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Radio 390 - Key Dates

Summer 1965

KING Radio Directors commission consultants Allbeury Coombes and Partners to devise a new format and business strategy for the station. On adoption of the recommendations preparations were made for the launch of easy listening (‘sweet music’) format Radio 390

 23rd September 1965

First test transmissions from Radio 390

26th September 1965

Radio 390 begins regular programming at 6.30am


** May 1966

Ted Allbeury, Managing Director of Radio 390 opened negotiations with Mrs. Britt Wadner, owner of the former Scandinavian station Radio Syd, to purchase her radio ship, Cheeta 2  to launch Radio 390 North. Plans also announced to launch a VHF (FM) service for Radio 390 South

21st September 1966

Summonses were served by the Post Office on the owners of Radio 390, Estuary Radio Ltd alleging the illegal use of a radio transmitter on Red Sands Fort in contravention of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.

24th/25th November 1966

Case heard at Longport Magistrates Court, Canterbury when Estuary Radio Ltd was fined for using an unlicensed transmitter inside British territorial waters

25th November 1966

Radio 390 closes at 11pm following the Court’s decision, but lodges an appeal

12th/13th December 1966

Radio 390's appeal against conviction heard by the High Court. The Court ruled (by a majority of 2 to 1) that Red Sands Fort was inside British territorial waters and therefore Radio 390’s transmissions had been illegal.

31st December 1966

Radio 390 resumed broadcasts at midnight, claiming it had new evidence to show that Red Sands Fort was outside British territorial waters.


10th February 1967

Ted Allbeury resigned as Managing Director because he felt the future for Radio 390 was for it to become ship-based.

23rd February 1967

Southend Magistrates heard a total of 28 summonses against Estuary Radio Ltd and its Directors alleging the illegal use of a radio transmitter on Red Sands Fort.

25th February 1967

All defendants found guilty, but this time the station remained on the air pending the outcome of an appeal against its second conviction.

** July 1967

Radio 390's application to be allowed to continue broadcasting on the grounds that the Red Sands Fort was outside territorial limits heard in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division)

28th July 1967

The Court’s judgement ruled that the Fort was within territorial limits and dismissed the station's appeal against its February conviction.

In the light of the Court’s decision Radio 390 finally closed at 5.10pm


Back to Radio 390

Radio 390 returns to the air, 31st December 1966, Ted Allbeury

R 390 returns 31st December 1966 Ted Allbeury.mp3