In 1980 Martin Davies was a student at Wolverhampton Polytechnic. While he was there he met Mike Johns (who would later run Wulfrun Sound). They were both interested in starting a student radio station for the Poly but at the time they couldn’t generate any enthusiasm within the student union. Mike introduced Martin to some of the UK Radio group and they made several trips up Sedgley beacon to help setup the FM TX on Sunday afternoons.
Mike also ran a shortwave station, WEFR “West European Free Radio”, from the student halls of residence at Brinsford Lodge in Featherstone. He had a problem with people trying to break into his room and nick his gear so, being an inventive kind of chap; he wired the metal window frame up to the mains. The problem soon went away!
Because of the way their course was structured Martin and Mike were only at the Poly one year together so they lost touch in 1981. However when he returned in 1983 Martin met a new pirate, Tim Shepherd, who was making programs for EST on FM and Empire Radio on shortwave.
Around this time Martin decided to start KCR-FM (Kidderminster Community Radio). KCR used a 10w FM transmitter and 5/8th whip from the top of Camp Hill between Swindon and Kinver – great coverage around the local area but blocked by Kinver Edge towards Kidderminster. So, later on, the transmitter site moved to Wolverley on the north side of the town. Martin, Tim and some of the EST guys did the programmes.
Response wasn’t great as FM just wasn’t popular at that time, but things were about to change. Rock music pirates were on the way out to be replaced with dance stations. Pirate radio should be about new and cutting edge music, if nobody else plays what you like then do it yourself!
When Tim Shepherd finished his course he joined the Voice of Peace and later Radio Caroline. At one point Martin was asked to go out to the VOP and do some engineering work but it was just after a transmitter engineer fried himself inside the TX cabinet so he decided it wouldn’t be a good career move!
Martin’s last pirate activity was as a contributor to Irish Short Wave pirate Radiofax. Firstly a few technical articles and then a regular Friday music program “The Triple R – Real Rock Radio – Rock Show”.
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