Old Photograph Comet Radio Station Scotland

Old photograph of the Comet Radio Station off the coast of Crail, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. Radio Scotland was an offshore pirate radio station broadcasting on 1241 kHz medium wave, created by Tommy Shields in 1965. The station was on the former lightship L.V. Comet, which had been fitted out as a radio station in Guernsey using RCA technology and engineers, it was anchored at locations off Scotland, most often outside territorial waters. The station began on 31 December 1965 and featured DJs including Paul Young, Richard Park, Stuart Henry and Jack McLaughlin with a céilidh programme that promised to tickle the " tartan tonsils. " Its headquarters, Radio Scotland House, was a building at Cranworth Street, Hillhead in Glasgow. Cranworth Street also made taped programmes, using 1/4" magnetic tape, taken to the ship by tender. The Comet was initially off Dunbar on the east coast and had strong coverage of Edinburgh, but not as clearly in Glasgow. The anchorages off the West coast of Scotland were found to be within territorial water and the company was fined £80, bringing a move to Ballywater, off County Down, Northern Ireland, the station changing its name to Radio Scotland and Ireland. Then RTÉ claimed the station was causing adjacent channel interference to its Dublin transmitter on 1250 kHz. Transmissions to the east of Scotland were worse from this location, so Shields took the ship to off Fife Ness and the Isle of May. As well as giving eastern Scotland a strong signal, the " water run " meant the signal didn't hit land until Grangemouth in Stirlingshire, about 20 miles from Glasgow. So the Central Belt at last had a listenable signal. The station closed on 14 August 1967. Many presenters went to other stations, including BBC Radio 1, Radio Caroline, Radio Luxembourg, Radio Clyde and BBC Radio Scotland.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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