Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Discuss & sharing nostalgia relating from the pirate stations of the 60s up to modern day inactive stations.
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teckniqs
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Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by teckniqs » Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:33 pm

Hi all, I found a good little website with a lot of pictures of old blocks from the early to late 1980s and I would like to see more of them that might have the aerials up on them.

....So it would be interesting if anyone remembers (and can tell me the names below) any tower blocks which were being used in the 1980s and particularly the late 80s so I can see if there is any aerials on them in the photos.
So far I've spotted two possible pirate aerials dated from around 1987/1988 which seems to be the date that most of the pictures were taken.

https://www.towerblock.eca.ed.ac.uk/

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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by teckniqs » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:56 pm

A nice old picture of Balfron tower from 1987 with what appear to most likely be pirate aerials on the top.

...As far as I'm aware Centreforce 88.3 used it from 1989 to 1990 but does anyone have any idea who was using balfron tower in 1987? :whistle

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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by Albert H » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:10 am

Balfron was a favourite of RFL in the early 80s.
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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by Elopid » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:26 pm

Radio Free London

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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by Albert H » Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:27 pm

The "brother" of Balfron was, of course, Trellick Tower, in the Harrow Road. Trellick was the tallest domestic block in Europe when it was first built, and the top of the lift tower had a caged room that was designed as a radio "facilities site". Various aerials went up that block over the years, from Thameside Radio in the late 70s to Time Radio in the late 80s. Many others have used it too. My ⅝-wave groundplane cut for 90.4 MHz was up there for over 10 years!
"Why is my rig humming?"
"Because it doesn't know the words!"
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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by famefm » Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:48 pm

I lived in Reading in the 80s and big time radio especially in 1988 was crystal clear on 103.7 at the time and always had a land line number to call the studio at the time

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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by Albert H » Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:24 pm

I built some gear for Time back then. They used to run either 80 or 120 Watts into a ⅝-wave with groundplane, with the feeder going down the inside of the scaffold pole that supported the aerial. The rig was (usually) in one of the cupboards in the domestic block roof space. They linked on 202.7 MHz ((48 MHz crystal *4)+10.7MHz), from about a mile away - in those days, there was no DAB, so that part of Band III was clear!

That site used to really give great coverage.
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"Because it doesn't know the words!"
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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by BobbyDub » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:57 pm

Found this one, Arnold Estate
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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by mixfm » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:08 pm

class....

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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by teckniqs » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:58 am

BobbyDub wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:57 pm
Found this one, Arnold Estate
That's a big aerial for 1988, I wonder who that was?? Looks like a vertical band iii folded dipole further down the mast on the right...

https://www.towerblock.eca.ed.ac.uk/dev ... ine-street

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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by teckniqs » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:05 pm

Double Stack 1990 - Thornhill Point, Hackney

https://www.towerblock.eca.ed.ac.uk/dev ... rne-street
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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by teckniqs » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:47 pm

OK, maybe not in London but...

1987 - Heron Court, Birmingham.

https://www.towerblock.eca.ed.ac.uk/dev ... reen-lanes
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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by teckniqs » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:59 am

1988 - Clements Court, Feltham/Hounslow

https://www.towerblock.eca.ed.ac.uk/dev ... e-hounslow
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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by mixfm » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:46 pm

Heron Court, Birmingham. i remeber that block, real fm,, ex mix fm djs...

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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by teckniqs » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:38 pm

Albert H wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:27 pm
The "brother" of Balfron was, of course, Trellick Tower, in the Harrow Road. Trellick was the tallest domestic block in Europe when it was first built, and the top of the lift tower had a caged room that was designed as a radio "facilities site". Various aerials went up that block over the years, from Thameside Radio in the late 70s to Time Radio in the late 80s. Many others have used it too. My ⅝-wave groundplane cut for 90.4 MHz was up there for over 10 years!
Found this photo of Trellick, Albert. Which was taken in 1988 and appears to have (if you can just about see it) a 5/8 ground plane antenna mounted on top of the lattice tower.
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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by Albert H » Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:12 am

That's the one! Used to really get out well. In those days the noise floor was much lower, so you could be heard much further away....

Stations from up there were frequently heard on the South Downs, over at Reading, as far north as Colchester and throughout London - there were very few dead spots.
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"Because it doesn't know the words!"
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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by Gigahertz » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:14 pm

teckniqs wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:59 am
1988 - Clements Court, Feltham/Hounslow

https://www.towerblock.eca.ed.ac.uk/dev ... e-hounslow
Heard this was used by a station on 99.7 around 2006-2007, always thought it was to close to the Airport and draw to much attention but considering where others have come from nearby maybe not as bad as I thought.

The one in Hounslow with cell mast and weird shape dome roof I’ve always wanted to try but my favourite blocks are green dragon, remember a funny story MC mampi told me when he tried bring ICE FM back on 89.6.

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Re: Tower blocks in London used in the 1980's

Post by teckniqs » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:47 pm

Gigahertz wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:14 pm
teckniqs wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:59 am
1988 - Clements Court, Feltham/Hounslow

https://www.towerblock.eca.ed.ac.uk/dev ... e-hounslow
Heard this was used by a station on 99.7 around 2006-2007, always thought it was to close to the Airport and draw to much attention but considering where others have come from nearby maybe not as bad as I thought.

The one in Hounslow with cell mast and weird shape dome roof I’ve always wanted to try but my favourite blocks are green dragon, remember a funny story MC mampi told me when he tried bring ICE FM back on 89.6.
If you mean Edge FM 99.7 I don't think they came on from that but weren't too far away, but I will ask someone who should know...

Oh do you mean this one?

https://www.towerblock.eca.ed.ac.uk/dev ... nstitution

.....It's had some roof thing put on it since I briefly used it back in 1996

And it's funny you should mention ICE, because a little later in that same year (Friday 13th August 1996) I actually bumped into Ricky Dee and I was asking him if Reload 103.6 was coming back and he told me that he's setting up a House and Garage station on 88.3 called ICE FM, which very shortly after moved up to 88.4...

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