There Will Never Be Another Radio London!

The first I knew about the Radio London RSL broadcast was when my brother 'phoned me in great excitement, having obtained details on the Internet. He asked me if I would like to go down to Frinton and see what was going on - would I?!!

Having had several unsuccessful attempts in picking up 'Big L' at home, most of the journey consisted of twiddling the dial of the car radio and we were thrilled when we finally managed to tune in. It had occurred to me before making the journey that we might just be a couple of sentimental (I am not going to say 'old') fools, after all, some things are best left to slumber sweetly in the section of memory labelled 'nostalgia'. I really could not have been more wrong - it really WAS 'wonderful' to hear the old station again. Despite the sad fact that some of the original DJ's are no longer with us, thank goodness a few still are. The Big L '97 line up managed to capture the true spirit of the original Radio London. The remainder of our journey was spent singing along at the tops of our voices to all the adverts, records and jingles. Kenny Everett, you are sadly missed.

On arrival in Frinton we tried to arrange a visit out to the ship, but were disappointed to find that she had been moved to safer waters due to adverse weather conditions. Consequently, most of our first visit was spent in happy conversation with the girls in the Radio London shop and stocking up with (lots of!) souvenirs.

We decided we couldn't just leave it at that and that if Radio London would not come to us, then we would just have to jolly well go to Radio London! We made two further trips to Frinton, including August 14th, on which day we were lucky enough to meet Ray Anderson, Mark Roman and Chris Elliot. We also met the Texans (Tom Danaher and Ben Toney, two of the original Big L founders) and had autographs and books signed by all and sundry. The atmosphere on Walton Pier and the friendly welcome we received from everyone is something I will never forget.

I think that in order to understand the impact made on British broadcasting by Radio London (especially) and the rest of the pirates, one has to have been there the first time around. Well, I am so delighted to have been there and I'm thrilled that someone cared enough to spend what must have been many hours sifting through tapes and vinyl in order to recreate Britain's quintessential radio station - there will certainly NEVER be 'another' Radio London.

© Jenni Baynton 1999

(Very sadly, Jenni died in July 2000. Her tribute page is here.)

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