TV Cream

The Others

Atlantic 252

Coming back to you just after these adverts with the great sound of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons...INEVITABLE culmination of post-Rock’n’Roll Years eulogisation of bygone ‘golden age’ when radio was radio and played your favourites all day long, in the form of pseudo-transatlantically-hued occupation of whistle-friendly Long Wave frequency by zany ‘character’ DJs churning out Yank-skewed ‘classic rock’ twenty four hours a day. Novelty of hearing Turtles singles that didn’t chart in the UK exactly how they would have sounded on the radio when not charting in 1965 soon wore off, and nobody much┬ánoticed it after that.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Matthew Rudd

    August 1, 2009 at 10:17 am

    “Mine is the first voice you’ll ever hear … on Atlantic 252!” Gary King. Bless him. Was quickly on Radio 1, then joined Virgin. The only presenter to work for all three of the major national popular music networks.

    252 was okay. The jocks speak fondly of it because of the tax situation they were in and the high-rise desks they operated, meaning that they delivered five hour shifts while standing up, which added an element of “personal appearance” performance to their shows. The “comedy” names grated after a while – Dusty Rhodes, Jo King etc – but for a relevant pop service interspersed with just the right type and quantity of crunch n roll DJ talk, it was very good. It did give Cadbury’s Boost bars for a long time, too.

  2. Could You Be More Pacific?

    August 1, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I once got a phone call in the middle of the afternoon which went something like “Hi, this is Paul (maybe?) from Atlantic 252! Can you give me the word to win?!”

    I replied with a polite “No” and put the phone down. I wondered if it was real or a windup, but erred on the side of caution. Never listened to it, so I guess I’ll never know.

  3. Matthew Rudd

    August 1, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    They did have the phrase that pays – “I listen to Long Wave Radio Atlantic 252” – which would win the lucky caller a grand. I’m trying to remember what the competition was which involved a “delicious” Cadbury’s Boost bar as the consolation prize.

  4. Could You Be More Pacific?

    August 1, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    That might have been it! So it was real! To think I missed out on a grand.

  5. Glenn Aylett

    August 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    It’s your long wave, this station became briefly popular in Cumbria between 1993 and 1995 when Radio 1 was Bannisterised and casual pop fans had nowhere else to go until local station CFM opened and took most of 252’s listeners. However, the whole thing seemed to be on a tape loop- the same chart hits popped up every hour- and people wondered if the station had real presenters as the whole thing sounded as if it was recorded. 252’s death in 2001 was little mourned.

  6. GeoNeil

    November 5, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    I quite liked 252 when it was around (I think the frequency carries RTE Radio 1 nowadays, the Irish Radio 4) I remember the music being a bit more modern than the summary suggests (chart music of the day) was listened to by a few of us over in the North East even when it had an actually independent Metro FM to compete with.

  7. Swatch

    May 10, 2010 at 12:07 am

    252 was great. The only station in the UK that played early 1990’s hair metal from the US. Damn Yankees, Bad English, Mr Big…the hits just kept on coming.

    Reception was fine in the West Midlands, but after seven o’clock, when they had to turn their signal strength down for unspecified reasons, it was unlistenable.

    Charlie Wolf (DJ) and Andrew Turner (News) in the mornings were by far the funniest breakfast duo of the time, putting Simon Mayo and Rod Whatever-His-Name-Was well in the shade.

  8. Matty

    July 6, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Atlantic 252 was fairly popular amongst “the kids” in Scotland in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Radio One being at the fag-end of its “housewives favourite” era before Bannister turned it back into the youth station again. 252 played an awful lot of chart stuff 24 hours with a peculiar side-order of American AOR (I remember hearing Joshua Kadison’s “Jessie” on the station well before it made any chart impact in the UK). I defected back to Radio One around 1992, not least because of the heavy-rotation aspect of the playlist (it was a running joke even amongst its listeners that you’d hear a track on an hourly basis) and the dreadful “whistly” sound quality. I think it fell out of favour in the late ’90s and re-invented itself as a dance station before disappearing.

  9. Glenn A

    July 6, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Matty
    I was based in that no man’s land between Motherwell and Gretna in 1994 where radio reception on FM was very patchy so we had Atlantic 252 on most of the time in the car as there wasn’t much else pop wise to receive. I do recall them being very fond of that Youssou N Dour record and Eurodance.
    252 seemed to do best in areas where there was no ILR competition( most of Cumbria and rural Scotland) or where reception was terrible for other stations( remote areas like the Welsh mountains). However, as I’ve pointed out once Radio 1 totally modernised itself and areas received their ILR station, audience figures plumetted as 252 had mediocre sound quality and a limited playlist>

  10. pessoa

    July 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    DJ Charlie Wolf?In the mid-80s he was on Laser 558, a ship somewhere of East Anglia also playing American-style ‘classic rock’ radio to the South and East England; Arcadia’s ‘Election Day’ ahoy! Anyone else remember this station?

  11. paulus - bangkok

    July 8, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Laser 558 – back when “beatboxes” were as big as a house.
    We used to listen to Electro-dance music on Sunday’s.
    Listening whilst flopping around like fish, on a bit of old kitchen lino trying to break-dance. Sad!
    Even more sad when the local “cortina boys” did wheelspins in the middle of it and we had to breakdance around the burnt hole in the middle.

  12. Richard Davies

    July 30, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I remember 252 being popular when I was at secondary school from 1989 to 1994.

    Reception in the Stockport area was fairly strong, & a friend of the family reckoned you could pick it up in Northern France.

    I can remember some songs that seemed to come round almost too often, The Whole Of The Moon, Easy Like Sunday Morning, Deeply Dippy, & Daydream Believer come to mind.

  13. Glenn A

    March 28, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    It closed in 2001 after one last gap as a dance station , fairly pointless as Radio 1 was devoting most of the weekend to dance on stereo FM and the cities had stations like Kiss, but briefly reappeared as Team Talk, a station for football fans. Sadly Talk Radio was going down this route in 2001, so this folded quickly, and 252 was no more in Britain.

  14. Anthony

    July 1, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Before Atlantic 252 launched there were mentions in the press that it would carry Radio Luxembourg after 7pm on the 252 kHz LW frequency, had it have done this (and closed down the poor fading 208 metres / 1440kHz Medium Wave as well) then I think Radio Luxembourg would have survived, for one it was much easier to receive in the UK and parts of Western Europe at night where it could be received, and secondly it didn’t suffer as badly with poor night time reception on LW either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top