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Radio Atlantis was one of  the longest running free radio stations on Merseyside, although there was  a long break after the first few months on the air.  It began as a Monday to Friday operation during April 1984 and  first transmitted on 1125kHz earlier that month.  The initial personnel were believed to have been Mark Evans, Steven Bishop and Steve Tyler.   Due to interference from the then new BBC Radio 1 transmitter in Liscard (1107kHz), they changed frequency to 1242kHz / 241m in mid April.  Rick Dane also became a regular presenter as his own station, Radio Jackie North,  had more or less folded by that time.  Mark Evans left the station early on, leaving the other three to carry on.  By late May, Radio Atlantis had moved frequency further down the band to 936kHz.  An FM outlet on 102.7MHz was also announced.  With the move to this new channel, the station extended broadcasts to a full week.  (The previous 1242kHz had Channel 5 on at the weekend.)  Monday to Friday schedule was announced as noon to 9pm, and weekends were 9am to midnight.  The extended schedule also included Phil Clarke and Neil Frazer on a Sunday.   This first incarnation of the station disappeared during August 1984, with Rick Dane moving to yet another Merseyland Alternative Radio (975kHz then 819kHz) during September and October and Steven Bishop disappearing from the scene.  The Radio Atlantis FM outlet did appear for a number of Sundays on 102.7MHz with Steve Tyler, Dave Owen, Neil Frazer and Roy Stannier.  Things then went quiet across Merseyside in late October 1984 due to heavy DTI activity.   In early 1985 a station called KISS FM on 102.85MHz was heard on a Sunday with some of the former Atlantis staff, and using the same 150 Rake Lane address.

 


One of the luminous orange stickers.
(As luminous as the scanner can handle!)

Nothing was heard from Radio Atlantis on AM until May 1987, when Rick Dane and Steven Bishop appeared together again on a station called Radio 976, on 976kHz!!  Unfortunately this frequency was mid-channel and a heterodyne was caused, especially during the evening, making reception poor in more distant areas.  After calling the station Radio 976, Radio Jackie North and Radio Atlantis, the Atlantis name was finally settled on, and by 24th May they were also back on their former channel of 936kHz.   The schedule for the new station was Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  A seven day operation was attempted later, but the DTI put a stop to this in July 1987.  Andy Davies (from the old J1000 days) was also now heard  with taped shows.   Hours were 11am to 5pm Friday, Saturday and Monday, and 11am to 7pm on Sunday, with all programmes done by the three staff.   The end of August 1987 saw the station again try extending the programmes, but again the DTI struck, and Radio Atlantis were off the air until mid September, when they reverted to their old 976kHz crystal.  By 27th September, a change in frequency had been made to 1197kHz / 252m, and an FM outlet on 96.25MHz was also being announced.  More staff had now been attracted to the station, with Rick Dane and Steven Bishop being helped by Dave Ross, Gary Palmer, Mike Hayes and Marko Young.    Despite many raids, Radio Atlantis  was to stay on this channel for a number of years.   During 1989 a more powerful FM outlet was put on 99.4MHz which could be heard over a wide area, running in parallel with 1197kHz.  The station was also operating a 7 day schedule at this time, although only staffed by Rick Dane and Steven Bishop.  Eventually the MW outlet disappeared during mid 1990, and they were left on FM only, which also became sporadic.

The station was last reported in Concept Radio's 'Free Radio News' during August 1996 on 1521kHz.  Steven Bishop was occasionally heard on Studio FM, but sadly Rick Dane having been on the air since 1969, starting with Radio Free Liverpool on 217m, passed away on 16th November 2002.

 

1984_07_09_mon_atlantis_936am_1240-1440_stevenbishop-gh104.mp3 A recording from the first 'incarnation' of Radio Atlantis 936 featuring Steven Bishop, who was asking for letters from prospective deejays for weekday shows. Recorded near Blackpool.
1984_07_09_mon_atlantis_936am_1530-1640_rickdane-gh104.mp3 Rick Dane from later the same day as above.
1987_06_14_sun_atlantis_936am_1720-1835_rickdane_stevenbishop-gh.mp3 A bit of lightning static on this recording, but Rick and Steve sound to be having a good time, announcing as broadcasting to Liverpool, Warrington, Runcorn and East Manchester from Friday to Monday.
1987_06_26_fri_atlantis_936am_1230-1540_stevenbishop_rickdane-gh648.mp3 A Friday afternoon broadcast with Steve Bishop and Rick Dane.  Steve has a competition for listeners at around 1330.  The last 4 day weekend before the station attempted 7 day broadcasts.
1987_07_03_fri_atlantis_936am_1515-1705_signoff_stevenbishop-gh623.mp3 Steven Bishop signs off the Friday broadcast.
1987_07_04_sat_atlantis_936am_1115-1240_mikehayes_rickdane-gh623.mp3 A recording of new presenter Mike Hayes
1987_07_05_sun_atlantis_936am_0940-1140_mikehayes_stevebishop_freeradio_show-gh623.mp3 In this recording, Steven Bishop hosts a Free Radio Show from 10am
1987_07_09_thu_atlantis_936am_1325-1430_rickdane_stevenbishop-gh623.mp3 Part of a Thursday broadcast, as the station attempt to operate seven days per week.

After getting 11 days into their new 7 day per week schedule, Radio Atlantis found the DTI was taking too much interest, and on Monday 13th July 1987 they suffered a raid. The following recordings made near Blackpool are interesting as they include lengthy Sunday 12th and Monday 13th pieces of regular programming, culminating at 4pm on Monday with the station theme tune slowing down and the transmitter leaving the air as the DTI had arrived at the location.

The next recording has the station returning to the air at 11am on Tuesday morning, 14th July, using a temporary transmitter, with Steven Bishop and Rick Dane giving details of the previous day's incident where they had lost their transmitter, studio equipment and records. They promised to be back to full broadcasting on Friday, which indeed they were. Test music was heard during Friday morning, and Steven Bishop signed the station on at 11am.  They operated through to 5pm with a makeshift studio and other shows from Rick Dane and Andy Davis. Some audio dropouts were noted, suggesting that the shows were all being played pre-recorded tapes.

1987_07_12_sun_atlantis_936am_0950-1200_stevenbishop_freeradioshow-gh664.mp3 In the days of operating seven days per week, the station started a two hour Sunday morning Free Radio Show featuring free radio extracts and news, normally hosted by Steven Bishop. Recorded near Blackpool.
1987_07_12_sun_atlantis_936am_1200-1410_stevenbishop_rickdane-gh664.mp3 The rest of the Steven Bishop show from above, and handover to Rick Dane.
1987_07_12_sun_atlantis_936am_1410-1615_rickdane-gh664.mp3 Rick Dane hosts a Sunday afternoon show.
1987_07_13_mon_atlantis_936am_1235-1410_rickdane_andydavis_stevenbishop-gh664.mp3 Andy Davis makes a triumphant return to the air after 4 years, but the station gets raided later in the afternoon.
1987_07_13_mon_atlantis_936am_1410-1600_stevenbishop-gh664.mp3 Just as the station theme tune was playing at 4pm, the DTI raid the station. The power can be heard being switched off as the record slows down before the transmitter cuts off.  The recording suffers from tv interference towards the end.
1987_07_14_tue_atlantis_936am_1055-1230_stevenbishop_day_after_raid-gh664.mp3 Radio Atlantis returned to the air at 11am the following morning with a temporary transmitter and taped programmes, and after some continuous music Steven Bishop and Rick Dane tell the story about what happened during the raid the previous afternoon. The recording suffers from TV interference in the latter half of the recording.
1987_07_17_fri_atlantis_936am_1050-1250_signon_with_stevenbishop-gh664.mp3 Following some test music, the station theme was heard at 11am and Steven Bishop signs on.  There are some dropouts and variable audio levels from their brand new studio.  Complaints were made by the station that they didn't have many records left after the DTI took everything.  Steven Bishop was also asking for donations of any tape and record decks to keep the station running.
1987_07_17_fri_atlantis_936am_1250-1500_stevenbishop_andydavis-gh664.mp3 Steven Bishop hands over to Andy Davis who does a couple of hours before Rick Dane takes over.  There is some local lightning static affecting the recording.
1987_07_17_fri_atlantis_936am_1500-1705_rickdane_andydavis_stevenbishop_signoff-gh664.mp3 Rick only does one hour and Andy Davis fills the final hour of transmission before Steve Bishop does the signoff off at 5pm. Again, some audio dropouts and a lot of static from lightning at this time.
1987_07_19_sun_atlantis_936am_0950-1100_mikehayes_stevenbishop_raid_information-gh647.mp3 During the Free Radio Show on Sunday 19th July, Steven Bishop runs through the details of the previous Monday's raid. There is also some other free radio information about Merseyside during the show.
1988_01_29_fri_atlantis_1197am_1420-1506_rickdane-gh658.mp3 New Feb 2021 Rick Dane on a Friday afternoon in January after the station had returned to a four day weekend. This signal was very strong and recorded near Blackpool from 1197kHz.
1988_01_29_fri_atlantis_1197am_1615-1705_rickdane_to_signoff-gh658.mp3 New Feb 2021 Again recorded near Blackpool, Rick Dane signs off the 1197kHz Friday afternoon broadcast at 5pm.
1990_02_00_sun_atlantis_1197am_1000-1045_signon_with_rickdane-gh.mp3 A Sunday sign on from Rick Dane in February 1990, possibly in the latter months of 252m with mainly continuous music, adverts and jingles. The station was later only heard on FM 99.4MHz. Steven Bishop reads out the previous week's competition winners
1990_06_27_wed_atlantis_1197am_0800-0945_tonyscott_stevenbishop-gh.mp3 A mid-week sign on by Tony Scott at 8am and then into the Steven Bishop show.  Possibly one of the last weeks the station was regularly on MW 1197kHz.  Although nice quality audio, sadly the recording suffers from a large amount of local electrical interference.  Possibly the last Atlantis 252m recording in our archive.

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