Horizon Radio London’s  Soul Music Station

Horizon Radio London’s Legendary 24/7 Soul Radio Station

Horizon Radio, London’s first 24 hour Soul Music Radio Station commenced broadcasting on Sunday the 11th of October 1981 from Coniston House. Wyndham Road. Camberwell. London. SE5. The radio station had been formed by two DJ’s who had a love of Soul Music. At this time, Soul Music saw little air play on the BBC and Commercial radio stations.

At first Horizon Radio broadcast on a Sunday evening only from 8pm until 10pm. The original concept of the station was to keep it local on low VHF power, just covering Camberwell, Brixton and Peckham. In mid 1982 the station (Unlicensed) had picked up a large listenership and added Wednesdays Evenings to the broadcast schedule.

In 1983 Horizon Radio was not only a broadcaster but also organised events at venues across the city. These events were also broadcast live on air. August bank holiday of 1983 at the Podium 1 Nine Elms lane Vauxhall London (capacity 1000) was full to capacity and still the listeners turned up. Unable to gain admission, the listeners just parked their cars turned on their car stereos and danced on the pavement and in the roads to the music being broadcast live over Horizon Radio’s outside broadcast link. Traffic bulletins from the commercial radio stations warned their listeners not to go near Vauxhall as the area was a roadblock due to an event going on there.

This was the day phrases like Roadblock & The Horizon Radio Soul Family became part of the soul music vocabulary. It was family’s who attended, young children with their Mums, Dads and Grandparents. Today in 2021 the phrase The Soul Family is still being used by all the stations that followed Horizon Radio.

Broadcasting 24 Hours A Day

By March of 1984 Horizon was Broadcasting Soul & Reggae music 24 hours a day 7 days a week, this continued right up to October 1984 and then again from January 1985 until a self close down on the 15th of September 1985, when the station tipped to get a license applied for a radio license. The final close down farewell was again, another live outside broadcast from the other side of London at the Harrow Leisure Center, where over 25 soul artists of the day along with an estimated 20.000 listeners turn up to party for the final time.

Sadly those new licenses where scrapped by the UK government in 1986, due to the shenanigans of the few and another soul station who even stooped so low as forging documents trying to claim they where the No1 Soul Radio Station in London.

Horizon Radio was a pioneer of 24 hour Soul Music Radio here in the UK and could have gone on to achieve much more, as by 1985, the station listenership had grown to match that of the leading Pop broadcaster.

The Horizon Radio broadcast area span from Reading in the west, north into mid Hertfordshire, east to Southend on Sea and could even be heard south as far as Brighton

Across the Radio Industry here in the UK, many where amazed at the success of Horizon Radio. One radio group even tried to jump on the bandwagon later by using the name Horizon Radio for one of their new pop radio stations’

A brief insight to the new Horizon Radio “The Heart & Soul of London” website due this year here.

“Horizon Radio Often Imitated Never Equalled”