Radio Jackie MuseumPosted: August 16, 2009
Here are some pictures that I meant to put online back in April, but with all the stuff going on with the book launches etc, it just slipped my mind.
I’ve posted before about Radio Jackie, and how its modern-day operation still keeps that local flavour and feeling that it had in the pirate days back in the 1980s. Indeed, many of the same people still work for it, including one of my longest-standing friends in the world of broadcasting, Geoff Rogers, who after the closure of Jackie in February 1985 moved to South East Sound, where he helped me prepare and record my first ever programmes.
When I was over in London in early April for the launch of Shiprocked, I made sure to call out to the Jackie studios in Tolworth, where Geoff made me really welcome. And I was amazed to see that even though it has been legal for a number of years now, and is a really successful and thriving commercial business, that they haven’t forgotten where they came from. When you enter Jackie’s studio complex on Tolworth Broadway, the first thing you see is the “Jackie Museum” a little display of press cuttings, photos, and original equipment from the pirate era. It’s a nice touch, harking back to their roots in the community, and great for the anorak in me too.
I came to know a number of the Jackie people over the years after it closed, working with some of them on South East Sound (Geoff) or Radio Caroline (Richard Jackson, Peter Philips) but my only involvement with Jackie was as a listener. When I arrived in South West London as an Irish emigrant in 1984, I quickly found Caroline for music (joined shortly by Laser) and within a week or two had come across Radio Jackie, which told me everything I needed to know about the area I was now living in, and entertained me too.
I did actually have one, tiny and insignificant part, in the Jackie pirate era. Six months or so after the final closure in Feb 85, a group of us from South East Sound came to a house on a suburban road in Cheam one Saturday afternoon, to assist in the lowering and dismantling of Jackie’s mediumwave aerial array, a sad and symbolic task.
I didn’t think Jackie would ever be back after that, but time proved me wrong.
It’s great to see the station remembering its past with the display at the Tolworth studios, though the great and truly local content they are broadcasting is a better monunment still.