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With this page, we pay tribute to Eric Haydock, one of the pioneers of free radio on Merseyside,
who from his first station in 1969 until his tragic passing in 2002, fought passionately for free radio.

RADIO FREE LIVERPOOL - 217m (1385kHz to 1389kHz)


Radio Jackie North grew out of Radio Free Liverpool which was one of the very early stations on Merseyside.  According to the birthday shows recordings included below, it began broadcasting on Whit Weekend, in May 1969.  In the early days, the power was very low, and only covered a couple of miles.  In early 1972 a larger transmitter was put into service, and transmissions  operated from fields with around 15 watts. The wavelength announced was 217m, which in 1972 was announced as between 1385kHz and 1389kHz.
In the early years of Radio Free Liverpool, Carl England (aka Dave Simpson) became good friends with Eric and helped with setting up the station in the fields and woods around Liverpool. Carl later recalled some of the locations he was involved at, which included the area near Croxteth Hall Lane, and some close to the M58 at Bickerstaff and Junction 3 for Rainford. A site on the A565 at Ince Blundell Moss Wood caused much confusion for the Home Office, but amusement for Eric and Carl, as the authorities had heard a test from RFL earlier in the day from Woodvale near Fine Jane's Brook, and they continued to search around Halsall Moss for the transmitter which had since moved. Carl was believed to be the only other voice to be heard on Radio Free Liverpool, and only a couple of times, as Eric did most shows himself. Eric didn't think it was worth any others wasting time doing shows when they expected the Home Office to turn up during the broadcasts.
The exact date of the station ceasing broadcasts is not known, but operator Eric Day had by Boxing Day 1976 started another station, Radio Jackie North also announcing 217m. He changed his name on this new station to Rick Dane. Sadly, Eric (real name Eric Haydock) passed away on 16th November 2002.

A report on Radio Free Liverpool from the February 1972 edition of the Cheshire Free Radio Organisation Newsletter.
Radio Free Liverpool operated for a short time on 227m before moving back to 217m
(Click images for full size)

Report on Radio Free Liverpool
in the May 1972 Issue of the
Cheshire Free Radio Organisation Newsletter
Click image for full size and readable version)

Report on Radio Free Liverpool
in the August 1972 Issue of the
Cheshire Free Radio Organisation Newsletter
(Click image for full size readable version)

Part 2 of a report on Radio Free Liverpool
in the August 1972 Issue of the
Cheshire Free Radio Organisation Newsletter
(Click image for full size readable version)

A report on Radio Free Liverpool (and a list of other Free Radio Stations in the Merseyside area)
from the July / August 1972 edition of the Liverpool Free Press.
(Click images for full size)

There were a number of raids in the Liverpool area in late 1972 and as a result Radio Free Liverpool were missing for a long time.
From the April 1973 edition of the Cheshire Free Radio Organisation Newsletter,
comments are made about this, along with a court case.
(Click images for full size)


Radio Free Liverpool Audio Library

1969_06_29_sun_radio_free_liverpool_short_extract.mp3 The earliest recording we have of Radio Free Liverpool is a short extract from late June 1969, only a few weeks after the start of the station.  The audio quality is very poor due to the weak signal at the recording location, but the station only covered a couple of miles at this stage. You can hear Eric just after sign on playing the current number one, which was The Beatles 'Ballad of John and Yoko'.  Eric announces the station as Radio Liverpool.
1972_05_21_sun_radio_free_liverpool_217m_ericday_3rd_birthday.mp3 The third birthday show from a reel to reel tape originally recorded by Eric Day for Dave Simpson. Eric signs the station on for its 3rd Birthday, and tells a brief history of the station, as well as the story of the previous two weeks, when the station was raided by the GPO and the transmitter lost
1972_radio_merseyland_granada_tv_newsday_report_on pirates.mp3 This is the audio of a TV report on pirate radio on Merseyside from around 1972. The interviews are with Bert Williams and Paul Jay of Radio Merseyland, but there is mention of Radio Free Liverpool during a listing of the stations on at the time. The exact date of the report is not known.
1972_08_00_sun_radio_free_liverpool_217m_ericday_airchecks.mp3 Another short, partly airchecked recording of Radio Free Free Liverpool from around July or August 1972.  It starts a bit crackly with the sign-on theme and Eric announcing the station, and then clears up a bit for the rest of the 8 minutes.  The location of the recording is not known.
1972_09_10_sun_radio_free_liverpool_217m-1385am_1300-1500_ericday-EM92.mp3 A nice off air recording of almost an entire two hour broadcast from September 1972. Frequency is announced as between 1385kHz and 1389kHz. Many thanks to Eric Monaghan for this one.
1975_05_18_sun_radio_free_liverpool_217m_ericday_rfl_6th_birthday-pt1.mp3 A recording of part of the 6th birthday broadcast which was sent to Gary by Rick Dane in the late 1990s amongst other cassettes.
1975_05_18_sun_radio_free_liverpool_217m_ericday_rfl_6th_birthday-pt2.mp3 Side 2 of the above cassette

It was during his time operating Radio Free Liverpool in the early 1970's, that Eric also became one of the founding members of the Radio Caroline Roadshow, along with Ronnie Dee, John Shannon, and Carl England (aka Dave Simpson). Eric was involved in the roadshow for several years until he left to start Radio Jackie North in 1976.

The fantastically designed and locally built Radio Caroline Roadshow used in the Merseyside area in the 1970s, with Ronnie Dee at the helm.

A short time before the tragic loss of Eric in 2002, Ronnie began writing his memoirs which would be titled 'The Radio Caroline Roadshow Story'.  Sadly, he never completed his book, as he too passed away less than a year later in September 2003. However on the title page he had dedicated his book to his good friend Eric, and thanks to Carl England (aka Dave Simpson) we thought it would be fitting to reproduce his original script here, in its original unfinished and unedited form. It concludes in November 1975, and includes some very interesting stories about a trip to the mv Mi Amigo that month. Further chapters were never completed due to the unexpected passing of Ronnie.

The Caroline Roadshow Story
Ronnie Dee

Title Page


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Ronnie Dee On The Caroline Roadshow
(Click Images For Full Size)

The Caroline Roadshow Story
Ronnie Dee

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

2003_11_laser_shortwave_davesimpson_ronnie_dee_tribute-ds.mp3 A tribute to Ronnie Dee from Dave Simpson (aka Carl England), and broadcast on Laser International in November 2003. Ronnie had passed away just two months earlier in September 2003. The story includes the history of The Rado Caroline North Roadshow, started by Ronnie Dee. One of the Ronnie extracts includes mention of Eric Day at the bar in the gig. This studio recording is by kind courtesy of Dave.

More photos and memorabilia relating the Radio Caroline Roadshow can be found on our Radio Jackie North page.