the lure of free WiFi on an Enviro400 double decker bus.

Via Tameside Radio. The joys of its new breakfast show. Very good it is too, not least the fact I can get a clear signal up to Piccadilly Gardens. Good old FM: light on the battery life compared with YouTube. Sometimes better quality sound.

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Behind the Mike: A Look At The Glory Days of Piccadilly Sport

Commemorating Piccadilly Radio’s first full football season

If you thought Milton Keynes Dons’ tonking of Manchester United was eventful, cast your mind back to the 1974-75 season. M.K. Dons was Southern League side Wimbledon (home ground, Plough Lane); Manchester United played Second Division football, and top of the First Division that week was Carlisle United. Continue reading “Behind the Mike: A Look At The Glory Days of Piccadilly Sport”

Your Music And Your Friend: 40 Reasons in Praise of Piccadilly Radio

Straight from the heart of Manchester, forty reasons to celebrate Greater Manchester’s once foremost independent local radio station.

Who’d have thought forty years would have passed since the soundtrack of Leyland Atlantean diesel fumes and Phil Wood was the sound of Greater Manchester? Back in 1974, I was still five years and two and a half months away from listening to Piccadilly Radio. In my formative years, it formed a great part of my radio listening habits. Not only at home, but also in the taxi to The Ewing School. I hold Piccadilly Radio solely responsible for a lifelong interest in radio jingles.

I miss the old Piccadilly Radio; the only thing I had found close enough to the greatest independent local radio station to have graced our airwaves was the first five years of Tameside Radio. How I wish I could dial ‘261’ and hear the dulcet tones of James Stannage or Roger Day.

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Sangean ATS-909, Oona Raisanen (2006)

From the Heart of Manchester for 25 Years: Key 103

Music, not muzak…

Before September of 1988, Piccadilly Radio had all its programmes on both its MW and FM frequencies (1152kHz and 103.0MHz). You could listen to Umberto on Medium Wave, VHF, or by dialling ‘261’ anywhere in Greater Manchester.

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