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Skyport Radio was one of the regular broadcasters in the mid to late 1970's.  The station operated regularly on a  Sunday for several years and became well known to shortwave listeners.

According to the station information sheet, Skyport Radio began broadcasting in 1971 on the 41 metre band.  In 1973 they moved to the 48mb and over the years used various frequencies.  An early logging put the station on 6242kHz in September 1975, moving to 6210kHz by September that year.  In 1976 the station seemed to have settled on 6230kHz.  However Radio Andorra recommenced shortwave broadcasts on this frequency with a strong signal, and Skyport moved around for the following few months, using 6210kHz, 6220kHz, 6250kHz, 6254kHz and 6290kH at various times.  The station made a 'final broadcast' on 3rd January 1977 but returned in April on 6250kHz.  Tests were reportedly made on 11170kHz and 9950kHz with 200 watts, but these were soon abandonned due to lack of response and interference from the higher power transmitter.  By now the station was operating almost on a weekly basis and in June moved to 6260kHz where it stayed for a year.  Skyport Radio got its name from London's Heathrow Airport.   The aircraft noise from Heathrow could sometimes be heard on the programme tapes.  It is believed that the station operated from the West London area.

Skyport Radio was different to most of the shortwave stations of the period in that it normally played music which was not heard on other stations.  This included rock, reggae and even Hindi film music.  Because of this it was popular with many listeners.  One of the later members of the station, Terry Anderson also played a lot of Punk Rock in the days when most stations frowned upon it.

A schedule from a 1976 information sheet looked like this :-

1000 - 1100     Mark King with the Letterbox Programme
1100 - 1200     Contemporary Music with Rob Holland
1200                Closedown

During 1977 the station broadcast every week for three hours and Bob Earl could be heard.  Bob left during that year and was replaced by  Terry Anderson. An info sheet from 1977 gave the following schedule :-

1000 - 1100    Mark King with the Letterbox Programme
1100 - 1200    Rob Holland
1200 - 1300    Terry Anderson
1300               Closedown

An FM outlet of 96.4MHz was announced during a broadcast on Boxing Day 1977, and in March 1978 the station extended its transmissions even further, and began broadcasting on the 41 metre band.  After normal closedown at 1300 on 6260kHz, extra programmes would be broadcast on 7395kHz. 

On May Day 1978, Skyport joined together with Radio Corsair (who normally broadcast on 6255kHz between 1030 and 1200BST each week), and a one-off special station called 'Workers Radio 78' went out on the 41 metre band, 7395kHz.  This was frowned upon by many established free radio operators, as it brought politics into what was previously a radio enthusiasts hobby.  It was thought that this type of broadcast would bring out the Post Office.  (It would be a year later however when free radio operators would really be concerned, when the infamous right wing Radio Enoch took to the airwaves.) 

Around mid 1978 transmissions became intermittant and the frequency began to vary because of other stations.  They were heard normally around 6205/10kHz during the latter part of 1978.  Occasionally the station would not appear, but a relay of a London FM station called Uptown Radio could be heard into the afternoon with similar deejays and music.   The station later disappeared altogether, the last reported broadcast as Skyport Radio being on 19th November 1978.  It is thought that most of the station staff decided that FM was the better medium to broadcast specialist music. Bob Earl and Terry Anderson were both heard on Uptown Radio on 94.4MHz in West London.  The whereabouts of Mark King, who appeared to be the main operator of the station is unknown. He certainly left a hole in the shortwave band when he decided to quit.

The station will also be remembered for the mad reverb used with the mic..!!

The Skyport Radio QSL Card


The 15 watt transmitter which normally broadcast on 6260kHz.  

Two photographs of the Skyport Radio Studio.

Photographs of some of the staff, as supplied by the station.
Left - Bob Earl and Rob Holland sift through records in the days before the compact disc.
Right: A
'Skyport staff portrait' with Mark King in the centre.  



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