Centre Radio - Launch

Jan 06, 2013, 01:13 AM

Here starts the story of the station which was not meant to be

Centre was born in September 1981. I recall Trent being poised, back then, to battle with its new East Midlands neighbour, given until then it had been alone. Indeed, listening back to old Trent tapes now, mentions of Leicestershire and Derbyshire had always been surprisingly commonplace.

Centre 238 bounced on-air with Timmy (Mallett) on the Tranny in a dinner jacket and bowtie, with promises of rich offerings; complemented by some catchy Sue Manning jingles 'direct from the heart of Leicester'.

Trent fought for clients and audience from the borders; BBC Radio Leicester owned the City and significant audiences; and, these were tough economic times. The station had also been launched in what appears now to have been, rather lavish style. Witness a generator big enough to power Leicester; and fireplaces worthy of Woburn Abbey. Month by month, its financial situation worsened.

On 6th October 1983, after rescue bids were thwarted, the station fell silent. Its successor, Leicester Sound, benefited from great legacy premises and lots of Centre Radio grey sweat shirts, which were over-printed cleverly with the new logo in a 'recycled' graffiti style. It also faced a tough uphill struggle to build a business in this now suspicious City.