This web site is an affectionate tribute to Radio West, Bristol’s first commercial radio station. It broadcast from just before 6 a.m. on Tuesday 27 October 1981, to a few minutes after midnight on Sunday 8 September 1985. In those four short years, it never had fewer than a quarter of a million regular listeners, played home to many of the great and the good of British radio, launched many successful careers, and made some pretty big mistakes!
Here you can read about West’s presenters and journalists and hopefully find where they are now. Relive the 1980s with some authentic commercials (take AIDS as part of a calorie-controlled diet) and some pictures showing the fashions (?) of the time. Take a trip down St. Augustine’s Reach to the wild and wacky Watershed, part of the then newly-refurbished Bristol Harbour. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch the World Wine Fair next door! But more than anything, relive radio as it was when stations had their own characters, and before they became part of corporate machines. West introduced me to music I would never have known otherwise, through presenters who knew their stuff, and its excellent Sunday night classical music programme did more to inspire my love of classical music than anything on Radio 3.
So dig in and enjoy. This is a labour of love, and not the product of exhaustive research: if there are mistakes, I humbly apologise, and beg you to tell me. Please e-mail me here: also could you please let me know if you have any more information or, particularly, audio. I did “work” at Radio West for a few weeks in late 1982/early 1983, but otherwise have no connection with it or any of its successor companies. And if any of the sounds offend, please e-mail me, or use our contact form and I will gladly remove them.
Please note that this site refers to Bristol's first commercial radio station, which is no longer broadcasting. I cannot supply memorabilia (including car stickers) and sadly neither can I give information about music played recently on stations with the same name! But thanks for your interest.
29.7.2014 Update to Trevor Fry page
30.5.2014 Update to Paul Phear page
21.7.2013 Update to Dave Glass sound files.
28.5.2013 Updates to About Radio West, Bryan Chalker, Chris Criddle, Roger Day, John Ford, Jon Taylor.
15.9.2012 Betty's Burgers advert added
10.11.2012 Tooki Garrett, Chris Yates and Lorna Morgan changed.