FRS History 1980-1989


Article Index

1981 began with the same programme line up and presenters as in previous months.

Good start
For the January transmission more than 60 letters were received; conditions on both 48 & 41 metres were excellent. 7325 gave slight problems and instead 7315 kHz was used. The latter proved to be the right hoice and till January 1983, 7315 would remain FRS-Holland's fixed 41 mb frequency. Unique was a letter from Jerez de la Frontera in the southern part of Spain, more than 1700 kilometres from the transmitting location. It's also interesting to know that people from the Eastern Bloc were very keen to pick up the FRS signal because the programmes offered a good alternative to the state-controlled stations which were not very popular among a lot of radio enthusiasts in those countries as there was a lack of pop music and radio related information. The majority of Eastern Bloc listeners came from the G.D.R. Very few letters reached the station from other countries in that part of Europe such as Czechoslovakia and Poland. The question is whether poor reception could be the reason for this .... According to FRS engineer Bobby Speeds the answer is definitely ‘no’! Taking a look at the sinpos from for instance the GDR in those days, people in countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia must have been able to receive FRSH without too much of a problem, even taking into consideration their receivers were not state-of-the-art and could't be compared with many ones used by Western European listeners. It seems obvious that the non response was caused by the attitude of the postal authorities in those countries behind the iron curtain. Of course also in the GDR the situation was far from ideal. To give one example: FRSH once got a letter from a GDR listener who had already written five times. None of these letters reached the FRS mailbox. On the other hand: several letters send by FRS-Holland to the GDR never reached their final destination. Rather sad and annoying but the station didn't have the power to change this unwanted situation.

E.M.R. final 3rd Sunday 
Sun February 15th was a rather sad day for many dedicated SW listeners. European Music Radio, the legendary UK SW hobby pirate, made its final regular 3rd Sun transmission. EMR QSL 500Since 1977 E.M.R. ruled the airwaves. It was the brainchild of Barry Stephens, the man who also played an important role in the first years of FRS-Holland Between 08.30-11.30 GMT the programmes of E.M.R. were relayed via the facilities of FRS-Holland on 6250 & 7315 and over 100 letters poured into E.M.R.'s letter box. FRS-Holland's schedule was reduced to only 2 hours that day. Due to one of the car-batteries running flat, the last hour of the broadcast was only to be heard on 41 metres. Most important however was E.M.R.'s signal got out very well. Since Barry Stephens had always been so helpful, FRSH was more than happy to do something in return. The following extract is from Sun February 15th 1981 just after EMR closed down and FRSH commencing transmissions.

So far there hasn't been any attention paid to the work at the location, perhaps the most specific and important part of a trm as Peter V. will affirm ........Preparations for a trm on the location always gave a special kind of feeling. Not only it was thrilling to do something illegal. I also believe that there is a great involvement with the station when standing there between transmitters, arials and car-batteries.” 

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