Tribute to Atlantic 252

Atlantic 252 and Local Station Hallam were big inspirations

Atlantic 252 was a major inspiration to Radio Gar Gar. Without this, and local stations Hallam and Lincs FM, Radio Gar Gar wouldn’t exist.

DJ Jonny said:

I have very fond memories of Atlantic 252. No other station consistently played up to date music like they did, and their style was fun and upbeat.  Their DJs were my early inspiration, especially Robin Banks, Sandy Beach and Dusty Rhodes.  I remember going to a couple of their roadshows and meeting the DJs.

“The sound quality, being Long Wave, wasn’t always great. Especially in a thunderstorm and when the main TV was on in the living room! Yet despite this, it was the soundtrack to my youth.”

Initially, the station transmitted only from 06:00 until 19:00, outside of which listeners were invited to tune to Radio Luxembourg. In 1990 the station began broadcasting until 02:00, and eventually by September 1991, a 24-hour service was in full swing, with an overnight, automated slot called “The Big Mattress”.

The music format consisted of high-rotation mainstream pop and rock music, with influences borrowed heavily from American radio and, through to 1993, the station was known to play much of the music mostly from the top part of the US charts. The station mixed the best songs from the last few years along with the best songs from the top 40 – this was called “Today’s Best Music Variety”.

Commercial Radio and the BBC initially objected to the station, seeing it as a commercial pirate. However, as UK commercial radio developed and deregulation saw many more stations launching, formats similar to Atlantic’s began to appear on FM, offering superior audio quality – an issue compounded by modern radio receivers tending to have an inferior audio reproduction on LW compared to that of older receivers.

Atlantic 252’s audience began the inevitable decline. Attempts at repositioning followed, including “Real Music, Real Radio”, when the station attempted to tackle BBC Radio 1’s “new music” format. At the peak of its popularity in the mid-1990s, Atlantic 252 had in excess of four million listeners, but vastly increased competition from local radio stations with similar formats and superior FM audio quality, as well as the renaissance of BBC Radio 1 and the repositioning of BBC Radio 2, saw this take a dive below one million by 2000.

Moving with the times, Radio Gar Gar found continued inspiration in growing local and BBC stations… but you never forget your first.

Check the launch of Atlantic 252 right here!


Atlantic 252 Jingles


Atlantic 252 Studio Tour



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