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Radio Merseywaves was one of the longest running AM free radio station on Merseyside.  The station was started in October 1983 by Merseyside's free radio legend, the late Bert Williams.  At first it was only on during various evenings on 94.8MHz. By January 1984, AM was added on 1197kHz / 252m medium wave with broadcasts commencing at 6pm on a Sunday.  As with most of Berts previous medium wave ventures, the signal quality was excellent, although on the air he always seemed to be dissatisfied with it.    In spring 1984, Radio Merseywaves moved the AM frequency to 1179kHz and began sharing the channel with Radio Elenore. When Radio Elenore signed off on their regular Sunday broadcasts at 6pm, Radio Merseywaves would sign on for the rest of the evening. At one point, following theft of equipment, the frequency was moved to 1170kHz. In late September 1984, Radio Elenore closed down permanently, and some of their former staff joined Radio Merseywaves enabling it to extend Sunday hours. In late 1984, the station began using 1242kHz in the evenings, instead of 1179kHz, in order to avoid foreign interference. Eventually the frequency was permanently changed to 1242kHz / 244m, although for some reason it was always announced as 1233kHz / 244 metres. Radio Merseywaves continued on 1242kHz until around 1990, although intermittently at the end. Other frequencies were tested, including 1125kHz and 1188kHz. The station was still heard at the start of the 1990's, and was monitored on 101.7MHz FM.  By 1992 two 'historic pirate' frequencies used on Merseyside, 1197kHz and 1242kHz had become clogged up with various Virgin Radio relays. By early 1993, Radio Merseywaves were operating on 99.9MHz, when they were raided and the operators were in court on 5th May 1993 (see cuttings at bottom of page).  It is not known whether the station returned, or when it made its final transmission.

Below is a sticker from the late 1980's

The station was off the air for a time due to multiple raids and attempted raids. 
The poster below advertised their return. Click on images for larger resolution.


Below are a couple of flyers which were sent around to advertise the station
during its heyday, when it broadcast from Friday through to Monday. Click on images for higher resolution.



Radio Merseywaves Audio Library 1984 to 1985

1983_12_00_merseywaves_studio_948fm_bertwilliams_test-rd.mp3 New Oct 2023 A studio recording of a Bert Williams test transmission for Radio Merseywaves we think from December 1983.  This must have been an early test as only 94.8MHz was mentioned.  The recording is by kind courtesy of Rodger Dee. 85MB
1984_03_25_sun_merseywaves_948fm_1800-1845_signon_bertwilliams.mp3 A sign on from Bert Williams in the stations early days when it operated only on a Sunday evening.  The station was also announcing 252m / 1197kHz at this time. 55M
1984_03_25_sun_merseywaves_948fm_2000-2045_bertwilliams.mp3   55M
1984_10_07_sun_merseywaves_1179am-254m_1235-1320_johnfreeman_tonyreeve.mp3 After Radio Elenore closed in September 1984, many of the deejays moved to Radio Merseywaves, allowing it to extend broadcasting hours.  On this recording, John Freeman and Tony Reeve are on air. By this time the station was also sharing the former Radio Elenore frequency of 1179kHz, announced as 254m. 42M
1984_10_07_sun_merseywaves_1179am-254m_1335-1420_tonyreeve_pauljay.mp3 The end of Tony Reeve and into the Paul Jay show. Paul had been on Radio Merseywaves since the beginning of the year. 41M
1984_10_24_sun_merseywaves_948fm_1829-1914_tinachristian_bertwilliams.mp3   55M
1984_10_24_sun_merseywaves_948fm_1914-2000_bertwilliams.mp3   55M
1984_11_04_sun_merseywaves_1179am-254m_1120-1240_mistert_tonyreeve.mp3 74M
1984_12_26_wed_merseywaves_1242am_1200-1415_bertwilliams_airchecks-gh527.mp3 New Jun 2023 In a special Boxing Day 1984 broadcast, Bert Williams signs on at 12 mid-day and talks about the recent raid on 11th November.  Bert has a few issues with equipment and the station goes off for a few minutes and then there is some continous music whilst things are sorted. This is 30 minutes or airchecks covering the first two hours of the broadcast up until just after 2pm. Recorded from 1242kHz near Blackpool, where there was some splatter from Boyneside Radio on 1233kHz.  The sound is a bit muffled as the tape had deteriorated a lot. 30MB
1984_12_26_wed_merseywaves_1242am_1408-1427_bertwilliams-gh467.mp3 New Jun 2023 From a different tape and overlapping the above Bert Williams programme, Bert talked about the recent raid on 11th November and announces there will be a short phone in. This is only a 15 minute section of his show before the said phone in. This was probably one of the first broadcasts on 1242kHz, after the station had moved from 1179kHz. Recorded near Blackpool, where there was some splatter from Boyneside Radio on 1233kHz. 15MB
1985_02_17_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1525-1610_bertwilliams_pauljay-gh.mp3 New Jan 2023 The end of the Bert Williams show and the first few minutes of Paul Jay from Sunday afternoon 17th February 1985.  In one part he mentions about his programmes since 1979, and his first station back in 1969.  Recorded from 1242kHz near Blackpool. There is a bit of band noise. The station had now moved permanently to this frequency from 1179kHz, following the raid in November 1984 and Radio Sweden upping power to 600kW on 1179kHz. 41MB
1985_03_03_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1407-1452_bertwilliams-gh.mp3 New Jan 2023 A section of the first hour of Bert Williams on Sunday afternoon 3rd March 1985.  Bert comments on equipment failure, as he is working on only one turntable. There is some band noise. Recorded from 1242kHz near Blackpool. 41MB

A newspaper report on the recent raid mentioned by Bert in the recording below
and from the Wirral issue of The News from 28th November 1985.
(Click on image for full resolution)

1985_12_08_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1450-1530_bertwilliams-gh572.mp3 New Oct 2022 A partially airchecked recording of the start of Bert Williams on Radio Merseywaves from Sunday 8th December 1985. Bert took off the Paul Jay tape at the end of his show as it was not sounding well, and puts on a Beatles album instead. The station had been raided on 22nd November and lost equipment, which Bert talks about, as well as his opinions about community radio licenses.  The station would be raided again a few days later as they attempted to go seven days per week.  Recorded from 1242kHz near Blackpool. 34MB

A newspaper report in the Wirral Globe from 26th March 1986.
(Click on image for full resolution)


Radio Merseywaves Audio Library 1986 to 1988

1986_03_28_fri_merseywaves_1242am_1415-1540_marknewman-gh597.mp3 New May 2023 The station had suffered a raid earlier in the week, on a Tuesday, when it was not on the air but still lost the studio.  As a result, there were some tests using additional transmitters done on several frequencies just in case the DTI turned up again over the Easter Weekend.  This recording was made on Good Friday 28th March 1986, from 1242kHz, but the deejay, who we think was Mark Newman was also announcing 1188kHz, 250m. The note with this tape suggested that 1188kHz was heard, but much weaker than 1242kHz.  As received near Blackpool from 1242kHz / 244m. 77MB
1986_03_29_sat_merseywaves_1242am_1130-1215_markwright_jeffstar-gh606.mp3 New Aug 2022 This is a recording from Easter Saturday with Mark Wright followed at mid-day by Jeff Star from 29th March 1986. The DTI had raided Merseywaves the previous Tuesday morning when the station wasn't on the air, and so the Merseywaves were operating on temporary equipment.  They were also announcing a second frequency of 305m / 981kHz in case of a further raid.  Received near Blackpool from 1242kHz / 244m. 42MB
1986_03_29_sat_merseywaves_1242am_1550-1625_keith_the_chief-gh606.mp3 New Aug 2022 From later on Easter Saturday afternoon after the above recording is BJC up until 4pm.  There is an announced break in transmission just before Keith The Chief. Also, the on-hour station tape has a problem and is very low level and there are other 'issues' at the start of Keith's show. Received near Blackpool from 1242kHz / 244m. 31MB
1986_03_29_sat_merseywaves_1242am_1626-1712_keith_the_chief-gh049.mp3 New Aug 2023 A continuation of Keith the Chief with loads of letters.  Received in Merseyside on 1242kHz. 43MB
1986_03_29_sat_merseywaves_1242am_1713-1800_keith_the_chief-gh049.mp3 New Aug 2023 The final part of Keith's show with plenty of listeners letters.  Received in Merseyside on 1242kHz.  Keith also mentioned broadcasting on 305m. 43MB
1986_03_29_sat_merseywaves_1242am_1754-1835_ktc_tara-gh606.mp3 New Aug 2022 Carrying on shows from Easter Saturday and overlapping with the above file, is the end of Keith The Chief's show, followed by Tara at 6pm, who mentions about the raid on Tuesday where the equipment was taken.  Plenty of letters are read out. Received near Blackpool from 1242kHz, although announced as 1233kHz. 38MB
1986_03_30_sun_merseywaves_1242am-244m_1430-1625_pauljay_bertwilliams-gh587.mp3 Easter Sunday programming.  Bert tells the story of the studio raid the week before and dedicates a Beatles song to the DTI and associated 'grassers and informants'. Recorded near Blackpool from 1242kHz. 107.8M
1986_03_30_sun_merseywaves_1242am-244m_1625-1725_bertwilliams_markwright-gh587.mp3 Continuation of the above recording with Bert, followed by Mark Wright. 52.7M
1986_03_31_mon_merseywaves_1242am-244m_0815-0915_signon_davecollins-gh587.mp3 A Monday sign on and breakfast show from Dave Collins as received near Blackpool. 50.2M
1986_05_04_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1435-1640_pauljay_bertwilliams-gh598.mp3 New Aug 2022 The end of Paul Jay and then at 3pm the Bert Williams show for Sunday 4th May 1986.  Bert starts with the wrong record and then explains about some problem with the transmitter and that he should have 'took it off' at 1445 (there was some dead air during Paul's show), but decided to stay on as there was nothing else on AM.  Bert mentions the weeks before had seen a lot of DTI activity.  Received near Blackpool from 1242kHz, although announced as 1233kHz. 115MB
1987_02_09_mon_merseywaves_1242am_0828-0914_davecollins_studio_recording-gh.mp3 New Feb 2022 A studio recording of part of the Dave Collins breakfast show for a Monday morning. 103MB
1987_02_09_mon_merseywaves_1242am_0915-1000_davecollins_studio_recording-gh.mp3 New Feb 2022 The last 45 minutes of Dave Collins for this particular Monday breakfast show. This is side two of the above studio recording. 103MB
1987_02_15_sun_merseywaves_1242am_0000-0047_tonywest_radarroy-gh252.mp3 New Nov 2021 Tony West and Radar Roy read out plenty of listeners letters and requests in this midnight show. Recorded near Birkenhead from 1242kHz. 43MB
1987_03_01_sun_merseywaves_1242am-244m_1450-1610_barryneville_tonycoltrane_bertwilliams.mp3 New Apr 2021 Last part of the Tony Coltrane show and following the extended theme tune into the Bert Williams Show. Bert comments on the raid of two weeks ago. Recorded near Blackpool from 1242kHz (announced as 1233kHz). 96MB
1987_03_01_sun_merseywaves_1242am-244m_1610-1638_bertwilliams.mp3 New Apr 2021 Continuing the Bert Williams show as recorded from a communications receiver near Blackpool from 1242kHz, hence the tinny quality. 37MB
1987_03_01_sun_merseywaves_1242am-244m_1640-1700_bertwilliams.mp3 New Apr 2021 Last part of the above Bert Williams show. Towards the end Bert announces DJC has arrived in the studio. Again a bit tinny, as recorded from a communications set near Blackpool. 28MB
1987_04_17_fri_merseywaves_1242am_1030-1315_ktc_markpalmer-gh620.mp3 New Aug 2022 Almost three hours of Keith the Chief, followed by Mark Palmer at mid-day from Good Friday 1987. As received near Blackpool on 1242kHz. 149MB
1987_04_17_fri_merseywaves_1242am_1545-1605_pauljames_peterthomas-gh620.mp3 New Aug 2022 Paul James up to programme changover with Peter Thomas at 4pm.  Recorded near Blackpool from 1242kHz. 18MB
1987_04_19_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1500-1650_kaymorris_bertwilliams-gh619.mp3 New Jun 2021 Kay Morris takes the first part of Bert Williams show after 3pm as he had to sort out some 'personal issues'. Bert returns after 40 minutes and goes on to ask for people in high rise flats who may be able to host some station equipment to call in. Recorded near Blackpool from 1242kHz. The co-channel interference is from Laois Community Radio. 100MB
1987_05_10_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1500-1547_tonycoltrane_phonein_peterthomas-gh918.mp3 New Jun 2023 Tony Coltrane overruns his show after 3pm with a Sunday afternoon phone in. Peter Thomas follows at 3:30pm. The station apparently suffered a raid at the phone box, and the station left the air about an hour after this recording. Liverpool Pirate Radio had also been raided earlier in the day and lost all equipment.  Recorded near Blackpool from 1242kHz. 44MB
1987_05_22_fri_merseywaves_1242-244m_2300-2347_kevinjordan-gh694.mp3 New Mar 2021 At one stage the station operated on a Friday, and this is a late night extract of Kevin Jordan as recorded close to the station, although sadly there are some tape dropouts. 44MB
1987_05_23_sat_merseywaves_1242-244m_0025-0110_tonywest-gh694.mp3 New Mar 2021 Side two of the above cassette from the same evening, but this recording features Tony West after midnight. Again there are some dropouts due to the old tape. 44MB
1987_05_29_fri_merseywaves_1242am_1807-1854_paulwoods-ghe250.mp3 New Oct 2023 Paul Woods on Friday evening 29th May 1987 reading out a lot of letters and requests. Recorded from 1242kHz close to the transmission site. 43MB
1987_06_14_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1502-1708_bertwilliams.mp3 A full Bert Wiliams show with a few crackles as it was recorded near Blackpool, and also background interference from Laois Community Radio in Ireland. Bert talks about a recent raid on 15th May. 114.6M
1987_06_14_sun_merseywaves_1242am-244m_1527-1700_bertwilliams-gh509.mp3 New Feb 2021 The same show as above recorded local to the transmitter, much clearer but only 95 minutes. Sent to Gary in 1987 by the late Dave Collins. 88M
1987_06_28_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1358-1503_tonycoltrane_petesetrine-gh668.mp3 New Jun 2021 An hour of Tony Coltrane with an early Sunday afternoon show until 3pm when Pete Setrine takes over. Recorded near Blackpool with some background interference. 60MB
1987_06_28_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1555-1910_petesetrine_peterthomas_djc_davebenitez_donthejuan-gh668.mp3 New Jun 2021 Peter Thomas takes over from Pete Setrine at 4pm for an hour and is followed by DJC.  Dave Benitez hosts an hour until 7pm and their is the first link from Don The Juan. Recorded near Blackpool with some background interference. 180MB
1987_08_29_sat_merseywaves_1242am_0830-1500_pauljay_markpalmer_daveralph_markwright-gh729.mp3 This was the return of Radio Merseywaves on 1242kHz following a raid on 14th August. The signal was very good, and this was received near Blackpool. This is rather a large file and consists of 6 hours of programming from the morning and afternoon. 359M
1987_08_29_sat_merseywaves_1242am_2000-0215_keiththechief_pauljay_tonymarshall_tonyhollis_dontheone-gh729.mp3 This is another 6 hours of programming from the same Saturday, this time in the evening through until after 2am Sunday.  The signal was good enough to give clear listening despite the foreign stations underneath. 359M
1987_10_11_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1030-1115_brianjohnson_peterthomas_testtx-gh652.mp3 Return to the air with 'live' test transmissions after being on and off the air for several weeks. Brian Johnson and Peter Thomas on this one.  Recorded near Blackpool. 42MB
1987_10_11_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1116-1202_peterthomas_testtx-gh652.mp3 Side 2 of the above cassette with Peter Thomas to mid-day.  Recorded near Blackpool. 42MB
1987_11_08_sun_merseywaves_1242am_0945-1215_markpalmer_waynescott-gh666.mp3 Part of a weekend broadcast following a number of the station staff appearing in court during the previous week.  Recorded near Blackpool. 139.3M
1987_11_08_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1217-1453_waynescott_petesetrine-gh666.mp3 Continuation of the above recording, again received near Blackpool. 139.3M
1987_11_08_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1453-1613_bertwilliams-gh666.mp3 On the final part of this 6 hour recording made near Blackpool from 1242kHz, Bert Williams tells the story about the court case a few days before. 73.7M
1988_01_17_sun_merseywaves_1242am-244m_1505-1550_bertwilliams_station_history_pt1-gh127.mp3 New Jun 2021 Bert Williams hosts his Sunday afternoon show shortly after 3pm and begins a history of Radio Merseywaves. Recorded near Blackpool. 42M
1988_01_17_sun_merseywaves_1242am-244m_1551-1635_bertwilliams_station_history_pt2-gh127.mp3 New Jun 2021 A continuation of Bert and his history of Radio Merseywaves up until late 1986. The rest of the story was promised for a future programme which sadly we do not have on tape. Recorded near Blackpool. 42M
1988_04_03_sun_merseywaves_1242am-244m_1505-1630_bertwilliams-gh658.mp3 New Feb 2021 An Easter Sunday programme from Bert Williams. In this show he comments on the raids on the station in the previous couple of months.  This may have been a new transmitter as there was hum on the signal with the Irish station Laois Community Radio, also on 1242kHz. Recorded near Blackpool. 79.7M
1988_04_03_sun_merseywaves_1242am-244m_1630-1715_bertwilliams_djc-gh658.mp3 New Feb 2021 The last half hour of Bert Williams, who then overruns as the next deejay, DJC, turns up late. It was interesting that after years of announcing the station as 1233kHz, it was now being given as the correct frequency of 1242kHz.  Again recorded near Blackpool. 47M
1988_05_07_sat_merseywaves_1242am_0855-1055_markpalmer-gh631.mp3 New Jun 2021 Saturday morning and following some continuous music, Mark Palmer hosts until 11am. The signal was very strong this day. Recorded near Blackpool from 1242kHz. 110MB
1988_05_07_sat_merseywaves_1242am_1055-1240_markpalmer_tonycoltrane-reel631.mp3 New Jun 2021 The end of Mark Palmer and then Tony Coltrane takes over for two hours. Again recorded near Blackpool. 98MB
1988_12_18_sun_merseywaves_1242am_1430-1522_samanthalee_simonjackson-gh780.mp3 48MB
1988_12_24_sat_merseywaves_1242am_1610-1730_elaine_kevinjordan-gh800.mp3 New Oct 2022 Elaine sits in for Peter Thomas on Christmas Eve afternoon 1988.  Kevin Jordan is in the studio after 5pm. The audio levels were a little variable at times.  Recorded near Blackpool from 1242kHz. 72MB

Cutting from The Wirral Globe of 8th March 1989

Cutting from The Liverpool Daily Post
of 8th March 1989

Thanks to Steve West for the above cuttings regarding the raid in early 1989,
and promo poster below which actually confirms 1242kHz,
which were originally courtesy of Ellaine Digman.

A couple of Bert Williams 'business cards'.
Note the frequency is now advertised as the correct 1242kHz, not 1233kHz.
(Click on images for higher resolution)


Radio Merseywaves Audio Library 1989 to 1991

1989_11_18_sat_merseywaves_1125am_1135-1323_markpalmer-gh825.mp3 New Sep 2022 After a raid in February 1989, Merseywaves were briefly heard on the old MAR frequency of 1125kHz / 266m at the end of 1989. This recording of Mark Palmer was made on Saturday 18th November.  There was an issue with the transmitter and the station made an announced sign off just before 1:30pm for an adjustment. Recorded near Blackpool from 1125kHz.  The signal strength on this broadcast was very strong. The station address at this time was 126 Curlew Way, Moreton. 99MB
1989_11_18_sat_merseywaves_1125am_1345-1500_johnlewis-gh825.mp3 New Sep 2022 The station was off for about 15 minutes and returned with some continuous music until John Lewis announced he was on till 5pm, but had to disappear to a meeting at 2pm. He did return shortly afterwards. Recorded near Blackpool from 1125kHz. 69MB
1991_00_00_merseywaves_1188am_bertwilliams_no_freq_announced.mp3 Bert Williams with a taped show announcing that Radio Mersywaves was returning. Although not announced, the frequency was 1188kHz and signal strength was tremendous considering this was recorded near Blackpool. This was the only time it was logged on 1188kHz, on which we normally heard Radio Dublin. 88M
1991_00_00_merseywaves_1017fm_test_davecollins_kevinjordan-gh856.mp3 New Aug 2022 Three hours of a test transmission from Radio Merseywaves on 101.7MHz.  We have no date for this, but it may have been around the end of August 1991. This recording starts with some continuous oldies, and then a pre-recorded announcement by Bert Williams about the imminent return of the station. There then follows an hour of Dave Collins and then Kevin Jordan. Recorded near Blackpool from 101.7MHz.  Unfortunately the announcements are disorted in a lot of the recording, probably because of the distance. 270MB
1991_00_00_merseywaves_1017fm_test_tonysimmons_kevinjordan-gh856.mp3 New Aug 2022 Another lengthy 2 hour recording of a test transmission, probably from the same day as above, but with Tony Simmons and Kevin Jordan hosting programmes.  Recorded near Blackpool from 101.7MHz. 202MB
1991_00_00_merseywaves_1017fm_test_davecollins_kevinjordan_tonysimmons-gh636.mp3 New May 2023 More test transmission from Radio Merseywaves on FM with Dave Collins, Kevin Jordan and Tony Simmons.  The tape had no date.  Recorded near Blackpool from 101.7MHz. 362MB
1991_09_14_sat_merseywaves_1017fm_bertwilliams_pauljay-gh732.mp3 New Apr 2024 A Bert Williams. Recorded near Blackpool from 101.7MHz. 132MB
1991_08_26_mon_merseywaves_1017fm_bertwilliams_test_announcement.mp3 A rather crackly recording received near Blackpool of Bert Williams announcing an 'Engineering Test Transmission' on 101.7MHz in stereo, in preparation for a return to the air after being off for a long time. 4MB
1991_09_14_sat_merseywaves_1017fm_bertwilliams_pauljay-gh732.mp3 New Mar 2021 A Saturday afternoon changoever from Bert Williams to Paul Jay after the station came back on with regular programming. Recorded near Blackpool from 101.7MHz. 132MB


Reports in the Wirral News of 31st March 1993 and 5th May 1993
from when Merseywaves operated on 99.9MHz.
Was this the final end for Radio Merseywaves?
Cuttings were originally from the collection of Alfred Quilliam
and by kind courtesy of Rodger Dee
(Click on images for full resolution - Sizes are 2MB and 2.3MB)