Following the closure of NLR North London Radio, and Christopher Englands Radio AMY, Mr England and my self decided that as we had worked so closely together as NLR and AMY that it would be a good idea to start a new station together using remaining staff from both stations to form a new and bright happy sounding format which we would call HMR / Happy Music Radio.
Because of the high level of modulation and great dependability, one of the three solid state NLR Transmitters was chosen for use as the HMR TX. By now plans were well under way to get the new station on the air. Whilst I sorted out the transmitter and its site to be, Christopher England sorted out the new jingles.
The chosen transmission site was to be a flat on the seventh floor of Grampian House, North Mail Edmonton Green London N9.
As the 1386khz frequency, 217m, that Amy had used was not clear after dark due to interference from a European station, I decided we would use the old NLR Frequency of 1368khz, 219m which at this time was clear by both day and night, and so I set about erecting a quarter wave long wire antenna from the Grampian House location anchored and insulated to a point below, this was to prove to be a great site in as much that the signal would be heard all over north and east London and was a good signal through out most of Essex and parts of the east cost.
So after a few anonymous test transmissions, On Sunday the 15th of July 1979 regular transmissions started. The DJ line up was my self Garry Stevens, Mike St john, Colin Weston, and Alan Scot, all from the former NLR and Christopher England, Martin King, Mark Garard and Ricky Stevens, from the former Radio AMY. HMRs format was based on the wall of sound fast moving sixties offshore radio station Swinging Radio England and the seventies Radio Atlantis. Proving to be very successful with our listeners, HMR was flooded with dedications both by post and telephone.
HMR was the first station where we had used more than one studio for the recording of the programmes, as most of the old AMY jocks recorded there progs at Christopher Englands studio whilst the old NLR jocks recorded theirs at my studio which of course was the old NLR studio. The main reason for this was due to the fact that each jock had grown accustomed to each studio and would sound at their peak that way. One of the funniest things I remember about this radio station was that on both the studio walls right in front of the microphone was a sign saying "BLOODY WELL SOUND HAPPY" mind you it seemed to work because even if someones granny was dying they still did an excellent prog! I guess they just did not want to be dismissed.
After five months of successful broadcasting in early December 1979 I started to turn my attention to allying Radio Tranquillity, a station that had previously been run by Colin Weston who approached me and asked if I would run the station for him in order to keep it on the air for a short time longer. As I had all ready considered closing HMR in favour of the FM band, as by now most of the London pirates had migrated to this spot, but being a die hard and firm believer that we belonged on MW I had resisted this until now! But it was time for that all to change, as we were now about to start Veronica 96.3. At this point we decided to close the station down in favour of Radio Tranquillity, which was to be the last long term MW station before I would give the FM Band my full attention. HMR had been a fun station to run and in many ways was much easier to run than NLR or AMY. This had been due to the fact that we did not have to set up outside for each broadcast to take place on a Sunday and it gave us all a chance to enjoy the easy tasks we each had in order to put HMR on the Air, and giving us all the rest we needed to prepare for things to come.
|Happy Music Radio sticker version 1|
|Happy Music Radio sticker version 2|
|Grampian House transmitter home of HMR|
|HMR transmitter and audio prior to going on air|
|Grampian House transmitter site actually on air, one Sunday in June'79|
To listen to the audio files you will need Real Media Player you can download it here