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     Radio Caroline Scotland was probably the best known of the early 70’s pirates. It commenced transmissions in 1972 following the closure of the SNP Radio Scotland and included staff from Radio Caroline South. The station was engineered by Gordon Forsyth and used around 200 watts of power, possibly the ex Radio Scotland rig.

The station normally broadcast on 1358 kHz, occasionally moving to 1349kHz if there was continental interference. They were also logged on 1322kHz late at night. RCS was on the air on Sundays from 2200-0200 and 1100-1900.

Like Radio Scotland, RCS announced they were broadcasting from a ship 4 miles off the coast of Scotland. A DXer in Ireland reported he almost believed this as on one occasion the signal was so strong from Caroline Scotland that the East German station on 1358 khz was barely audible between it and RNI on 1367 kHz!

Caroline Scotland also operated briefly on short wave, being noted on 6280 kHz.

Such was its popularity, the station received press coverage with an article including pictures in a local newspaper. Of course with such publicity comes the unwanted attention from the GPO.

Radio Caroline Scotland was raided whilst broadcasting from a house in Blantyre Terrace, Edinburgh on June 22nd 1973. The GPO had monitored the station between June 1st and June 22nd.

In the subsequent court case at the end of July Tom Wilson (Martin Davies) and Gordon Forsyth were each fined 20 and equipment worth 150 was forfeited.

The station did continue and Alan Kidd remembers broadcasting from York Place in the city, with the aerial running from York Place, across the bus station towards the St James’ Centre. That was bang in the centre of Edinburgh!

The station was reported as still active in 1976, but probably that was its final year of transmission.

The recording below features Tom Wilson testing the transmitter from his house in Burdiehouse Avenue, Edinburgh. Unfortunately it does not include a station ID. Thanks to Alan Kidd for the aircheck.



Here is an article from a local newspaper reporting on Radio Caroline Scotland sometime during early 1973.

And then a report of a court case of the station in the Scottish Daily Express of 1st August 1973. The case was brought about from a raid on Radio Caroline Scotland during June 1973.  With both newspaper articles above and below, click the image for a larger, more readable version.

Below is a QSL Card received for a transmission in January 1973 which was heard as far away as Ireland. Many thanks to John Dowling for donating this for our history of Radio Caroline Scotland.



Radio Caroline Scotland Audio Library

1972_00_00_radio_caroline_scotland_test_transmission.mp3 This features Tom Wilson testing the transmitter from his house in Burdiehouse Avenue, Edinburgh. Unfortunately it does not include a station ID. Many thanks to Alan Kidd for the aircheck. 4MB
1972_12_31_caroline_scotland_1354am_airchecks-svenn.mp3 New May 2024 Many thanks to Svenn in Norway who kindly sent us this aircheck he recorded on 31st December 1972.  The recording from 1354kHz is of DX quality due to the distance received and adjacent station splatter, but there is a clear station ID. 4MB