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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Audio

LBCR 105.5 FM – 1st Tests – 6/11/88 8 mins
LBCR 105.5 FM – Big H, ST & Barry C – 6/11/88 63 mins
Freedom 106 – Wayne Lawrence Tests – 28/1/89 65 mins
Freedom 106 – First Program With Wayne Lawrence – 1/2/89 92 mins
Freedom 106 – Craig Benson – 2/2/89 46 mins
Freedom 106 – Craig Benson – 6/2/89 46 mins
Freedom 87.9 – Test From Eve Hill – Wayne Lawrence – 22/4/89 47 mins
Freedom 87.9 – Barry C – 23/4/89 63 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson With The Stinkin Fish – Summer 1989 60 mins
Freedom 102 – Brian J – 1/6/89 46 mins
Freedom 102 – Ege & Po – 29/6/89 93 mins
Freedom 102 – Steve Welch – July 1989 44 mins
Freedom 102 – Dave Kilner & Suzie – 29/7/89 94 mins
Freedom 102 – Dave W & Billzee Clip – Summer 1989 38 mins
Freedom 102 – Stinkin Fish Show – Part 1 – Summer 1989 30 mins
Freedom 102 – Stinkin Fish Show – Part 2 – Summer 1989 31 mins
Freedom 102 – Bagman – October 1989 94 mins
Freedom 102 – John Saunders – 1989 18 mins
Freedom 102 – John Saunders – October 1989 62 mins
Freedom 102 – Steve Welch – 16/10/89 50 mins
Freedom 102 – DJ Skitz & DJ Kidd – 6/1/90 NEW 58 mins
Freedom 102 – DJ Kidd & DJ Skitz – 1990 NEW 87 mins
Freedom 102 – Pete West – Test – 1990 71 mins
Freedom 102 – Tennents, Jenson & John Simmons – 27/5/90 90 mins
Freedom 102 – Paul W – 24/6/90 NEW 124 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson 1 – 1990 46 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson 2 – 1990 35 mins
Freedom 102 – DJ Kidd – 1990 NEW 62 mins
Freedom 102 – Andy Summers – 20/10/90 94 mins
FCR 102 – Test Transmission – 23/11/90 63 mins
FCR 102 – Craig Benson – Part 1 – Nov 1990 45 mins
FCR 102 – Craig Benson – Part 2 – Nov 1990 45 mins
FCR 102 – Craig Benson – 1/12/90 NEW 124 mins
FCR 102 – DJ Kidd aka Kidd Martin – December 1990 91 mins
FCR 102 – Paul Warren – 1/1/91 NEW 93 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson – 1991 38 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson Early Morning Show – 1991 36 mins
Freedom 102 – Simon B & Steve Marshall – 21/4/91 63 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson – Part 1 – 24/4/91 46 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson – Part 2 – 24/4/91 19 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson – May 1991 17 mins
Freedom 102 – Simon B – May 1991 31 mins
Freedom 102 – DJ Haggis & Craig Benson – May 1991 28 mins
Freedom 102 – DJ Haggis & Craig Benson – Part 1 – 7/5/91 46 mins
Freedom 102 – DJ Haggis & Craig Benson – Part 2 – 7/5/91 46 mins
Freedom 102 – Paul Warren – June 1991 42 mins
Freedom 102 – Simon B – 3/6/91 58 mins
Freedom 102 – Paul Stevens & DJ Trippa – 23/6/91 75 mins
Freedom 102 – Benson & B Show 1 – 1991 19 mins
Freedom 102 – Benson & B Show 2 – 1991 29 mins
Freedom 102 – Simon B & Pete Lewis – 1991 93 mins
Freedom 102 – Paul Warren – Summer 1991 29 mins
Freedom 102 – Craig Benson – Summer 1991 25 mins
Freedom 102 – Simon B Clips & Jingles – 1991 12 mins
Freedom 102 – Wayne Norris 1 – Summer 1991 46 mins
Freedom 102 – Wayne Norris 2 – Summer 1991 47 mins
Freedom 102 – Wayne Logan – 3/8/91 91 mins
Freedom 102 – Dave James – 20/8/91 93 mins
Freedom 102 – DJ Trippa – August 1991 60 mins
Freedom 102 – DJ Trippa – Set Up Show – August 1991 44 mins
Freedom 102 – Wayne Logan Part 1 – August 1991 46 mins
Freedom 102 – Wayne Logan Part 2 – August 1991 34 mins
Freedom 102 – John Saunders – 25/8/91 62 mins
Freedom 102 – Live Calls – 1991 31 mins
Freedom 102 – Paul Warren – 10/2/92 93 mins
Freedom 102 – Nick Wright – 20/9/92 62 mins
Freedom 102 – Tennents, P Lewis, Jensen & Nick Wright – 22/12/92 63 mins
Freedom 102 – Unknown DJ 12 mins
Freedom 102 – Simon B – January 1993 92 mins
Freedom 102 – Nick Wright & Wayne Norris – Jan 1993 91 mins
Freedom 102 – Paul Warren – Late 1993 102 mins
Freedom Jingles – April 1989 5 mins
Freedom Jingles – 2 5 mins
Freedom Jingles – 3 3 mins
The Stinkin Fish – Mules To Asia 2.5 mins
The Stinkin Fish – Go With The Flow 3 mins