The origins of RFM came from two CB-ers who would jam CB channels playing rock music. After a while this pointless activity lost its appeal, and they decided to try to start a rock station on FM called, imaginatively, RFM. Unfortunately neither of them had any ability at transmitter building, so they looked in Exchange & Mart to find a rig. Several transmitters were purchased, but all were of poor technical quality, and this was made worse by the lack of expertise from the RFM crew, who managed to blow 2 of them up!
A test broadcast was attempted from Hampstead Heath, but a rather indiscrete approach resulted in them being confronted by a park warden. They were subsequently chased off a farm in Hertfordshire attempting another test.
Eventually a test transmission was aired on August 14th 1986 and RFM made its first broadcast on the 17th. Announced as 89.7MHz, the transmitter was very poorly designed, and the signal drifted down the band several hundred KHz.
DJs included Dave Fuller, Claire Mansfield and American Dana Jay.
Unfortunately the second planned broadcast did not take place due to a transmitter fault, and RFM was not heard regularly until November 16th, however the broadcasts were still dogged appalling by technical problems. Broadcast were now made from the roofs of council tower blocks.
At the end of December RFM finally recruited an engineer, and technical standards improved rapidly.
Early in 1987 RFM was raided several times, but the new engineering support enabled new transmitters to be built quickly, and the station always returned the following Sunday.
Throughout 1987 the station went from strength to strength, and broadcasts were extended to 14 hours. Live transmissions followed using a studio link.
In September Claire Mansfield left to join Raiders FM, but RFM continued to grow.
Over Christmas 1987 RFM planned an extended broadcast, but the authorities raided the station three times in four days. In spite of this, RFM was back for a New Year broadcast.
In March RFM promoted sponsorship of a runner in the London Marathon. On the day of the race they broadcast live from the route, interviewing spectators on air.
More people joined the station, and several programmes were presented by other well known names from the London pirate scene; Kenny Myers, Bear, and Christopher England all appeared on RFM.
It is believed that RFM closed down in March 1990.
If you have any information on the later days of RFM , or photographs of the station please contact us.
The Radio Eric archive holds the following recording(s) of this station:
If you have any recordings or photographs of this station you can share please get in touch
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