members of the Lantern Radio team of management and directors
included: Rodney Grant, a North Devonian who had previously held
the position of Executive Accountant with the Press Association and
worked with Peat Marwick Mitchell Management Consultants; Stephen
Oates who had previously run the highly successful community station
Isle Of Wight Radio, which had been held up by the Radio
Authority as an example of how a community radio station should sound;
Simon Maunder and David Rodgers, previously a director at Orchard FM
who made that station an enormous success.
Lantern Radio established offices and studios in a quaint building
named The Light House located at 17 The Market Place in the market town
of Bideford. The building had once been used as the Kingdom Hall
of Jehova's Witnesses.
Lantern Radio proved to be a huge success with the audience with its
well focussed local sound that was based on a broad variety of music,
but with plenty of speech, information and news. I listened to
Lantern Radio during several visits to North Devon and enjoyed the
programmes immensly, and judging by the number of radio sets in the
area tuned to the station, so did a very large section of the
Technically Lantern Radio had two presentation studios, A and B,
together with a separate News Studio all located in the basement
adjacent to the plant room, racks room and record library.
Above the studios and technical areas, on the ground floor, was located
the reception area, sales office, programme planning area, board room,
kitchen and management offices.
The transmitter was located at the television mast at Huntshaw
Cross. The authorised power was 4 kW mixed polarisation, with an
omnidirectional radiation pattern. In practice, however, the power
was 2.5 kW: 2 kW vertical polarisation plus 0.5 kW horizontal
polarisation. The proposed transmitter being an Eddystone 1706/1X
feeding crossed dipole aerials, a system costing around £23,000.
Additional equipment required was a multi-redundancy amplifier, stereo
generator, reserve drive with auto change-over, twin aerial feeders,
telemetry and supervisory systems, audio limiting equipment, audio
monitor panel and jackfield. Together with the installation of the
equipment this would cost around £26,000 bringing the total cost
of the transmitter equipment alone to nearly £50,000 !