Freedom Logo SmallThe first 7-day a week white pirate station in the Black Country was Power House Radio. They had been on since 7th February 1988 from Rowley Regis. At this point Craig Benson was running a car hire business that booked some advertising on PHR. It was through this connection that Craig Benson obtained his first transmitter.

The first tests of Local Black Country Radio (LBCR) took place during the afternoon of 6th November 1988 with the station opening for real at 7pm that evening on 105.5 FM. After about a week they moved up to 105.9 and were on every day until shortly after Xmas ’88 when they disappeared.

Over Xmas LBCR had been joined by Wayne Lawrence from PHR. Together with Craig they obtained a crystal controlled 157 watt transmitter, upgraded the studio and on the 28th January 1989 the first tests for FREEDOM 106 took place, with Wayne Lawrence being the first voice. The station started for real on 1st February 1989, broadcasting nightly with some of the old LBCR DJ’s and newcomers like Steve Kennedy, Kelly James and Ege and Po.

However, the days on 106 were to be short lived as they were raided on the 10th, due to the signal interfering with the MEB. Craig and Wayne were both fined £1500 following that raid!

Undeterred, Freedom was back by the 22nd April 1989 on a new frequency of 87.9, (Freedom 87.9 ‘The basement station’). However, not many people tune around that part of the dial, so on the 28th May 1989 they changed to 102 FM.

Throughout the early summer the station began to really take off. As more DJ’s like Brian J, Steve Welch, Lee Clarke, Wayne James, Alan Phillips and Dave W and Cally from PHR joined, they were eventually able to go 24 hours a day. However it could not last. On the 4th of August the station was raided. The station quickly returned but was raided again within days! The station was on and off for the next year or so and was even renamed Freedom Community Radio (FCR) for a short while.

They eventually merged with NRG FM in 1991. The summer of 1991 was one of the best times Freedom ever had but once again it was not to last. This time infighting caused some of the NRG and Freedom crew to go their separate ways and then of course the inevitable raid.

Freedom was last on air in January 1993 when it was raided for the last time at Rowley Regis. There have been a few test transmissions since this date in 1994 and 1995 but the station has not returned.

For a little more information on Freedom Radio then why not read the Freedom Story written by Craig Benson.

Click here to read the Freedom story

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LBCR 105.5 FM – 1st Tests – 6/11/888 mins
LBCR 105.5 FM – Big H, ST & Barry C – 6/11/8863 mins
Freedom 106 – Wayne Lawrence Tests – 28/1/8965 mins
Freedom 106 – First Program With Wayne Lawrence – 1/2/8992 mins
Freedom 106 – Craig Benson – 2/2/8946 mins
Freedom 106 – Craig Benson – 6/2/8946 mins
Freedom 87.9 – Test From Eve Hill – Wayne Lawrence – 22/4/8947 mins
Freedom 87.9 – Barry C – 23/4/8963 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson With The Stinkin Fish – Summer 198960 mins
Freedom 102 – Brian J – 1/6/8946 mins
Freedom 102 – Ege & Po – 29/6/8993 mins
Freedom 102 – Steve Welch – July 198944 mins
Freedom 102 – Dave Kilner & Suzie – 29/7/8994 mins
Freedom 102 – Dave W & Billzee Clip – Summer 198938 mins
Freedom 102 – Stinkin Fish Show – Part 1 – Summer 198930 mins
Freedom 102 – Stinkin Fish Show – Part 2 – Summer 198931 mins
Freedom 102 – Bagman – October 198994 mins
Freedom 102 – John Saunders – October 198962 mins
Freedom 102 – Pete West – Test – 199071 mins
Freedom 102 – Tennents, Jenson & John Simmons – 27/5/9090 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson 1 – 199046 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson 2 – 199035 mins
Freedom 102 – Andy Summers – 20/10/9094 mins
FCR 102 – Test Transmission – 23/11/9063 mins
FCR 102 – Craig Benson – Part 1 – Nov 199045 mins
FCR 102 – Craig Benson – Part 2 – Nov 199045 mins
FCR 102 – DJ Kidd aka Kidd Martin – December 199091 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson Early Morning Show – 199136 mins
Freedom 102 – Simon B & Steve Marshall – 21/4/9163 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson – Part 1 – 24/4/9146 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson – Part 2 – 24/4/9119 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson – May 199117 mins
Freedom 102 – DJ Haggis & Craig Benson – Part 1 – 7/5/9146 mins
Freedom 102 – DJ Haggis & Craig Benson – Part 2 – 7/5/9146 mins
Freedom 102 – Paul Warren – June 199142 mins
Freedom 102 – Simon B – 3/6/91 NEW58 mins
Freedom 102 – Paul Stevens & DJ Trippa – 23/6/9175 mins
Freedom 102 – Benson & B Show 1 – 199119 mins
Freedom 102 – Benson & B Show 2 – 199129 mins
Freedom 102 – Simon B & Pete Lewis – 199193 mins
Freedom 102 – Paul Warren – Summer 199129 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson – Summer 199125 mins
Freedom 102 – Simon B Clips & Jingles – 199112 mins
Freedom 102 – Wayne Norris 1 – Summer 199146 mins
Freedom 102 – Wayne Norris 2 – Summer 199147 mins
Freedom 102 – Dave James – 20/8/9145 mins
Freedom 102 – DJ Trippa – August 199160 mins
Freedom 102 – DJ Trippa – Set Up Show – August 199144 mins
Freedom 102 – Wayne Logan Part 1 – August 199146 mins
Freedom 102 – Wayne Logan Part 2 – August 199134 mins
Freedom 102 – John Saunders – 25/8/9162 mins
Freedom 102 – Live Calls – 199131 mins
Freedom 102 – Nick Wright – 20/9/9262 mins
Freedom 102 – Tennents, P Lewis, Jensen & Nick Wright – 22/12/9263 mins
Freedom 102 – Unknown DJ12 mins
Freedom 102 – Nick Wright & Wayne Norris – Jan 199391 mins
Freedom Jingles – April 19895 mins
Freedom Jingles – 25 mins
Freedom Jingles – 33 mins
The Stinkin Fish – Mules To Asia2.5 mins
The Stinkin Fish – Go With The Flow3 mins