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On this Day: Leicestershire pirate station Radio Gloria fights on

On this Day

On this Day: Leicestershire pirate station Radio Gloria fights on

OTD, November 29th, 1977…

Bev Smith reported on the illegal broadcaster ‘Radio Gloria‘ which had been in the news when its owners were fined for transmitting without an IBA licence.

The feature starts with a view of an ordinary exterior of a house in Anstey, Leicestershire, where Radio Gloria is produced. Bev is seen in the small bedroom of the house which has been transformed into a radio studio for the venture which was one of a number around the time including Radio Free Midlands and Radio Conquest, the latter a ‘sister station’ to Gloria.

Bev speaks with Station Manager Eric Sager about why Radio Gloria will continue broadcasting and the risk of further prosecution. The court ruling in November 1977 led to three men (some reports state five men) who ran the station being fined £800.

Newspaper reports in December 1977 note the station was still on the air but now the police were ‘cracking down’ on listeners to the station noting that one person had ended up in court after being caught tuned in to Radio Gloria.

A letter to the local newspaper in January 1978 observed “Why I wonder are [the broadcasting authorities] getting worked up about Radio Gloria? Surely their technicians be better employed getting rid of interference In this area we cannot listen to Radio 3!” In March 1978 the station’s broadcasting apparatus was confiscated, but programming resumed with another batch of transmitting equipment briefly returning Gloria and Conquest back onto the airwaves.

By April 1978 Radio Gloria and Radio Conquest were no more the Leicester Mercury newspaper noted. Fines now over £1000 saw Eric Sager close the services down. The newspaper noted Sager and the pirate operation had been, in one form or another, operational for around five years.

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