Essex Still The Home of Radio

Flickr Radio Caroline | Britain's most famous pirate radio station

As everybody in Essex should know, radio was invented here. Just over 100 years ago, on 14th February, 1922, the first broadcast was made from an ex-army hut in Writtle.

Radio soon became mainstream, first as a way to communicate messages, and then as a way to broadcast to the public – radio as we know it was born.

Radio was soon regulated and controlled by the government, when then gave rise the the second wave of radio – Pirate Radio. Radio Caroline, which was moored in international waters just off the Essex coast, began broadcasting in 1964. Unlike other stations, Radio Caroline could play any song they liked, and they liked a lot of great rock music, much of which is now considered “Classic Rock” and is still played daily on dedicated stations such as Absolute Classic Rock. Radio Caroline still lives on thanks to the Internet.

Guglielmo Marconi

Today, pirate radio stations such as Blitz Radio, Charm FM, Cyndicut FM and Demand FM, can all be picked up in Essex.

Local independent radio has moved beyond pirate stations though, and Essex is by some considered to be a frontrunner in dance and urban music, with stations such as FunkySX (103.7FM, and online) blasting out amazing beats all day and night. In fact, the Essex dance scene has also seen great acts such as Farley Jack Master Funk playing in Pitsea – this is the man who brought House Music to the UK, and not to be confused with the Funk Master game which so many people enjoy nowadays!

Of course, mainstream radio is still really the best in Essex, with stations such as Radio Essex, Heart Essex, Dream 100 FM, Phoenix FM, Saint FM 94.7 / Maldon Community Radio, Leisure FM – LFM East Braintree, and of course Funky SX, all having loyal fanbases across the county.

Radio may be 100 years old, but it is certainly not dead and forgotten – it still brings much joy to millions of people all across the country. In fact, radio helps to fill a gap that streaming music services cannot – a good radio DJ talks to listeners and for many people this provides company when alone in the house. Radio today is more than just playing music, it builds communities, and it all started in Essex.

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