ILR In Kings Lynn & West Norfolk

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Before KLFM opened the the area was served entirely by the BBC.  BBC Radio Norfolk opened on September 11th 1980 from studios in Norwich and transmitters sited near Norwich at Postwick (855 kHz / 351m 1.0 kW medium wave) and Tacolneston (95.1 MHz 5.7 kW VHF / FM).  A 0.15 kW medium wave transmitter was built at Kings Lynn to relay programmes to West Norfolk on 1602 kHz (187 meters).  In 1982 this was uprated to 0.25 kW and the frequency changed to 873 kHz (344 meters) medium wave. 

In 1984 a 4.2 kW VHF transmitter at Great Massingham was also added to serve West Norfolk on 96.7 MHz , though this frequency was changed in 1986 to 104.4 MHz due to the re-organisation of the VHF 'sub-bands' which not only provided more frequencies for local radio stations but also separated areas of the dial where BBC local and Independent Local Radio stations would be positioned.  The frequency of 96.7 would once again be used when a new station took to the air some years later...

As an alternative to the programmes from the BBC, residents of West Norfolk could also hear 'out of area' radio stations if they carefully tuned around.  The ILR station, Radio Broadland, in Norwich had come on air on 1st October 1984 on 97.6 FM (102.4 after 1986) and 1152 kHz medium wave, and across the county border in Peterborough was nearby Hereward Radio on 95.7 (102.7 after 1986) and 1332 medium wave.  But there was no station actually based in Kings Lynn.

KL-FM Logo
A Bright New Logo
For A Brand New
Radio Station
KLFM 96.7, the first radio station to exclusively serve West Norfolk, launched at 8.00am on Wednesday l st July 1992.  Station Manager, Peter Kingham, launched KLFM successfully on the target date that was set in the application to the Radio Authority.  Managing Director Stewart Francis said "I am delighted to have achieved our target date and this is a tribute to the hard work of all our staff and management in King's Lynn".

KLFM was launched as part of the ten 'Mid Anglia Radio PLC' group' which also comprised CN-FM in Cambridge and Newmarket and Hereward Radio in Peterborough.  By 1994 This group would later be absorbed into the much larger GWR group.  East Anglian Radio which comprised of Radio Broadland in Norwich and SGR (Suffolk Group Radio) in Suffolk (previously known as the separate stations - Radio Orwell and Saxon Radio) also got swallowed up by GWR some time later.  (The GWR Group itself merged with the Capital Radio group in 2005!)  KLFM was split off by GWR and sold to the UKRD Radio Group - So lots of mergers and take-overs then!  But on with the launch day story...

The station launch was supported by a massive promotional campaign, which included a colour leaflet mailed to 100,000 homes in West Norfolk, local newspaper advertising, posters, bus advertising and a tour of all towns and many villages in West Norfolk by the station's outside broadcast unit. In addition new KLFM listeners had the opportunity to win £6,000 in cash and a holiday in the USA as part of the launch campaign.

The Managing Director, Stewart Francis said "This massive promotional campaign will ensure KLFM has the biggest possible audience from day one. Our goal is to achieve market leadership in radio in West Norfolk from the commencement of broadcasting. We shall be broadcasting to a potential audience of nearly 200,000 people of which we expect 35% to listen to KLFM"


On the station's opening the MP for North West Norfolk, Henry Bellingham, wrote:  "It gives me the greatest pleasure to welcome the launch of KLFM 96.7. Ever since the advent of independent local radio, King's Lynn and West Norfolk have been missing out by not having their own local radio station. I do feel that every community needs its own genuinely local independent station, and that is why your first broadcast will he the cause of much rejoicing throughout King's Lynn and West Norfolk."

In KLFM's launch notes the station announced that "KLFM is part of Mid Anglia Radio, a completely independent group with no axe to grind. We need help and comments to make sure that your radio station meets your needs exactly. So why not contact us straight away: tell us exactly what you think of the radio station.  Remember, KLFM is your radio station!  The address was: P.O. Box 77, 18 Blackfriars Street, King's Lynn, Norfolk  PE30 1 NN  Tel: 0553 772777  Fax: 0553 767200 (News)  Fax: 0553 766453 (Sales)

PETER BALDWIN of The Radio Authority stated:  "The introduction of ILR into this area is in keeping with the Radio Authority's plan to plug the remaining 'gaps' in ILR coverage in the UK, and to extend the range of choice available to radio listeners.  The Authority decided that KLFM was the best applicant to provide a genuine local service for the King's Lynn area and 1 am certain, therefore, that 1 speak for staff and members alike in wishing KLFM every success".  Peter Baldwin, Chief Executive, The Radio Authority.


The station's Chief Engineer was Jim Warrack.  The transmitter used by KLFM was located at Great Massingham (near to the BBC Radio Norfolk transmitter on 104.4 - though I believe that they both share the same site), 10 miles East of King's Lynn. The transmitter was supplied by National Transcommunications Ltd, transmitting in stereo on 96.7 MHz VHF / FM, with a radiated power of 2.5 kW.  As was the trend with many new ILR stations from the 1990's onwards maximum power was radiated in the vertical plane (car radio aerials and portable radios tend to use vertical aerials) with a 6 dB reduction in the horizontal plane (fixed rooftop aerials for hi-fi systems tend to be installed with the elements in a horizontal position).  In this case Great Massingham radiated 2.0 kW Vertical and 0.5 kW Horizontal - presumably because not that many listeners bother with proper rooftop aerials most of the power is concentrated in the vertical to benefit the portable and car radio users.  Some years later the horizontal power was raised to 1.0 kW providing 3.0 kW total.

Coverage Map
The KLFM Broadcasting Area.

The studios of KLFM were linked to Great Massingham by British Telecom digital stereo circuits, KLFM studios incorporated the latest technology of the day, with CD players and digital audio tape machines.  Commercials and station jingles were played from a digital hard disc system supplied by a Norfolk company Barrcode. This combined computer and digital audio technology to provide an extremely flexible method of recording and broadcasting high quality stereo audio.

As Head of Presentation Dave King's was responsible for the music that played on the station, Dave used the infamous "Selector", a computer which scheduled the entire KLFM music library so that a variety of material is broadcast.  The majority of this music would be broadcast either from compact disc or digital "DAT" tape, a form of recording near perfect digital signals on to tape, then the nearest thing to being able to record onto a CD!

Dave was also responsible for the contents of each programme, the music, the questions and the local information.  KLFM programmes were designed to be entertaining, informative and above all, local to West Norfolk.  As they said - "KLFM is the sound of West Norfolk and is your radio station!"

[In 2005 KLFM uses the very latest digital technology for its broadcasts - All the music, including the commercials and station jingles and announcements are stored on the RCS Master Control computer. This makes it much easier to find records and prevents problems with skipping CD's or broken tapes!  All this is controlled and selected from several computerised 'touch-screens'.]

The Stations presenters were as follows, and the descriptions given are taken from KLFM's publicity material:

A new alarm clock is at the top of Tony West's shopping list as he joins KLFM Tony will be presenting the KLFM Breakfast Show from 6 till 10am each weekday morning, aiming to put a smile on your face at whatever time you start your day.

Local news, weather, sport and traffic are the key ingredients of the KLFM Breakfast mix, along with the best music from the past 30 years - all hosted by one of the most experienced radio presenters around. Tony started his broadcasting career in the East of England before moving to national radio. Now he's looking forward to brightening up your day right here in West Norfolk on KLFM 96.7.


Peter's been hard atwork at KLFM for the past 3 months - that's because the man who'll take you through the middle of the day from 1 10am fill 2pm also doubles up as KLFM FM's station manager. Its been time well spent for Peter, enabling him to make contact with many of the people who'll be contributing in one way or another to his programme.

As well as playing all that great music, Peter will be tackling issues of local concern in this show and also reporting on some of the many events happening in the area. Peter has lived in Wisbech for a number of years and says he's really looking forward to broadcasting to a part of the world he considers home.


Whatever time you head home from school or work you can expect the brightest journey home with Dave King.  Dave's on the air each weekday between 2 and 6pm playing some of the best songs of the past and present and taking you through the afternoon and early evening.

As usual expect a full round up of events and activities in the KLFM area, as well as the daily school call when your class, school or even teacher con get a mention. After 4pm keep in touch with the news of the day and plot the safest course home with the most comprehensive traffic service. Dave comes to KLFM with over 8 years radio experience behind him, not just as a DJ. He actually started his career as a trainee engineer and still occasionally carries out an emergency repair should things break down!

Tony, Peter and Dave will be taking you through each weekday on KLFM but the entertainment continues 24 hours of each day. Here's just a few of the programmes and presenters to listen out for:

DAVID HAMILTON: 'The Diddyman' with hits and happenings from yesteryear every Saturday Lunchtime.

JIMMY SAVILE - With SAVILE'S TRAVELS: Sir James with the show that entertains millions every Sunday lunchtime.

Publicity Photo
Station Manager Peter Kingham with, Tony West and Head Of Presentation Dave King at Southgate

JIVE ALIVE: Mick and Sarah Jane with the definitive new music programme every Sunday at 2.00.

THE GREAT AMERICAN MUSIC SHOW: Catch a flavour of the American West with the show that's more than just a country programme. Every weekday evening with Warren Davies, Terry McKenna and West Norfolk's very own Mervyn J Futter.

DANCE AND SOUL. From the classic h its of the Motown and Atlantic eras through the sweet sound of Philadelphia to the wave of dance, KLFM will have it all. Steve Alien and Chris Brown are your soul and dancemasters.

THE NETWORK CHART SHOW: Only one chart show is always accurate... and now you can hear it in West Norfolk... David 'Kid' Jensen counts down the only chart that counts in full from 4pm every Sunday.

KLFM, the sound of West Norfolk promised claasic hits 24 hours a day.  The hits of yesterday and today, the great songs of the past three decades and the best of the current top 30. Music was promised from popular artists such as Phil Collins, Tina Tuner, Elton John, George Michael, Paul Young, Cher, Dire Straits, Prince, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley. Whether a child of the sixties, seventies, eighties or nineties, something was promised for everyone.
KLFM Identity

NEW MUSIC was also promised in programmes such as Sundays Jive Alive along with programmes for fans of dance, jazz and country musicl.

LOCAL NEWS  - KLFM FM broadcast its own hourly news bulletins throughout the day from a dedicated news team that would keep listeners in touch with all the local stories as they happenned.  National and international news, as with many ILR stations came from IRN (Independent Radio News) to which KLFM would also contribute.  Peter Robinson was the KLFM senior reporter. He was born and brought up in the Wisbech area and joined KLFM from the Wisbech Standard.

COMMUNITY BILLBOARD - Throughout the day the KLFM community billboard broadcast news of events and activities both large and small in West Norfolk.

SPORT - Local sport was covered on KLFM with a  results service and a  sports desks each morning and evening and at 10pm each night.

TRAFFIC - KLFM travel news came from AA Roadwatch.

WEATHER -  Accurate weather forecasts are vital in a coastal and agricultural areas, so the KLFM weather service was compiled specially by the Norwich Weather Centre.  Weather updates were carried every half hour throughout the day and broadcast severe weather warnings as soon as received.
6am - Tony West

10am - Peter Kingham

2pm - Dave King

6pm - Heading Home

7pm - Great American Music Show
Country Hits with:
Mervyn J Futter - Mon.
Terry McKenna - Tue/Wed.
Warren Davies - Thur/Fri.

10pm - The late Show

2am - Non Stop Music
6am - Dave King

8am - Paul Baker

12am - David Hamilton

2pm - Mandy Walker

6pm - Steve Allen - Soul Classics

9pm - Hospital link up

10pm - The late Show

2am - Non Stop Music
6am - Craig Morris

8am - Paul Baker

12am - Jimmy Savile - Savile's Travels

2pm - Jive Alive - Mick & Sarah Jane

4pm - Network Chart Show - with
David 'Kid' Jensen

7pm - Chris Brown - The Dance Show

9pm - Harry Giltrap - Modern Jazz Club

10pm - The Late Show

2am - Non Stop Music

THE JINGLE PACKAGE - Dallas, famous for oil barons, its massive airport, the Dallas Cowboys NFL team and, of course, JR, is also the acknowledged world centre for the composing and recording of radio station jingles.  This all started back in the 1940's when a Dallas radio orchestra recorded a signature tune for its own station. The theme was quickly syndicated around the country and a new jingle making industry was created.

Two top studios create jingles for use worldwide for stations throughout the USA, Australasia and Europe.  KLFM 96.7 joined the many other radio stations that broadcast some of the best jingles in the world.  KLFM commissioned a special selection to reflect the style of the radio station and create the sound of West Norfolk.

To some it may seem ridiculous to go to such lengths simply to identify a radio station. But often jingles are played at least 150 times a day, that's or 54,750 times a year, so they must be of extremely high quality.  The trend for many radio stations in the 2000's, however, is to have very few jingles or drop them all together - the GWR group for example favoured 'sweepers' - a spoken rather than a sung message or announcement.

Dane King
Head Of Presentation - Dave King

KLFM was represented at The King's Lynn Festival and if you were visiting the Festival you could enter the special KLFM/Festival holiday competition  (details were on the back of your Festival ticket) to win a fabulous holiday to Ireland.

KLFM would be taking off from Kings Lynn and travelling around the region, visiting Offices, factories and events and meeting its listeners.  The KLFM Roadshow played music, conducted interviews and obtained news and views directly from the audience.

KLFM Commercial Sales Department
The sales operation was headed by Paul Gardner, together with Richard Tree and Sarah Harding.  Paul Gardener commented "Radio advertising is new to the area and I'm delighted to see how many businesses have taken the opportunity to be on air when we launch this spectacular radio station on 1 st July. We wouldn't have this support unless there was a genuine need for KLFM - we hear about it wherever we go. From the response so far I am totally confident KLFM 96.7 will be listened to and enjoyed by a huge audience, providing a totally unique advertising opportunity for all kinds of business.  We are completing production work for our first clients and I  believe we have some superb commercials that will get effective resu Its for our advertisers. You'll have to listen to find out who's on air but you'll hear about everything from ice cream to cars, videos to airports on KLFM 96.7"

KLFM established a listeners committe comrised of personalities representing all walks of life in West Norfolk which were to be the  link between the radio station and the community.  The KLFM committee aimed to relay the interests of the King's Lynn area to the professionals running the station.  Simon Ing, a chartered accountant and magistrate who had lived at Lynn for 25 years, was the chairman of the committee.  He and fellow committee member Irene MacDonald, general manager of Lynn Arts Centre and Lynn Festival, were also directors of Mid Anglia Radio, KLFM's parent company.

Mr. Ing said the committee had had a useful period of consultation. 'We have been able to give an insight into the Lynn area and what goes on in the district" "The needs of the people here have been very important to KLFM in setting up the station", he said. Mrs. Macdonald said: 'West Norfolk is a very big community and improved communications are vital to all of us involved in public and business affairs.  "An example is the need to let people know more about leisure opportunities, especially in the rural areas", she said.

The committee pressed for community involvement and put forward ideas for setting up a network of community reporters.  It also organised a survey of young people to find out the sort of programmes they would like the station to broadcast.  Other members of the committee included Ian Stockwell, leader of Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council. John Storrs media relations manager for the pen makers Berol.  David Llewellyn from Radio Lynn, the town's hospital radio station.  David Hall, West Norfolk youth and community officer. Canon Michael Yorke Vicar of St. Margaret's Church. Alison Croose, chief reporter of the Eastern Daily Press at Lynn. Inspector Malcolm Brown alternating with Sgt Peter Thompson from the police community relations department.

When KLFM took to the airwaves at 8am on 1 st July 1992, it was a first for King's Lynn and West Norfolk because KLFM 96.7 was the first independent radio station to be based in King's Lynn and to be dedicated to serving the town and its surrounding area.

Although KLFM remains the only radio station to be based in Kings Lynn, it is now part of a larger radio group called UKRD.  The station retains its great local appeal, although the programme line-up is rather different today than it was in 1992 of course!  Visit KLFM from the link below, or find out more about UKRD.


An Appeal

Hi,  My name is Michael, I am 15.  My grandfather was Peter Kingham.  Sadly as you may know he passed away in early October last year.  I'm just wondering if there are any recordings or photo's or anything I that could be sent to me and my family just as a reminder to him.  Being 15 I never heard any of his radio show's but I'd love to hear them sometime as I am a budding musician myself.  I know it would also mean a lot to my mum who is always telling me stories of him and the record shop and radio station.

I know this may not be being sent to the best person possible but if you know of anyone who may have some photo's or recording of him at the station could you forward on this message with my email address.  It is coming to a very difficult time in the year now for all of my family and I think it would be wonderful if I could make some kind of Video using any snippets of his radio show's and some images of him.

Cheers, Michael.
(September 27th 2009)

Thank you for your email Michael.  I am very sorry to read about your family's loss. I did not know that Peter had passed away. Please accept our condolences.

Although I only heard KLFM on the few occasions that I visited East Anglia from the Midlands together with a few DX opportunities, but I appreciate that Peter helped make KLFM into an excellent local radio station. I am afraid that I don't have any recordings of KLFM programming, perhaps one or two jingles *maybe* but that's not what you are looking for.

If anyone reading this can help with recordings and memorabilia of Peter Kingham on KLFM then please contact us at MDS975 and we will pass on the material to Michael.

Mike, www.mds975.co.uk  -  Contact me

Kind reply from Jim Warrack:

"I was very sad to read of Peter's death. I was heavily involved in the building and technical operation of KLFM. As you will recall KLFM was part of the Mid Anglia Radio Group which grew out of Hereward Radio. Next year sees the 30th anniversary of the launch of Hereward and we are in the process of organising a reunion next July. Please tell Michael I will ask our people if any one has any memorabilia of Peter.

Again my condolences to him and his family. Jim Warrack. www.paddockenterprises.co.uk " 9th October 2009.

Kind reply from Dave King:

"Hi Mike, I have just read your KLFM page with great affection.  I was so sad to hear about the death of Peter and read the note from his grand son. We are currently trying to put together a reunion of all presenters and staff from the old Hereward Radio days, of which of course Peter played a big part of. I would like if possible to get in touch with Peter's family and hopefully between all of us from Hereward and KLFM we can find some things, I know I have picture somewhere pre launch of KLFM.

Hope to hear from you soon. Kind regards, Dave King." 13th October 2009.

Thank you to Jim and Dave for their kind replies - it really is very much appreciated.


KLFM       UKRD Radio Group

Compiled May 2005, maintained October 2009

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