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Very similar to one Captain Pugwash, created with Adobe products! Pirate, UBR or Unlicensed Broadcast Radio
The Pirate Radio jingle player is further down this page.

Press Release from The Radiocommunications Authority 18 September 2003

The battle against pirate radio stations received a boost today as new powers of arrest under the Communications Act came into force.

The police, working with Radiocommunications Agency investigators, will be able to arrest a pirate broadcaster or anybody suspected of supporting or facilitating illegal broadcasting. Previously police could only detain someone if they suspected them of giving a false name and address or another criminal act, such as a breach of the peace or assault.

The new powers of arrest will also extend to acts of deliberate interference with radio communications and hoax calls, especially false distress calls.

Communications Minister Stephen Timms said:

“These new powers will be an important weapon in the campaign against pirate broadcasters.

“By interfering with communications services which are vital for public safety, pirates can put lives at risk. They also cause interference with other licensed radio users and can be a social nuisance to those who live near pirate stations.”

The number of pirate broadcasters is declining whilst the prosecution rates are rising. Figures for 2002 showed a fall of 15% in the number of illegal stations whilst prosecutions more than doubled to 49, with a further 55 prosecutions so far in 2003. Pirates detained under these new powers could face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.

OFCOM are quite incorrect in their use of the term UBR, as by definition no one running a pirate station, or on amateur radio, can 'broadcast'. The correct term is Narrowcast. This word was unknown to us until Richard Branson applied for a license for Virgin Radio where his application said he was targeting an audience of 3 million and that it would be a "Narrowcast".

This is a genuine quote from the RA website December 2003!


The Agency has learnt that a licensed broadcasting station is running a competition to recruit DJ’s from pirate radio stations.

The economic value of the UK radio industry is worth £20 billion at 2000 prices. The Agency is responsible for ensuring that this vital national asset is not threatened by misuse of the radio spectrum. The greatest threat comes from unlicenced broadcasters who operate with total disregard for authorised radio users.

Recruitment of staff from pirate radio stations may require pirate broadcasters to provide information that is effectively evidence of their committing a criminal offence of unlicensed broadcasting. The penalties for that criminal offence are:

  • an unlimited fine and/or two years in prison, plus
  • anyone convicted of an offence is barred from working on a legal station for 5 years.

The Agency expects that anyone in possession of such evidence will hand it over to them for further investigation. Failing that it can be seized under the Agency's legal powers under section 15 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 and section 79 of the Telecommunications Act 1984.

Let us not forget that The Laughing Policeman Wireless Society also encompasses forms of radio communication other than amateur radio. Radio is no laughing matter!

Success or failure? These are the results of their efforts:-

Year Stations Total Operations Convictions Average Fine £ Average Costs £
1991 127 475 103 242 239
1992 113 520 70 99 172
1993 148 611 36 209 297
1994 164 570 61 503 328
1995 166 645 57 266 243
1996 171 842 28 87 298
1997 169 820 41 193 340
1998 177 928 53 452 585
1999 239 1414 47 229 307
2000 231 1494 41 377 302
2001 248 1438 20 397 761

A bit big & clunky but a wealth of info  http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk

Pirate Radio, Unlicensed Broadcast Radio or UBR as the Radio Investigation Service call it, is also a major interest of several of our members.

We always hear the same old lame excuses when a UBR (or pirate broadcaster) is taken to court, interference with emergency services, when the reality of the matter is that meticulous care is taken when selecting a frequency so better coverage is achieved. This is becoming ever more difficult with the proliferation of legitimate stations.

It is usually easy to find a UBR as the signal is set to over-deviate (that’s loud for you non-technical types!) so you can identify a UBR as you scan the broadcast band. There are dozens of station active at weekends, and even more that appear only on Bank Holidays, to evade the R.I.S. and their tight budget when it comes to overtime.

We think they do no harm, so the more the merrier. Here are a few links to useful suppliers of equipment if you want to have a go!

The links below will take you to some good sources of pirate radio equipment & info both in the UK and USA.
Broadcast Warehouse Free Radio Berkley
Transmitters R Us UK Offshore Echos Magazine [select English!]
How to be a Community Radio Station
Progressive Concepts Pirate Revival
Ramsey Electronics Phlegms Radio Extravaganza
North Country Radio (USA) PCS Electronics

Not strictly a pirate site, but a wealth of information and a vast photo gallery of UK transmitter sites etc. Check it out, MB21 a real enthusiast's site.

Interesting site with recordings of pirate DJs from the past, I came across this after looking up The "Ranking Miss P".

Ramsey have several kits, apart from a very nice crystal controlled transmitter for repeater bugs, they also sell a decent FM transmitter for $299.00, as well as smaller and cheaper ones. An interesting item is an AM transmitter, and whilst only 100 milli-watts, with a decent aerial it will give fair coverage. A new item is their TV transmitter. Download their catalogue in Adobe PDF, if you can find the link to it on their site!

Pirate Radio Links 

Micro-Power broadcasting guide
Max Transmitters.com
Lots of pirate radio links
pirate-radio.co.uk live feed
Canadian manufacturer
Low power broadcaster
How to be a "Radio Pirate"
Lot's of memories and up to date stuff 2

Free Radio Berkeley
L. D. Brewers - Index Page
Mighty's pirate radio site
Pirate Radio Central
searchable site with a lot of info

Radio London Ltd.

Radio Rewind - home page link

Due to the demise of Flash Player, here are the pirate jingles on Soundcloud

Radio Alvechurch/ Radio Christina

Robin Wood G4UDK was the man behind Radio Alvechurch, sometimes referred to as Radio Christina.

Using ex Army equipment, Wood, who was almost completely blind, built the station with the help of Post Office Telephone Engineer Jeff Himms. The station was known for drifting well off frequency on AM Medium Wave.

Sometimes broadcast as a static station, but more than usually transmitting from Himm's Mini Van driving around Alvechurch.

The station was eventually "Knobbled" by Post Officer Telephones and whilst we can't find the public records to confirm it, we firmly believe court action and a nominal fine followed.

Robin Wood G4UDK later appeared as an Illegal operator of an AM Citizens Band station, this time from a new location in Sillins Avenue, Redditch, however the characteristic drifting off frequency was still present suggesting modifications to more ex-Army transmitters.

Wood eventually went legitimate and managed to pass both parts of the Amateur Radio exam.

In the mid 1980s he issued threats to an LPWS member by telephone. This was recorded on an answer phone and an edited version (below) used extensively on the local repeaters. Wood has a distinctive voice, so no one was in any doubt as to who it was, brave indeed for a blind man!

He remains a controversial figure as he lives in social housing but ignores local planning restrictions on antennae etc. his run-ins with the local Housing Authority making the news on several occasions, see below.

Wood G4UDK, now ignores his illegal pirate radio past and can often be heard trying to "lay down the law" based on his interpretation of the amateur radio operating laws of the last century, appearing to be totally ignorant of the root and branch changes introduced on December 1st 2006! Maybe he should apply to OFCOM for a copy in Braille or on CD.

Local Paper Report
click the image


      "Wicked" Willy Bodwen ex Sgt. 3116 (forced to retire & not a laughing policeman!)

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