Radio 270

In those days we all used to listen to Radio 270 "broadcasting from three and half miles off the Scarborough, Yorkshire, coast". The station was bankrolled by Wilf Proudfoot, a local supermarket magnate and occasional Tory MP for Cleveland. Wilf's nephew, Keith, was in the same form as me ('4 Science D' or something), and had inherited some of his uncle's business acumen. He ran a racket selling sweets to those of us who had been too lazy to buy them on the way into school, or needed credit terms to cover their cost (4 for a penny). Keith's heavies would deal with those who couldn't pay in the Pinfold after dark. (A'm kiddin.) He specialized in 'Midget Gems', and was one himself.

I remember staying up until midnight on the night of 14 August 1967 when the Marine Broadcasting Offences Bill became law to record the dying moments of Radio 270 on my 4-track Fidelity Playmaster tape recorder. For a while I was 'active' in the North East Free Radio Association run by Tony Rounthwaite of Jesmond - although this was probably more in the hope of meeting girls than out of a commitment to libertarian conservatism.

I remember Radio 270 got its hands on a pre-release copy of Traffic's Hole in my Shoe which it played every other record for days and propelled towards No 2 in the charts:

I climbed on the back of a giant albatross / Which flew through a crack in the cloud / To a place where happiness reigned all year round / And music played ever so loudly.

Apparently Wilf Proudfoot became a hypnotist in later life.

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