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Early days of Highland radio station remembered in new book


By Val Sweeney

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Making Waves recalls the independent years of MFR.
Making Waves recalls the independent years of MFR.

Stories from the early years of the UK’s smallest independent radio station, based in Inverness, are outlined in a new book.

Making Waves takes a nostalgic look at the independent years of Moray Firth Radio which serves the UK’s largest geographic area.

Written by station’s former news editor Susie Rose, it contains anecdotes from the people who made the station happen plus photographs.

It recalls the station – now owned and operated by Bauer Radio – was a unique place with a “can do” attitude which changed the lives of those involved and the community it served.

It was four times winner of small station of the year accolades and mixed voluntary and professional resources, becoming a highly-regarded training ground for new broadcasting talent.

Former managing director Thomas Prag has also been closely involved in the book’s publication.

Thomas Prag in the independent years of MFR.
Thomas Prag in the independent years of MFR.

“The idea was to put on record the memories of what was a very unusual radio station,” he said. “It is unashamedly a trip down Memory Lane.”

As a truly local radio station, it was important to the region’s communities at a time when the economy was fragile and unemployment was high in some places.

It was established by community activists who had no experience or money when radio station licences were strictly controlled by the Home Office and standards set high.

But it achieved some of the best listening figures in the country.

Volunteers included Susie Rose, who became involved with the station at the age of 14.

Thomas Prag with other well-known voices from the early years Jean Macallum (Aunty Jean) Brian Anderson, Helen Macpherson and Len Black.
Thomas Prag with other well-known voices from the early years Jean Macallum (Aunty Jean) Brian Anderson, Helen Macpherson and Len Black.

After studying at Edinburgh Napier University, she returned as a reporter and later became head of news.

She works in PR and lives in Musselburgh with her husband, Jason, who was a reporter and presenter with MFR, and their daughter.

Making Waves, priced £17.50, is published by Furry Mouth Publications.


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