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RADIO CAROUSEL NETWORK
DUNDALK, DROGHEDA, NAVAN, CASTLEBLAYNEY, NORTHERN IRELAND
AM - 1062, 1071, 1125, 1134, 1260, 1386, 1404, 1413, 96.4FM

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IRISH PIRATES A / Z


RADIO CAROUSEL began broadcasting during late May 1978 and was one of the first of the early MW pirates broadcasting from Ireland that was quite widely heard in the UK. The station began it's life as Radio Carousel in Dundalk, before opening further 'satellite' stations with their own studios and schedules, and which at times covered a large part of the North East. By May 1988 the Navan station was the sole survivior of the Radio Carousel Network. However after reduced live programming, this finally closed sometime during May 1988 and by June, 1386kHz became Boyneside Radio. It is not known if Radio Carousel managed to celebrate its 10th anniversary which would have been on 19th May.

This Radio Carousel Network page is currently being updated and we are attempting to place all our memorabilia and recordings in chronological order.  All four networked stations have been included in this one page, as many of the items overlapped, making things difficult to find. More updates will be posted soon. Links to the original pages have been left at the end of this re-written 'Network' page.

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Radio Carousel Archive 1978-1979

A QSL letter with nice technical information, received by Ian in July 1978 just over a month after the start of Radio Carousel

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Radio Carousel Audio Library 1978-1979


Most of the recordings below from 1978 and 1979 were originally recorded by Kieran Murray, who worked on Radio Carousel from its opening in May 1978. As well as other recordings and productions, he recorded a unique set of tapes on Wednesday 3rd January 1979 which covered most of the afternoon and evening programming on that day until sign off at 9pm.  These cassettes were donated by Paul Davidson to the Irish Pirate Radio Archive at DCU and form part of the 'Anoraks Ireland Digitisation Project'. Some of Kieran's original cassette inserts are shown above.

1978_11_17_fri_carousel_1800-1830_entertainment_show_kieranmurray-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 The 'Entertainment Show' with Kieran Murray. This show went out at 6pm on Friday 17th November 1978, and this recording is the first 30 minutes. 29MB
31mins
1978_11_17_fri_carousel_1830-1900_entertainment_show_kieranmurray-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 The second half of the above 'Entertainment Show' with Kieran, which has the changoever at the top the hour at 7pm to Hugh Hardy and his 'Country Call'. 29MB
31mins
1978_12_18_mon_carousel_265m_1415-1455_ericvaughan_airchecks-gh47.mp3 New Jul 2023 A partially airchecked 20 minutes of Eric Vaughan from the afternoon of Monday 18th December 1978 as received on the Lancashire coast on 265m.  There is a lot of noise on the signal due to the distance, but it shows how far the signal was travelling in those early days. The exact frequency was not noted on the tape. 18MB
19mins
1979_01_03_wed_carousel_1134am_1240-1326_hughhardy_mikeahern-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 This is the first of several recordings originally made by Radio Carousel's Kieran Murray, on Wednesday 3rd January 1979 and donated by Paul Davidson for the Anoraks Ireland Digitisation Project. This recording starts at 12:40pm with station owner Hugh Hardy hosting his popular 'Country Call.  The 10 minute long news bulletin at 1pm is read by Ray Stone, after which is 'Lunchtime Express' from Mike Ahern.  Radio Carousel was broadcasting on 1134kHz / 265m at this time. 43MB
47mins
1979_01_03_wed_carousel_1134am_1327-1414_mikeahern_ericvaughan-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 Mike Ahern continues until 2pm, then the Eric Vaughan with the 'Afternoon Music Machine'.  The last part of the tape has some issue with warbling. 43MB
47mins
1979_01_03_wed_carousel_1134am_1427-1513_ericvaughan-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 More Eric Vaughan with the 'Afternoon Music Machine' including the 3pm Birthday Spot. 42MB
46mins
1979_01_03_wed_carousel_1134am_1516-1602_ericvaughan-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 Eric Vaughan continues with 'Afternoon Music Machine' from 3:16pm until 4:02pm. 42MB
46mins
1979_01_03_wed_carousel_1134am_1605-1636_ericvaughan-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 Continuing with Eric Vaughan and 'Afternoon Music Machine' from 4:05pm until 4:36pm. 29MB
31mins
1979_01_03_wed_carousel_1134am_1640-1711_ericvaughan_raystone-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 The last 20 minutes of Eric Vaughan's show, who hands over to Ray Stone at 5pm. 29MB
31mins
1979_01_03_wed_carousel_1134am_1712-1800_raystone-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 The last 48 minutes of the Ray Stone show up until news at 6pm. 44MB
48mins
1979_01_03_wed_carousel_1134am_1810-1825_kieranmurray_entertainment_show-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 Following the 6pm news, Kieran Murray presents the first 15 minutes of the 'Entertainment Show'. 14MB
15mins
1979_01_03_wed_carousel_1134am_1833-1902_kieranmurray_entertainment_show_hughardy-km_via_aii.mp3 New Mar 2023 The last 30 minutes of Kieran Murray's 'Entertainment Show'. Kieran then hands over to Hugh Hardy at 7pm for his 'Country Call'. 27MB
29mins
1979_01_03_wed_carousel_1134am_1959-2002_hughhardy_shanemullen_changeover-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 A short aircheck of Hugh Hardy handing over to Shane Mullen at 8pm. 2.6MB
3mins
1979_01_03_wed_carousel_1134am_2036-2100signoff_shanemullen-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 Shane Mullen programmes up to 9pm where he does a nice sign off announcement. The tape continues after the music ends, and then the transmitter can be heard switching off, with the foreign station appearing afterwards. 29MB
31mins
1979_08_22_wed_carousel_1134am_0700-1700_airchecks_various_presenters-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 A nice sign on at 7am from Wednesday 22nd August 1979, followed by 49 minutes of airchecks taken throughtout the day until 5pm. Recorded off air from 1134kHz / 265m. 45MB
49mins
1979_08_23_thu_carousel_1134am_2000-2100_airchecks_studio_recording_kieranmurray-km_via_ai.mp3 New Mar 2023 Studio quality airchecks of Kieran Murray hosting between 8pm and 9pm on Thursday 23rd August 1979. 16MB
12mins

A Radio Carousel poster from 1979
(Click image for full size - 18MB)

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Radio Carousel Archive 1980

The Radio Carousel 16 page 2nd Anniversary booklet issued on 18th May 1980
which includes deejay profiles and a potted history.
(Click image for a pdf copy of the whole booklet - Size is 8MB)

A QSL Letter received by Ian in September 1980 when the station was on 1134kHz
(Click image for full size - 448kB)
And below the full original letter with some interesting station details from Kieran.
At this time, Radio Carousel still only had the Dundalk operation, but had
introduced an FM stereo outlet on 96.8MHz.
The scanned images have been brightened to reduce the print-through from the other side.
(Click images for full size - 3.6MB)

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Radio Carousel Audio Library 1980

1980_07_06_sun_carousel_1134am_0800_sign_on-kb_c120_36.mp3 New Jan 2011 Recorded in Scotland from 1134kHz with a few crackles, here is an 8am sign-on from Sunday 6th July 1980. 3.8MB
5mins
1980_08_01_fri_carousel_968fms_1800-1900_carousel_tonight-km_via_ai.mp3 Aug 2023 This is another recording made by Kieran and part of the Anoraks Ireland Digitisation Project. The 'Carousel Tonight' magazine programme with Kieran Murray from Friday 1st August 1980 begins just after 6pm following the news with Ray Stone. At 6:30 Shay Breslin presents the 'Sports Report' and at 7pm Kieran hands over to Hugh Hardy for 'Country Call'. Recorded in Dundalk from 96.8MHz in stereo. Radio Carousel had introduced this new stereo FM service during 1980. 142MB
62mins

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Radio Carousel Archive 1981

A new satellite transmitter was introduced on Sunday February 8th 1981 to serve Drogheda and North County Dublin.
The frequency was initially on 1386kHz announced as 215m and operated from the Boyne Valley Hotel.
When the newer Navan station took over the 1386kHz frequency later in 1981, the Drogheda station moved to 1413kHz, still announcing as 215m.
There were local opt out programmes for Drogheda at times, with other periods relaying the main Dundalk station.
Issue 14 of Sounds Alternative had a detailed report on the new station show below.



The section of Sounds Alternative Issue 14 which reported on the new
Drogheda station in the Radio Carousel Network. The date was actually February 8th 1981,
and not 1980 as in the text.
(Click image for a more readable image - Size is 1.35MB)


The Radio Carousel 3rd Anniversary Brochure from
Sunday 24th May 1981.
Includes plenty of station history and staff profiles.
(Click image for a pdf version of the entire brochure - Size is 1.7MB)

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Radio Carousel Audio Library 1981

1981_01_28_tue_carousel_1125am_1705-1755_budgetspecial-km_via_ai.mp3 New Oct 2023 This is an interesting recording made and introduced by Kieran, and is part of the Anoraks Ireland Digitisation Project. The tape features a 'Budget Special' from Tuesday 28th January 1981, which may have been unique in 'pirate radio' at the time. The recording is partially airchecked between 5pm and 7pm and almost all speech. Also interesting on the tape insert, is the reference to 282m, the wavelength later used for the 'Northern Service'. This is in addition to 265m and 96.4MHz which were the main services in Dundalk at the time.  During the programme is a jingle from Kieran, which also references 282m, which suggests the station was testing additional outlets even prior to the start of the Drogheda service on 215m a short time later. 43MB
47mins
1981_01_28_tue_carousel_1125am_1705-1755_budgetspecial-km_via_ai.mp3 New Oct 2023 Here is a continuation of the a 'Budget Special' between 6pm and 7pm. Towards the end, Kieran can be heard conducting interviews in the street. 43MB
47mins
1981_05_29_fri_carousel_1125am_0825-0857_mikeahern-gh.mp3 New Oct 2023 Thirty minutes of Mike Ahern hosting breakfast. There were plenty of adverts on the station in those early days. Recorded possibly in Leeds and suffering from some crackling due to the distance travelled by the signal and some tape dropouts. 22MB
32mins

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Radio Carousel Archive 1982



A Radio Carousel compliments slip from around early 1982.
This has a rare reference to the Monaghan satellite station when it was located in Castleblayney.
Also, below, a letterhead with the Castleblaney station address.
This was later relocated nearer the border with Newry.



After the move from Castleblayney to Newry, the Radio Carousel Network letterhead was re-designed.
It also added a Dublin office, believed to be Hugh Hardy's home address.



A Radio Carousel Ratecard folder from around the summer of 1982.
At this point the Newry area transmitter had just started on 1062kHz / 282m.
This had been located in Castleblayney for a short time before this.
This side of the folder has the prices of commercials for each transmission area.
(Click image for full resolution - Size is 11.6MB)


The other side of the above ratecard folder from the summer of 1982.
This features good coverage maps of their 4 transmitters.
(Click image for full resolution - Size is 11.3MB)

On a very foggy visit in April 1982, photos of the Radio Carousel Mobile Unit and Office
which were at the front of the Dundalk Shopping Centre.
And then below, moving on to the Navan station during the same week.


Ian (Stuart Scott) on air in the Carousel Navan studio in April 1982, with station manager Kieran Murray in the reception area.
And below, another view of the studio, and the mast in the Shopping Centre car park.



A Radio Carousel sales booklet issued around September 1982.
This includes good coverage maps of their 4 transmitters
and a schedule for the main Dundalk service.
The Newry transmitter was now referred to as Radio Carousel Northern Ireland and had moved to 1413kHz / 212m.
(Click image for a pdf copy of the whole booklet - Size is 6MB)

Two QSL Sheet templates from around 1982 when the Radio Carousel Network consisted of Dundalk, Drogheda and Navan.
(Click each image for full size  - 3.9MB and 4.4MB respectively.)

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The Navan station photographed on 28th October 1982

The unique Radio Carousel studio in the Navan Shopping Centre during a visit in November 1982.
Note the shops and centre entrance visible through the studio windows.
This was true 'local radio' as the station was accessible to any passers by.
Kieran was in the reception area and Tina Anderson in the on-air studio.

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Radio Carousel Audio Library 1982

1982_04_07_wed_carousel_navan_1386am_1448-1505_tonyfarrelly_stuartscott-gh407.mp3 New Aug 2023 From the Radio Carousel Navan station in the network, this is the end of Tony Farrelly and start of Stuart Scott from Wednesday 7th April 1982. Recorded from 1386kHz at the Navan Shopping Centre. 216MB
17mins
1982_04_07_wed_carousel_navan_1386am_1505-1603_stuartscott-gh407.mp3 New Aug 2023 An hour of Stuart Scott between 3pm and 4pm following on from the above recording. Again recorded from 1386kHz at the Navan Shopping Centre. 54MB
58mins
1982_04_07_wed_carousel_navan_1386am_1603-1706_stuartscott_mikeahern-gh407.mp3 New Aug 2023 Continuing the above recording, here is the final hour of Stuart Scott's show from 7th April 1982. Mike Ahern follows the news at 5pm. Recorded in the car at Navan Shopping Centre. 58MB
63mins
1982_04_25_sun_carousel_1125am_1430-1610_davescott_ericvaughan-gh409.mp3 New Aug 2023 On the main Radio Carousel Dundalk service, here is Dave Scott followed at 4pm by Eric Vaughan from Sunday 25th April 1982. Eric had just returned to the station after a couple of years away, including time at Boyneside Radio. Recorded near Blackpool from 1125kHz. 90MB
98mins
1982_05_08_carousel_dundalk_1125_eric_vaughan_sign_off_0047-0100_c90_456_kb.mp3 Late night with Eric Vaughan up to sign off at 1am on 8th May 1982. Recorded in Scotland from 1125kHz. 90MB
98mins
1982_05_08_carousel_dundalk_1125_eric_vaughan_sign_off_only_0047-0100_c90_456_kb.mp3 Just the sign off section of the above Eric Vaughan recording. Recorded in Scotland from 1125kHz. 90MB
98mins
1982_05_11_tue_carousel_navan_1386am_1900-2000_padraigwalshe_interviews_donallen-gh324.mp3 New Aug 2023 Don Allen had recently started on Radio Carousel in Navan hosting the breakfast show. Here he is being interviewed by Padraig Walshe. The recording is originally by kind courtesy of Kieran Murray. 140MB
61mins
1982_06_28_tue_carousel_navan_1386am_0724-0810_donallen-gh570.mp3 New Oct 2023 Don Allen on the breakfast show. There was a problem with news at 8am, which sounded like it was being received with difficulty from the main Dundalk service on FM. The tape was from a bit of a noisy signal as received near Blackpool on 1386kHz where it was suffering from a lot of background and electrical interference. 42MB
46mins
1982_06_28_tue_carousel_navan_1386am_0814-0900_donallen-gh570.mp3 New Oct 2023 A continuation of the above Don Allen breakfast as received near Blackpool on 1386kHz and up to 9am. 42MB
46mins
1982_07_03_sat_carousel_navan_1386am_0818-0854_donallen-gh550.mp3 New Dec 2023 A Saturday morning breakfast show with Don Allen on 3rd July 1982. As received near Blackpool on 1386kHz.  There is a station audible in the background which may be Kilkenny Community Radio. 34MB
36mins
1982_10_28_thu_carousel_navan_1386am_1144-1310_shanemullan_tina_kieranmurray-gh438.mp3 New Aug 2023 From the Navan studios, and across lunchtime on Thursday 28th October 1982 here is the end of Shane Mullen's show, and then at mid-day Tina Anderson, followed at 1pm by  Kieran Murray. Recorded in Navan from 1386kHz. 80MB
87mins

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Radio Carousel Archive 1983



A 4 page Radio Carousel information sheet from 1983
(Click images for a pdf version of each full 4 page document)


A re-typed information sheet dated August 1983, with the corrected station start date of 19th May 1978

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A poster for the Radio Carousel Navan Auction of 10th September 1983
(Click image for full size - 9MB)

The inside of a Christmas Card from around 1983
(Click image for full size - 2MB)

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Radio Carousel Audio Library 1983

1983_05_20_fri_carousel_5th_birthday_congratulations_from_wlr-km_via_ai.mp3 New Oct 2023 On the 5th birthday of Radio Carousel, another early station Waterford Local Radio sent congratulations to the station.  This is a studio version of that message. This is a studio copy of Kieran's tape donated by Paul Davidson and forms part of the Anoraks Ireland Digitisation Project. 1.7MB
43secs
1983_05_20_fri_carousel_navan_studio_0859-1003_kieranmurray_nickbutler-km_via_ai.mp3 New Oct 2023 Kieran Murray with the last hour of his breakfast show on Radio Carousel's Navan station, 20th May 1983.  This was the 5th birthday of Radio Carousel Network. This is a studio copy of Kieran's tape donated by Paul Davidson and forms part of the Anoraks Ireland Digitisation Project. 143MB
62mins
1983_12_00_carousel_documentary_by_kieran_murray_pt1-km_via_ai.mp3 New Oct 2023 This is part one of an excellent documentary compiled by Kieran Murray, and covering the history of Radio Carousel between May 1978 and December 1983. As well as the history, there are plenty of Radio Carousel jingles and programme extracts.  This is a studio copy of the documentary donated by Paul Davidson and forms part of the Anoraks Ireland Digitisation Project. 133MB
58mins
1983_12_00_carousel_documentary_by_kieran_murray_pt2-km_via_ai.mp3 New Oct 2023 Here is the second part of the above Radio Carousel documentary compiled and narrated by Kieran Murray in December 1983 and recorded in the Navan studios. It includes an interview with Hugh Hardy on BBC Radio Ulster regarding the recent raids in Dublin, and also extracts from the 5th birthday celebration the following day, 20th May 1983. 133MB
58mins

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Radio Carousel Archive 1984

An A4 promotion sheet for the new giveaway starting in January 1984.
The map has the locations of some of the winners of the previous giveaway.
The names and addresses were on the back of the sheet.
(Click image for full size - 3.5MB)

An advert for a Radio Carousel 10,000 Giveaway
in the Sunday World of 9th September 1984
(Click image for full size - 4MB)

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The Dundalk main station photographed on 31st October 1984

Station owner Hugh Hardy and the Dundalk Shopping Centre and aerials taken during a visit on 31st October 1984.
Hugh insisted his photo be taken between his 'two favourite ladies'.

The main on-air studio in Dundalk in October 1984 with Kieran Murray at the helm,
and below, the record library and studio 2.

The transmitters were located through a small door in the record library.

There were two medium wave transmitters tuned to 1125kHz which were used alternately.
The box on the far left was possibly the FM transmitter which at the time was on 101MHz.

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The Navan station photographed on 31st October 1984



Kieran Murray at the Carousel Navan reception desk


The Radio Carousel 'complex' in the Navan Shopping Centre


The 'on-air' studio whilst relaying Hugh Hardy's  'Country Call'


Above and below more shots of the studio 'complex'


The 'on-air-studio with Tina Anderson


A view of the studio 'complex' in bright sunlight


The Radio Carousel mast in the Navan Shopping Centre car park

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Radio Carousel Audio Library 1984

1984_07_11_wed_carousel_1125am_1000-1153_mikeahern-gh103.mp3 New Oct 2023 Almost two hours of a morning show from Mike Ahern on Wednesday 11th July 1984. Recorded from 1125kHz near Blackpool. The signal from the station at this time was very strong. 104MB
113mins
1984_07_12_thu_carousel_1125am_1200-1335_hughhardy.mp3 Updated Aug 2023 Hugh Hardy with his 'Country Call' which was regularly networked at mid-day from Dundalk across the other stations. Recorded from 1125kHz near Blackpool. 22MB
17mins
1984_10_31_wed_carousel_navan_1386am_1122-1313_tinaanderson_hughhardy-gh524.mp3 New Oct 2023 Tina Anderson with the last 35 minutes of the request show from the Navan station, followed at mid-day by Hugh Hardy and 'Country Call' linked from Dundalk. Kieran Murray reads the news and weather at 1pm from the Navan studio and is followed by more of Hugh Hardy with 'Lunch with a Punch' from Dundalk. One interesting listen during the networked 'Country Call' is that in the days before computers, local Navan commercials were manually inserted at specific points in the show. Presumably the listeners in Dundalk, Drogheda and the Northern Service all heard different commercials inserted at their local studios. Recorded from 1386kHz in Navan. 102MB
111mins

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Radio Carousel Archive 1985

An advert for the Radio Carousel Country Top 20
broadcast during the week ending 30th June 1985
(Click image for full size - 1.2MB)

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Radio Carousel Audio Library 1985

1985_05_29_wed_carousel_101fms_2238-2323_davescott-ds.mp3 New Aug 2023 Dave Scott with part of a late evening programme on Wednesday 29th May 1985. Recorded in Dundalk from 101MHz FM in stereo and courtesy of Dave Small. 103MB
45mins
1985_05_30_thu_carousel_101fms_0815-0900-ds.mp3 New Aug 2023 Breakfast on Thursday 30th May 1985 between 0815 and 0900. Recorded in Dundalk from 101MHz FM in stereo and courtesy of Dave Small. 103MB
45mins

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Radio Carousel Archive 1986

An advert from The Sunday World of 24th June 1986.
At this time the network still consisted of 4 stations.
(Click image for full size - 4.4MB)

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Radio Carousel Audio Library 1986

1986_02_15_sat_carousel_1125am_0955-1105_tonyfarrelly_davescott-gh592.mp3 New Aug 2023 Tony Farrelly with the last few minutes of his morning show from the main Dundalk service on Saturday 15th February 1986. Tony is followed at 10am with a programme called the 'Best of Irish', hosted by Dave Scott. Recorded near Blackpool from 1125kHz / 265m with a strong signal. 66MB
71mins

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Radio Carousel Archive 1987

These adverts were taken from newspapers during early 1987.
By this time the Drogheda outlet had been discontinued, and the Carousel Northern service was now on 248m / 1260kHz
which was suitably close to Boyneside Radio North on 244m / 1233kHz.

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Radio Carousel Audio Library 1987-1988

1987_04_21_tue_carousel_1260am_1115-1200_steviemack-gh1071.mp3 New Aug 2023 From the Radio Carousel Northern Service, here is Stevie Mack from late Tuesday morning, 21st April 1987. His show finishes at mid-day.  Unfortunately the recording finishes before the top of the hour announcement.  Recorded near Blackpool from 1260kHz / 248m with some background noise. 47MB
47mins
1987_04_21_tue_carousel_1260am_1208-1253_hughhardy-gh1071.mp3 New Aug 2023 Following on from the above recording, there was some dead-air after mid-day before Hugh Hardy and his 'Country Call'. Recorded from 1260kHz near Blackpool with some background noise. 45MB
45mins
1988_05_03_mon_carousel-navan_1386am_1043-1355_tinaanderson-gh687.mp3 New Aug 2023 The Navan station of Radio Carousel was the last in the network. This three hour recording was made on Monday 3rd May 1988, around three weeks before it went off the air. Tina Anderson hosts the daily request show between 10am and 2pm. There is also a news bulletin at 1pm, but we are not sure of the newsreader. The signal was received near Blackpool on 1386kHz and suffered some local electrical interference and there was some static from lightning later on. Considering the distance however, this signal is quite reasonable. 176MB
192mins

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These Superseded Radio Carousel Pages Are Still Available

RADIO CAROUSEL AUDIO RECORDINGS

 

RADIO CAROUSEL PHOTOS

 

RADIO CAROUSEL PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL

 

RADIO CAROUSEL PDF DOWNLOADS

 




The late Hugh Hardy, Radio Carousel managing director

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IRISH PIRATES A / Z