Saturday 28 April 2012


I visit Coventry.

This place has quite a story to tell: some of it is more than a little sad and all too evident in walking the streets. Let's not dwell on that - it's all well known.

Two very high points: the Transport Museum (which leads very quickly to a sad story if you let it). Coventry was home to more motor and bicycle companies than even people who know what they are talking about could guess at.

This car was a recent acquisition. It had been sat in someone's garage for aeons - I especially liked the cat pawprints on the windshield. I certainly hadn't known that. These ladies had a lot to say in and around Coventry. Nearly all the industry was given over to war work in 14-18 and 39-45, and nearly all the workers were women.

The second really good thing was Taylor John's House. What a great bar. What terrific music.

Tuesday 10 April 2012


Took a walk in the nice weather from Cwmrheidol up the steep hill to Pontarfynach.

As you cross the Vale of Rheidol Railway, there are some super spots to get pictures of the locos really labouring up the last few furlongs of ascent.

Catch 47 seconds of video of the recently coal re-equipped loco working past me.

Saturday 7 April 2012

45 minutes of Rapid Radio

Rapid Radio is described elsewhere.

Sometimes I just dropped 45 minutes of the broadcast onto one side of a C90. This one is from early evening, 18th October 1991: around 32.50 you can hear the DJ imploring his successor, due in 30m, to be punctual.

Track listing

The DJ's speed and accent, coupled with my incompete knowledge of the genre, make this a little incomplete and unreliable.
Italic indicates uncertainty - corrections welcomed.
Time Title Artist
0.24 Marksman Shuggo Banton
1.43 Body workshop General Pecos
3.51 Watch your speech Dirtsman
7.18 ??? ???
10.15 Dirt Heart Cocoa Tea and Ninjaman
12.04 (played twice) Respect Due Mighty Diamonds
16.20 (played twice) See some breast Little Meeky and Daddy Meeky
21.36 Prove Reggie Stepper
23.56 Remember Thriller U
26.27 Simia Pinchers
29.14 Hypnotic Love Phillip Leo and C.J.Lewis
32.50 Here I Come Again Nerious Joseph
35.32 Fire Burning Marcia Griffiths
37.23 Warning Tony Rebel
39.47 Poor People Courtney Melody
41.32 Which One Of Them She Love Shabba Ranks
43.08 Call me Ken Boothe
44.23 It's over Thriller U

Thanks to TechnoSauce for technical support.

Friday 6 April 2012

Rapid Radio

Before mobile phones were ubiquitous, there was a wave of pirate ragga and dancehall radio stations in Leeds (& probably elsewhere), centred principally on Chapeltown. In the late 80s and early 90s, you could scan the dial up from 100MHz and find lots of them, often with a life expectancy of days or weeks. Head and shoulders above them all on 105.3FM stood Rapid Radio.

RR lasted longer and had a reliability far in excess of the others. We suspect the transmission gear was moved from house to house around Leeds 7 to avoid apprehension, although John reckoned that the forces of Laura Norder were far happier with the boys running a radio station than being on the streets looking for something else to do. They got as far as jingles (Rapid Radio – broadcasting from the roof of Chapeltown Police Station) and a schedule of sorts, although listening to DJs wondering where the hell the next, very late, guy had got to was a regular laugh.

Usually they just played stuff they liked - you could tell when they liked something especially, as they just played it again. And again.

I owe my liking of Tinga Stewart, Shabba Ranks, Ninjaman and a host of others to RR. My greatest triumph was ringing in for a request for Bea, who was 7 at the time; one flaky conversation, believe me. After a considerable delay, we got “This song going out to a girlchild called Beatrice”, and they played something I had not asked for – but she I and thought it was well worth the wait.

Keenies will like to learn that I have some cassette tapes of RR from 1991 which I am digitising for publication hereabout. Big thanks to TechnoSauce for technical input in this complicated operation.