Horizon Radio Returns 1985 Walk In My Shoes
Horizon Radio Returns 1985 Walk In My Shoes
Horizon Radio Returns 1985 Walk In My Shoes
I was very much in contact with Nick Moss. Junior King and Len & Glen of Limited Edition Entertainments, the later I was still doing gigs for. They all had been putting pressure on me to bring Horizon Radio back and the answerphone from old listeners to the station was asking the same. Nick, Junior, Len & Glen all knew what was going on behind the scenes with Solar who at this time were supposed to be best friends with JFM after the New Year link up. They like myself were disgusted in Solar Radio for not coming clean with JFM. It was Junior King who telephoned me and gave me the news JFM had been raided, he had got it off someone on Solar Radio. who he said they were well pleased at the outcome. Junior said “Now you have to bring Horizon Back”.
This was the day I wrote in the Notes What the f—–g hell is going on in Monson’s Head nobility for you UNDER A BUS. >>3 decades and more would pass by before I read that again.
Nick Moss called me in the late afternoon as he had heard by then and again wanted to bring Horizon Radio back, but I had committed to the National Broadcasting School and paid the fees. I said to Nick talk to Junior, Len and Glen, come up with the money for the studio (as I did not want to front it) and I will do the rest from a distance. I still had 6 Horizon Radio transmitters and a couple of link systems. In just a few hours Horizon Radio 1985 was on the way back. In less than a day Nick Moss had sorted the studio equipment and it was a really nice Alice Broadcast Desk at the heart of it. The studio location was above a wine bar in Norwood Junction. Nick then tours Crystal Palace for a transmitter site and came up with 31 Westow Hill. I am not sure if that was bombed out during the war, but in a hell of a mess when I went to have a look at it, just a shell of a building. No roof, floors inside had gone. There was a shop on the front with an alleyway on the right side which had a big iron gate (See Photo), which was nice to see as no way of getting in if you did not have a key to the padlock or bolt cutters. Walk down the alleyway and at the back was another building about 15 meters from the main road. What a little gem of a site I thought, but in a hell of a mess, no electricity. Nick later got that from next door who we gave free advertising to for free electricity.
We put a team together to put the mast and antenna up and were in the process of erecting the transmitter mast. Suddenly from nowhere and he lived miles away in Kingston, Paul Buick arrives on the site and demands to know what is going on while trying to have a look around. I asked him what the hell it was to do with him and told him to get back on his chopper and go and play as that is what little boys do. (Sorry guys if your where a chopper star back then, the comment was just aimed at him), Buick left. About 30 minutes later Buick was back and he said ‘I have to tell you it was a good job Horizon was busted as most of the DJ’s were going to leave a record playing and walk out“. OK right Paul. A couple of months earlier Buick was the one kicking off and wanting Tony Monson fired as he stunk out the studio with his BO, but Buick back then wanted the Breakfast show, now he is Monson’s best friend. Buick was just having a nose around to see the set up of the site, probably for a visit in the near future with the old JFM transmitter remover?
Not long after Buick left for the second time, the chimney which the mast was being erected around crumbled so we had to start again. The whole building was so dilapidated you could kick the bricks in the walls and they would fall out. But that was the making of that transmitter site as the mast was moved to the rear of the building and built up from the ground about 8+ stories in all. We even had to use guy ropes to the buildings either side to hold it in place. That turned out to be our savior as too far from the road for the RID team to reach with their cherry pickers. Also very dangerous to enter as Eric found out on the first raid there as the staircase was no longer a staircase after that. From that day on visits were few and we got left on when others were hit. I don’t blame Eric for not visiting as even I was a bit apprehensive of that place in broad daylight, it was a nightmare late afternoon, a death trap. I also had one thing on my side I knew where the traps were to catch uninvited guests. The only items we lost during those 9 months was 2 or 3 Power Amps and power supplies. Not one link receiver or exciter. Replacement time 30 minutes if the RID had cut the coax.
Horizon Radio 1985 Returns with the first test broadcast that weekend and 7 days later on full 24/7. In just 1 month we had the advertising back along with Cardata and were running full ad slots. I did the first two weeks of breakfast shows as we knew Eric would never raid at that time, so the safest show to do in those days. That is why Mr M wanted to do them. I was at the Broadcasting school from the 21st of January so off Horizon Breakfast at 9am then a mad rush to get to the NBS by 10am. Young Martin Day took over Breakfast and like so many of the other 1985 DJ’s went on to legal radio Martin with Essex Radio for around 30 years on Breakfast. John Osborne on afternoons, later on Virgin, Jazz and the legal Invicta in Canterbury in Kent. My Fave was the Smile on the Dial Mr Barry Jones on Drive time, so good, I never stopped laughing when Barry was on and I could listen. Mike Gee later Choice FM along with the brilliant Steve Bernard (Reggae) came back over from Solar along with new DJ’s who where simple the best, never any problems, they all did a fantastic Job. I can also say those original Horizon DJ’s 81/83 were exactly the same in the early days, it was only after 83 when some others came aboard did I see problems.
Raids by the RID were often in 85 but they left Horizon most of the time because of the site being so dangerous. The morning of that one and only 1985 studio raid, I saw that Junior King had left the message below on the answer machine the night before.
Too late the RID hit that afternoon. We were about to move to 62 Westow Hill, but had to wait for that to become empty. So we moved the studio back to 258 Bellenden for a couple of weeks. Barry Jones was on air when Eric (RID) hit. Barry did as the other one in October 84 should have done and disappeared with the link transmitter out the back and over a few fences. Barry was fit guy and did not have a fat ass, so got away with it.
62 Westow Hill came on and that is where we stayed until the end on the 15th of September 1985. Just before the end, Solar Radio found our studio when I had to go out and speak to them as they were about to move in the basement below us. Nice Welcome Greeting from That man Tony Scales that night as I approached. “What The F— Do You Want” (Not friends like Tony Scales that is for sure), They moved on when they knew we were above them. close to 5 months we were there undetected and then that happens.
July 1985 comes and we at Horizon Radio and been pre told it was coming, the release of the New Radio licenses by the IBA. As soon as the announcement came Horizon Radio announced it would close down and apply for one of those licenses. Thousand had signed Horizons Radio Petitions to become legal and sent in letters to the Government. The close down show came live from the studio at 62 Westow Hill on the 15th of September 1985 and I presented it. Then we handed over to the Harrow Leisure Center for the final 8 hours all broadcast live via a link to the transmitter site. There was a massive turn out of listeners, those that could not get in, did as they had done in 1983 at the Podium and that was park their cars and dance to the music in the Car Parks around Harrow. Official lowest turn out was 12.000, other figures said near to double that.
Solar Radio to combat the release of the Horizon Radio announcement of the close down, came out a few days later with their own announcement. First they played the sympathy card and went sobbing to London’s Evening Standard telling everyone they had been raided and lost another studio. So had LWR, Horizon, the Greek station plus others, but we did not cry about it we just got on with it as it was part and parcel of what we were doing. But some people have an incessant appetite for publicity at any cost. Horizon was only off for 6 hours and came straight back on as we did not loose much because of the way the final studio and transmitter site was set up.
This was the same notice that had come out at Christmas 1984 word for word. Mr M’s at it again blaming others and that word jealousy yet again. The only person with Jealousy in their heads was the person who spoke to the press yet again. Solar approx 2 weeks later came out with their announcement of a close down on the 29th of September 1985. Solar Radio was and still is today a poor imitation of JFM. The Cinderellas Rockafella’s, Purley, Croyden event clearly showed this as unlike Horizon Radio’s close down (More Details Here), where in excess of 25 PA’s from the Soul and Reggae world came to say goodbye and party with Horizon for the last time. Many of the Solar Radio PA’s they told everyone were coming, did not show and the venue (800 offical capacity) that day was no where near full. Solar had been on air for just under 10 months and when you sit back and ask yourself what did they achieve during this time, the answer would be turn the whole unlicensed radio scene TOXIC as from day 1 it was Threats to Kill, Theft, Lies and $hit Stirring, nothing but trouble. Between 1981 and October 1984 nothing like this had taken place as many stations worked together, tipping each other off if the RID was about.
The investigators talking about a phone call they made to Paul Buick. At this time there was at least two lots of Police investigations going on. The investigators also had suggested that Special Branch were looking into things and looking for the subversive elements and how publicly like this was damaging any hopes of those licenses.
With Horizon Radio closing down on the 15th of September 1985 to apply for one of those new radio licenses, we looked at ways to finance keeping 62 Westow Hill as it was ideal for a radio station. The location overlooked London, all we would have had to do was erect a mast and antenna on the roof and install broadcast standard studios. I had attended the last course at the National Broadcasting School which closed in April 85. My Idea was to install a broadcast training studio into 62 and carry on the work of the NBS, that was to train people in the operation of a radio studio on a one to one basis. This we knew would also help our application for a radio license and show we were serious about future broadcasting. New equipment was purchased along with a second hand freestanding broadcast desk. The studio was up and running by the 15th of September 1985, with that days shows all coming off it. Just a few weeks later most of that studio grew legs and walked out the building STOLEN.
That night at Comber House we were having a meeting, Nick with Len and Glen and myself. The telephone goes and its Paul Buick on the line. Buick goes on to say “Hi Chris me and Roger are in Westow Hill and we are watching Zak and Ron Tom with the LWR crew as they nick your studio“. We race up there and bump into Buick and Howe, both with massive grins on their faces. I looked at Buick with that grin and I know what I thought, later Nick said the same. Nick goes to the phone box to call the police and in seconds Buick and Howe have disappeared, so fast I did not see them go. Even the police said what we were thinking Why (and If is the word) if Buick and Howe had seen LWR nicking the studio equipment did they not call the police first and take car registration numbers. My thinking was it was (guess who) had stolen the equipment worth many thousands of pounds and Buick & Howe were $hit stirring and trying to cause problems between Horizon and LWR which they did do later with their non stop lies. A photo arrived in 2018 via this website, details here for you to digest.
No one was broadcasting at that time, both Solar and Horizon had closed down, so what was Buick and Howe doing up at Westow Hill at that time of night, as both lived miles away with Buick living in Kingston, Howe close by there?????
If you have not noticed yet, the same old names keep coming up event after event?
What comes next is just mayhem and madness and beggars believe even to this day. It was the final nail in the licenses coffin. So many had worked so hard for those license’s over the years. Radio Jackie more than anyone else, but JFM (Funk Soul), Radio Invicta (Soul Funk) Horizon Radio (Soul Reggae Funk), Alice’s Restaurant (Rock) The Dub Broadcasting Company DBC (Reggae, Dub, Soca +) all played a major part. Thousands of listeners had signed petition forms. It all went south when one (and there is no other words for it) Selfish Idiot forged documents to say his station was the number 1 in London.
Grab a coffee then hit the button below and read the Horizon Radio Walk In My Shoes, The End Game.
To All of the Original Horizon Radio Soul family, It was a Pleasure to be with you during those Ground Breaking Days of the 80’s, Live Long On Your Memories. Thank You For Making It Happen, It Could Never have Been Done Without You.
Horizon Radio Returns 1985 Walk In My Shoes Share With Friends
If you have a story to tell about Horizon Radio London or want to share photo’s to include on this website, please email us from here with your content or suggestions. If you send content to us for this website, we will assume you give authority to publish. Please do not send content that is not to be published.