On this page you can find some of the press releases that were put in the Shropshire Star, a total of 19 articles were printed in all. Dimension FM would like to thank the news team for all their support.
Shropshire Star – 14th Oct 2003 – By James Whittaker.
A pirate radio station broadcasting from the Telford Area, which gained a cult following across Shropshire, has been raided and shut down by DTI officers.
Dimension FM has been forced off the airwaves after more than four years – prompting an outcry from disappointed listeners. A 25-year-old man was arrested after investigators swooped on the station’s makeshift Wellington studio.
DJs at the popular dance and rave music station, a favourite of Shropshire clubbers, had their equipment seized and two computers are also believed to have been taken from the home of a DJ known as “Spangles”.
The radio station’s website has been flooded with E-mails from despondent fans disappointed that their favourite station has been taken off the air.
A defiant message on the site from the station management tells fans about the raid and promises: “We will be back on your dial soon”.
It adds: “Keep your chins up and keep locked into 92.2 FM as we are Telford’s finest.”
It is understood that Dimension FM was organised and run from a caravan, housed inside a shed, in the Wellington area by a group of around 30 young people.
It broadcast a mixture of dance music styles, including trance, hardcore and drum ‘n’ bass, to homes across the county every weekend on 92.2FM.
Many of the DJs also perform live shows at venues across the county including a regular Dimension FM night at the Elephant and Castle in Ketley. No connection between the pub and the broadcasts is implied.
Bob Wade, of the Government News Network, said three raids had been carried out by the radio licensing agency, part of the Department of Trade and Industry, on September 28.
He said “radio broadcasting equipment” had been seized and one man was being investigated for offences under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.
“Officers raided a caravan in Wellington. A man was interviewed, but not arrested, and the caravan and equipment were seized. They also went to a private address in Wellington and a man was arrested and further equipment seized.”
Constable Pete Simmonds, of Telford police, said officers had helped with the raids.
Shropshire Star – 15th Oct 2003 – By James Whittaker.
The man behind Shropshire’s most successful pirate radio station, which was dramatically forced off the airways after a series of government raids, today declared: “We will be back”.
The DJ, and entrepreneur who set up Dimension FM said the station had a duty to get back on air. Dimension FM broadcast to more than 4000 dance music fans across the county and in the North West.
It was shut down by DTI officers after a raid on its headquarters – a high-tech studio installed in a caravan in Wellington.
Thousands of pounds of equipment was seized and two computers were taken from a house in Wellington.
But the station manager, known as “the captain” today said he was forced in to a “victimless crime” because of the crippling costs and strict regional restrictions on radio licences.
He said he had ploughed thousands of pounds of his own money in to Dimension FM to provide a service for music fans, keep youngsters off the streets and help develop new “underground” talent in Shropshire.
“We get permission from the record labels and play our own music. Our equipment is up to a professional standard and is checked and tested every week to make sure we do not interfere with any other frequencies.”
“There are currently 30 DJs that play for the station and people have been and gone over the years.”
“Our philosophy has always been to keep people off the streets and keep people together. So many young people have said to me that working for the station has given them confidence and helped them to make friends and develop an interest.”
“I know the DTI are only doing their job, but shutting us down will create more victims than leaving us alone.”
“I know for a fact that loads of kids, who may otherwise of been hanging around on street corners, got together to listen to Dimension FM at the weekend”
He said the station had been set up more that four years ago from a flat in a Telford tower block. He said that diehard fans could find updates at www.dimensionfm.co.uk
Shropshire Star – 20th Oct 2003 (letter’s page).
‘Lets get pirates on the radio’
Regarding the recent article “time is up for radio pirates”. It seems a shame that after four years of underground broadcasting Dimension FM has been taken off the air by the DTI.
Given the current attitudes towards young people though they may have been breaking the law by unlicensed broadcasting they have undoubtedly given lots of people lots of pleasure.
These people aren’t robbing or stealing, but merely breaking a broadcasting law. Surely the DTI could have found these people and given them a temporary licence to broadcast to build up enough support for a legal licence.
I do believe they are not interfering with public service vehicles, i.e. ambulances and police broadbands. So surely this heavy handed attitude for these young people who are not out on the street causing people nuisance.
I do believe the people of Telford and surrounding area’s should give these young people more credence for there hard work than appears to be shown.
More power to the broadcasters and DJ Spangles, and lets have you back on the air soon.
Shropshire Star – 21st Oct 2003 (letter’s page).
‘Saddened at closure of pirate radio station’
I have recently read an article in the Shropshire Star about the closing of a pirate radio station. I understand that its wrong to broadcast without a licence – the Government (DTI) have to do their job. Stopping Dimension FM from broadcasting comes as a shock to me. I have been a listener for over three years and during that time it has made me a dedicated listener.
I enjoy listening to the style of music they play. No other legal stations play that style of music in the Shropshire area. A lot of people from Shropshire listen to the station and they are disappointed over the closure. What are fans of that style of music going to listen to?
The station is illegal but the talking and tunes are not offensive. In my opinion the Government should leave them alone – they deserve a licence.
Mr Hartshorne Shrewsbury
Shropshire Star – 19th Jan 2004 – By James Whittaker.
‘Pirate hits airways for a final broadcast’
Shropshire’s most popular pirate radio station, which was dramatically taken off air after a series of raids by Government inspectors, hijacked he airways for a final farewell broadcast.
Bosses at Dimension FM have admitted the show is over after the DTI raids. But the radio station skirted inspectors for the final time this weekend to set up a makeshift studio and put on one last broadcast.
The station, which had built up a cult following across Shropshire and the Midlands, has been off the air since inspectors swooped in October last year.
The station manager, known as “The Captain”, today said he has accepted that the station could not operate. But he said he had owed it to the listeners, of which there were more than 4,000, to get back on the air for a final broadcast and explain the situation.
“There is a lot of people that are absolutely gutted that we are going. We put together a makeshift studio in a shed and managed to broadcast for the weekend to say farewell and to explain what is happening. “I felt we had a duty to the listeners and to the DJ’s who work here to get on the air for the final time. The station meant a lot to a lot of people.”
In a farewell statement on Dimension FM’s website, he added “We have built up from something that started running direct out of a flat window using very low power to something that broadcast to thousands of listeners each weekend and has now left a massive void in the underground music scene of Shropshire.
“We have always called what we did a victimless crime as it helped keep people off the streets on a weekend and for the team who were part of it, an interest and chance to give people something back, “It’s a shame that a community project like this could not of been put to better use as a way of getting through to young people about issues surrounding their lives and the area they live in.
“It’s also a shame that Dimension FM had no other way of broadcasting. Due to the crippling costs and the monopoly of the large media groups in the radio industry, it makes it virtually impossible for this type of true community station to be granted a licence.
Shropshire Star – 20th Jan 2004 – By Natalie Greenway.
‘Give us back popular pirate station’
A Shropshire man who claims the county’s youth has been robbed of its favourite radio station has launched a campaign to bring it back to the airwaves.
Chris Burrage, 21 of Shawbury, has set up a petition calling for the reinstatement of Telford pirate station Dimension FM, which was taken off the air following a series of raids by government inspectors.
DJ’s at the station hijacked the airwaves over the weekend to make a final broadcast even though one of its founders, Spangles, is currently facing civil proceedings by the Department of Trade and Industry for operating without a broadcast licence. Chris, who has listened to the station since it first started 4 years ago, said he was so upset by the final show he has vowed to campaign to stop the station being permanently barred.
“Everyone was listening to the final broadcast and sending their messages of support. I am just gutted it is being taken off the air. A lot of the young people who sat at home listening to the radio are more likely to go out drinking and causing trouble on the streets. I know there are thousands of listeners out there who are upset it has been shut down and I am just hoping that if it can get some sort of campaign together we can stop it happening,” he said.
Anyone interested in joining Chris’s campaign should contact him on 07779 014369
Shropshire Star – 4th Feb 2004.
‘Bid to return station to airwaves’
Fans of Telford’s infamous pirate radio station Dimension FM have enlisted the help of two MP’s in a bid to bring the banned broadcasts back legally. Dimension FM was taken off the air last month after a series of raids by government inspectors.
The station was founded four years ago and run by a man known only as Spangles, who is currently facing legal proceedings by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for operating without a licence. Fan Chris Burrage, from Shawbury, has now written to Telford MP David Wright and North Shropshire MP Owen Pattison for help in re-launching Dimension FM as a legal station.
The two MP’s have responded with promises to contact a DTI minister and advice on how to do things by the book.
Chris who has also started a petition, said: “It had a massive following and is something for the younger generation of Shropshire. We are trying to get lots of people involved and I’m am pleased the MP’s wrote back to me.”
Spangles said he was looking at applying for a restricted service licence from the radio authority Ofcom, but any attempt could cost as much as £8000. An event, including a raffle, to raise funds for Dimension FM’s application takes place at the Elephant and Castle in Ketley on March 4th.
Shropshire Star – 9th Feb 2004 – By James Whittaker.
‘Pirate DJ admits to illegal radio station’
A 25-year-old Wellington man today admitted managing and operating a sophisticated pirate radio station which broadcast to more than 4,500 listeners using a transmitter on the Wrekin.
Simon *******, of ******* Drive, Wellington, ran Dimension FM for more than two years operating from various makeshift studios around Telford, the town’s magistrates heard at a hearing today.
The station was taken off air in September last year after officers from the Department of Trade and Industry raided *******’s home and a studio based on farmland in Wellington.
Lester Maddrell, prosecuting for the DTI, said officers had tracked Mr *******, who went by the name of DJ Spangles, for two years.
He said: “To run a pirate radio station like this requires organisation and management. Studio equipment has got to be obtained, schedules have got to be arranged and people have to be organised to provide records.
“Mr ******* has been identified as the person responsible for that management.” He said covert surveillance cameras placed by inspectors at one of the station’s early studios at the Manor Heights tower block in Hadley, during 2002, had recorded ******* putting up radio equipment. He was later seen tampering with radio equipment on the Wrekin.
He said officers who raided *******’s home had uncovered a host of radio equipment, computers and records used by the station.
Alison Downes, for *******, said: “This was an enterprise which started in the bedroom and snowballed. “There was never any interference with emergency service transmissions, there was no interference with aircraft signals. “This was a non-profit enterprise and the DJs paid to help cover the costs. “It was a community station that filled a niche in the Telford area and attracted more than 4,500 listeners to its broadcasts. “When it was taken off air there was public outrage from a lot of young people who stayed off the streets at weekends to listen to their local radio station.”
The case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.
Shropshire Star – 16th Feb 2004 – By Felicity Roberts.
‘Campaigners press PM for radio turn-on’
A Telford woman has gone to the top in an effort to get an infamous pirate radio station back on the airwaves. Liza Smith has written to the Prime Minister Tony Blair to tell him about the efforts by Shropshire listeners to save Dimension FM.
The 32-year-old said she wanted to make him aware of how listeners had banded together to launch a campaign to get the station’s DJs back on air. Miss Smith, of Broadway, Ketley, has been helping Chris Burrage from Shawbury get together a petition to save the station since it was forced to stop transmitting by officers from the Department of Trade and Industry in September last year.
She has collected more than 100 signatures backing the station.
A reply to her letter says the information she sent, including Shropshire Star cuttings, has been looked through and passed onto the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. She said: “I was pleased to get the letter. I wanted to let Tony Blair know about the campaign – to let him know we’re disgusted Dimension FM has been taken off the air. “We know it was broadcasting illegally but it was the only station we listened to. They played the music we liked and I have spoken to a lot of youngsters who want it back on. We totally miss it now and that’s why we are campaigning to save it.
She added: “We are showing the DJs that we care – that we are with them all the way and will keep on campaigning.” Telford magistrates have adjourned sentence on the station’s DJ Simon *******, also known as DJ Spangles, after the 25-year-old appeared at the town court to admit managing and operating the pirate radio station.
Anyone who would like to find out more about the campaign or an event, including a raffle, to raise funds for the campaign, at the Elephant and Castle in Ketley on March 4, can contact Liza Smith on (07963) 330063.
Shropshire Star – 10th March 2004 – By James Whittaker.
‘Pirate days are over, pledges punished DJ’
A Shropshire record company boss who set up and ran a pirate radio station broadcasting to more than 4,500 listeners using a transmitter on the Wrekin has been sentenced to 80 hours community punishment.
Simon ******, 25, immediately vowed to appeal against the sentence and an order to pay £750 costs, imposed by Telford Magistrates yesterday. But the Dimension FM boss insisted he would now concentrate on getting the station on air legally. And he promised: “My pirate days are over.”
********, of ********* Drive, Wellington, who went by the name of DJ Spangles, had admitted managing Dimension FM for more than three years at a previous hearing. The station was taken off air in September last year after officers from communications regulator OFCOM raided *******’s home and a caravan-come-studio based on farmland in Wellington. Alison Downes, for *******, said: “One thing he wishes to express is that he fully accepts he has broken the law. But it was not in a malicious way. “He is now getting involved, with others, to get a legitimate licence. He has clearly got a talent and that needs to be put to use legally.”
Passing sentence, chairman of the magistrates Graham Styles said: “There was a potential risk to residents of Telford & Wrekin by transmitting on an illegal frequency and by the unauthorised extraction of electricity. “We have taken into account your belief that it was serving the community and there were no victims.” ******* admitted charges under the Broadcasting Act 1990 of managing a pirate radio station and of advertising his business, Dimension Promotions, on a pirate radio station. He was sentenced to 80 hours community punishment for each offence, to run concurrently.
A previous hearing heard that he had been tracked by OFCOM officers for more than two years. A dossier of evidence revealed he was responsible for running the station, rigging up transmitters on the Wrekin and at other locations, organising DJ schedules and tampering with electrical supplies.
Shropshire Star – 11th March 2004.
‘Pirate DJ says his sentence was too harsh’
A Shropshire record company boss sentenced to 80 hours community punishment for running a pirate radio station today said: “Enough is enough. I’m turning my back on radio for good.” Simon *******, 25, has vowed to leave the radio industry after being sentenced and ordered to pay £750 costs by Telford Magistrates on Tuesday. He had admitted broadcasting Dimension FM to more than 4,500 listeners using a transmitter on the Wrekin for around three years.
After sentence Mr *******, who went by the name of DJ Spangles, insisted he would appeal and concentrate on getting the station on air legally. He has since had a change of heart, claiming the sentence was too harsh and has put him off playing any part in the radio industry.
Mr *******, of ******* Drive, Wellington, said: “I’ve had it with radio. It’s not worth the hassle. I was going to appeal and make an effort to start a legal community station but it’s not an easy process. I will do something with less obstacles in the way. “I know I’m guilty but it was a harsh punishment for a first offence. I think I should have got a conditional discharge. I could have beaten someone up with a baseball bat and got less. “I provided a service and didn’t harm anyone. The only thing I did was not pay a licence fee. I didn’t make a profit. “There are other things I can do that will give me less grief. I will put my efforts into something else community based. “We have a lot of fans I am grateful to but people didn’t realise the effort it took.
Shropshire Star – 15th June 2004 – By James Whittaker.
‘Radio fans’ cash aid for little Lucy’s fund’
Kind-hearted DJ’s and supporters of a defunct Telford radio station have cashed in their fighting fund to help pay for a 4-year-old Newport girl to receive dolphin therapy treatment in Florida. The pirate radio station Dimension FM was forced off the airwaves after a raid on its studio by Government inspectors.
Listeners rallied round and raised £400 for Dimension FM in the hope that it could win a battle to start broadcasting again with a legitimate licence.
But the station boss, Simon ******* (Spangles) decided there were too many obstacles in his way and donated the money to the cause of Lucy Edwards, who has cerebral palsy and whose family hopes to take her to Florida for dolphin therapy. Her parents Martin and Rachel have been given huge support by the community and are almost halfway to their target of £15,000 to pay for the trip.
Mr ******* said: “Since I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to continue with the radio station I have been looking for a charity to donate the money to.
I put a notice on the website asking the fans to decide where their money should go, and a few of them mentioned Lucy’s campaign.
We had a poll on the website and that is where fans wanted the money to go to.
The money was raised by the listeners to get the radio station back on air, so I wanted them to choose where the money went. I am just the middle man.” Lucy’s mum Rachel Edwards said: “We were over the moon. It is a massive boost to the money we have already raised. We are really grateful for the way everyone has supported us. We have had everything from old ladies donating a few pence to huge contributions like this.” She said the family hoped to take Lucy to America for treatment in may next year.
Anyone who can make donations to help can call Angyla Kaleta on 07989 945 648.
Click Here to return to the main Dimension FM page.